‘Stories’ of the Rally de Portugal, 1984: Geistdorfer’s masterstroke
Throughout the history of the World Rally, it is normal to talk about tactics and strategies. Team managers have always been trying to find ways to mitigate the difficulties they already knew to face, whether it was dust, car wear, tires, etc. As the level of competition increased in the mid-1980s, and the huge fights between Audi and Lancia, which Peugeot later joined, led to ‘schemes’ on the part of the teams. Usually, the most inventive was Lancia, but in the 1984 Rally de Portugal it was not like that.
Note that it is reported at the time: “Ancia was with the Latase men, the cars did not reach the assistance. She lived with the knowledge that she didn’t know for sure the right time, because she didn’t know for sure, nor the right night, nor did she know that the night was not known for sure, nor the right night, nor to fall in time.
The news had arrived that the Finn from Audi was riding two minutes ahead of Biasion, also having the road clear of power in front of him, which was on equal terms with Markku Alén, the first to pass. , and therefore without major problems in terms of visibility. The question was whether Rohrl was penalized for advancing or if Mikkola was sure that he had the driver of the Viseu security trolley departure “for a matter of a few minutes”.
Alén arrives, with his air, getting irritated by this situation. Maybe that wasn’t what would allow it, as we explained the attempt strategy, the driver but a tentative tactic strategy.
Allen looks thoughtful. In moments. Biasion asks us to get back to Alén.
The Finn had not yet’ and still well the ‘tactic us to repeat. This time there was no doubt: Alén had understood and he was furious.
But what could Lancia have done? Sports, nothing. Anti-Sport, having ordered Biasion to be loosened, so that his dust would continue to bother Mikkola. Only that any men of the Italian brand are considered to be few, and as worthy of evaluation, not as worthy of evaluation.
For the first time in many years, Cesar Fiorio and his peers were more surprising at what they used to be strongest at, a strategy.
But at Audi there is now a gentleman called Christian Geistdorfer, who after many years at the Italian school has learned the tricks and also knows how to put them into practice. In our opinion, Mikkola’s driving and Geistdorfer’s strategy will allow Audi to achieve its consecutive victory in Portugal. How to care like things? Nothing easier.
At the entrance to Viseu, on the first pass, Mikkola pulled up his car-before the control zone, with Rohrl’s Quattro right behind him.
Massimo Biasion heads for the start of the stage and Rohr his teammate to control one minute before his ideal time, which would allow him to leave for the stage on time Mikkola normally should The Finn from then on from two minutes then Biasion, with Rohrl in front of him.
It would leave, and as soon as it left the control zone, it would pull over for a minute waiting for Mikkola to pass and only then get back on the road.
Mikkola thus had two for the competitor in front and was always the first to arrive, on the principle that Lancia’s men don’t love what they approach. Maurizio Perissinot, Bettega’s navigator, already told us in Tomar: “I remember that from a certain point onwards, Arne Hertz never came to control me and Siviero again, as he normally did. But that scheme never crossed my mind. Rohrl and Mikkola maintain their tactics in passing through Mões and Nogueira.
For the entry of the second Viseu they chose a new ‘variant’: Rohr penalized a minute for being retired or his previous position, behind Mikkola, keeping but this difference to Biasion. It was a ‘master stroke’ by Geistdorfer. In a policy that is accepted, since they are not directly equivalent to third parties, since everything was a tactic of
It should also be noted that it was Geistdorfer himself who suggested this strategy to Mikkola, who later confessed to us that he never had a similar ‘play’ in his mind. In terms of tactics, Lancia seems to be no longer alone”.
As you can see, tactics are far from new in the WRC…