Italian two-time world champion Miki Biasion marks two significant anniversaries at this year’s event, the first being the start of his career, which came in a Group 1 Opel Kadett GTE in 1979.
Ten years later, Biasion secured the first of those two titles with Lancia. He will drive a 037 this week.
Biasion will be joined by countrymen and fellow rally stars Tony Fassina, Piero Longhi and Gigi Galli. The hugely popular Galli takes his 600bhp Kia Rio RX rallycross car into a stage for the first time.
Hyundai will demonstrate the modern era of the sport, with title-chasing Thierry Neuville driving an i20 WRC. Team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen gets an older-specification i20.
Craig Breen is another Hyundai driver starting in San Marino, but the Irishman will drive an ex-Colin McRae Subaru Impreza 555. Breen’s father, Ray, will drive the family MG Metro 6R4.
“It’s an amazing event,” said Craig. “To see cars and drivers like that from the history of the sport makes it really special. The atmosphere there is just unbelievable, I absolutely love it – especially when the night stages are coming.”
Every generation of car will be represented from Group 4 through Group B and Group A right up to today’s spectacular World Rally Cars.
The non-championship event starts with a night time parade through San Marino on Thursday, with the competition running from Friday to Sunday.