June 2002. Tiziano Borsa and Carla Berra, strong crew from Piemonte and holder of many National Rally titles, win the second edition of RALLY LIRENAS on board of a Ford ESCORT COSWORTH with the TAM-AUTO colors.
20 years have almost passed by the undisputed victories of PORSCHE and LANCIA RALLY 037 wisely taken care of by the Company from Novara, but the TAM-AUTO is still today at the top of the Italian Rally. This continuity of successes derives from the wise job made by the holder PEPPINO ZONCA, manager from Romentino and founder in 1972 of the team of Galliate that was so called in honor of the Turkish partner NURIT PELIT KEMAR, wealthy man and great impassioned of car races. TAM-AUTO, in the Turkish language, means "right car". And ZONCA, during over 20 years of races, had quite a lot of right cars in hand!
He surely inherited this fortune from his father AMERIGO ZONCA, tuner in the years '30 and '40 of the gran prix cars of ACHILLE VARZI and of the unforgettable JUAN MANUEL FANGIO, argentinian ace winner of five World Championship titles. PEPPINO, instead, before entering into partnership with KEMAR, worked by the shop of the "wizard" VIRGILIO CONRERO, another tuner really experienced of "right cars". At the beginnings of the years '80, after having had many experiences in the IMSA American Championship managing the PORSCHE 935 gr.5 of GIAMPIERO MORETTI, ZONCA begins the adventure in the rallies world tiing his society to the cars made in Stoccarda. In 1983, with PORSCHE cars tuned in the studio in GALLIATE, they have been raced more than 83 official competitions with "gentlemen drivers" like SANDRO CHIOSSI, MASSIMO PIGOLI, MASSIMO CERUTTI and the test driver MASSIMO "CICCA" CUCCIRELLI. For all of them to race with cars TAM-AUTO meant, first of all, to have a top car available and managed by a top organized team and the certainty to be able to excel in the fought national rallies.
In 1984 the TAM-AUTO participates to all the races of the Italian Rally Championship, not winning it but always getting important positionings, to demonstrate the great power of the team. ZONCA himself affirms - My team is able to prepare a car for a gimkana in the country, as for a local rally or for an international race -. Words confirmed by the presence of a PORSCHE 911 SC TAM-AUTO at the 52nd RALLY of MONTECARLO, that reaches the finishing line at the 35th place end with great satisfaction for the crew PIOVANI-BARUCCO, despite of the innumerable difficulties met on the snowy special stages of the competition. To get this and other prestigious results the team from Novara has also known how to use the important suggestions given by experienced collaborators; one of them is the ex Italian Rally Champion TONINO TOGNANA, who left the FERRARI 308 GTB to race on board of a more powerful PORSCHE 930 TURBO.
In 1985 the decisive moment arrives. The Stoccarda cars, always reliable but by now less performing in comparison to the new group B cars, are gradually replaced by the most agile and powerful LANCIA RALLY 037.
The programs made with the Scorpion cars foresee the support of the italian TOP-TEAM JOLLY CLUB and from a pool of new sponsors. The main driver is GIANFRANCO CUNICO, a fast boy even if few constant in the results. CUNICO begins the season winning in two weeks in Spain, in the RALLY of TENERIFE and in Italy, in the RALLY del CIOCCO, but subsequently he obtains a series of withdrawals that relegate him to a season stingy of successes. The TAM-AUTO is however present in almost all the small competitions along the peninsula and, in quite a lot of these, it also succeeds in getting the maximum goal. It is this the case of FONTANA, first at the BORMIDA, of MUSTI, first at the COLLINE d'OLTREPÒ, of PIGOLI, first in COMO, and of GRAZIANO ROSSI, dad of the great VALENTINO, first at the RALLY di MANTOVA.
These are only some successes gotten in 1985 and in the two years 1986-1987 the team from Novara repeats. CUNICO is winning, as the year before, in TENERIFE and at the CIOCCO, and he will be also first in TORINO and MONZA. Other gentleman drivers, with the 037, have been able to do great things: let's quote among them MANFRINATO, ZENERE, BELLO, DIONISIO, ZAVATTONI and the TROMBI brothers, these last winners of the Center South Italy Trophy. At the end of the season, as we know, the group B cars definitely end their career and also the TAM-AUTO adapts itself to the circumstances however tuning and managing top cars. The great "manager and master" PEPPINO ZONCA leaves the charge to his son Luca that, first as driver then as manager, continued up today the team management. FORD SIERRA COSWORTH, BMW M3, LANCIA DELTA INTEGRALE and FORD ESCORT COSWORTH have still been able to make a spectacle of themselves along the special stages, to demonstrate a constant engagement in the races and in the research of the success.
The times, the rules and the way to conceive the road races are changed but the experience matured on the competition fields, is unchanged and makes of the TAM-AUTO, still today, a winning team. A small anecdote must be still quoted. On 4th December 1988 the LANCIA RALLY 037 gets his last victory in an official competition. The Rally is that of MONZA, the crew BRAND-LECHLEITNER and its car a 037-TAM-AUTO. Therefore, the team can confer itself upon of an important title: that to have brought on the highest step of the podium for the last time the glorious LANCIA 037 at the end of an uproarious career.
*** BACK ***