1983 LANCIA LC2
Works LANCIA MARTINI RACING entrant in the 1983 FIA World Sportscar Championship & in the 1983 Le Mans 24 Hours
Driven by famous pilots: Jean-Claude Andruet and Alessandro Nannini
The most iconic Italian Group C and the first opponent of the Porsche 956
Nearly 400 km/h in the Hunaudières
Eligible for Group C Racing Series, Gulf Historic and Le Mans Classic
Lancia Classiche Certified
Following on from the Beta Montecarlo’s exploits in Group 5 (between 1979 and 1981) and then the excellent performances of the LC1s in Group 6 (in 1982), Lancia officially switched to Group C in 1983. For this category reserved for closed sports-prototypes with constraints on fuel consumption, they developed a completely new car. It had few things in common with the lines of the LC1, which was an open protoype. On the mechanical side, the change was even more radical. The engines that had been used up till then were replaced… by a 3.0-litre V8 Ferrari engine. The LC2 may rightly be described as the first and only Italian Group C car. Ascott Collection is delighted to present the first car to be built, bearing chassis number LC2-0001, which was entered in particular in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The LC2 or "Ferrari Lancia"
When they entered the world sports car championship in 1982, Lancia knew the rules. The LC1 would be tolerated temporarily, but in the long term, to score points and compete for victory in the overall classification, Lancia would have to produce a car that complied fully with Group C rules.
Work began in parallel with the LC1s’ entry in competition. To ensure a form of continuity, Lancia called on the same partners as for the previous projects. Like its predecessors, the LC2 was therefore fitted with an aluminum monocoque chassis and a Kevlar and carbon fibre body, all made by Dallara.
For the LC2, Ferrari allowed Lancia, and in particular Abarth, to use some parts of the naturally aspirated 32-valve 3.0-litre V8 engine of the Ferrari 308 GTBi "Quattrovalvole". The engine’s primary objective was the Indycar championship. Initially seen in its atmospheric form in the 308, it turned out to be not very powerful. Abarth made a new engine block, keeping many of the original elements and reducing the engine capacity to 2.6 litres, but adding two KKK K26 turbochargers. It turned out to be much more suitable for endurance… and met the requirements of the regulations in terms of consumption. Developing some 650 hp in their early versions, the LC2s were more powerful than the Porsche 956s.
During its career, the LC2 underwent continuous aerodynamic and technical development. The Ferrari V8 engine, in particular, received a revised Magneti Marelli electronics system, for more power and optimized fuel consumption, which dropped to the same level as the 2.7-litre version.
For the record: the Group C regulations gave priority to the engine supplier when naming the car. In its early days, the Lancia LC2 was thus officially known as the "Ferrari Lancia".
A career spanning nearly a decade
Three victories were won in sports car world championships: at Imola in 1983, at Kyalami in 1984 and at Spa-Francorchamps in 1985. Michele Alboreto, Riccardo Patrese, Teo Fabi, Alessandro Nannini, Mauro Baldi, Pierluigi Martini, Andreas of Cesaris and the Frenchman Bob Wollek were some of the drivers who took the wheel of the LC2 in competition.
The car made its debut at the 1000 kilometers of Monza in April 1983. The LC2-0001 was No. 5 and only took part in practice, due to Ghinzani coming off the track. LC2-0002 and LC2-0003 took part in the race. This first outing was marked by a 9th place. It was these chassis that were then entered at Silverstone and the Nürburgring, but with the cars retiring one after another. The old LC1 fitted with a roof, entered by Scuderia Sivama, did better – proof that the development of the new car was not yet complete.
There were three cars entered for the 24 Hours of Le Mans: LC2-0001 (No. 6), LC2-0002 (No. 4) and LC2-0003 (No.5). These Italian Group C cars showed impressive speed, with No. 4 qualifying in 2nd place in 3m 20.790s, at an average speed of 244.6 km/h. No. 5 was 4th. And what about No. 6? It made no attempt to go for the fastest time, preferring instead to carry out simulations of long driver stints during practice, to prepare for the race itself. But the Le Mans circuit turned out to be too tough for the cars, with none of the LC2s making it to the finishing line.
After a detour in the German DRM championship, the cars were entered in the World Endurance Championship at the end of 1983. In 1984, the programme again included the World Championship. At Le Mans, the Lancia LC2s offered some hope that they might be a match for the Porsche 956s. The two cars entered led the race before retiring with gearbox problems. Bob Wollek had claimed pole position and Alessandro Nannini set the lap record! The LC2s were clearly the fastest cars at Le Mans that year!
In 1985, the LC2 project really suffered against the Porsche 956s. Yet there were some truly remarkable moments, and it was really bad luck that affected the LC2s. At Mugello, one of the cars took pole position but then had an engine problem. In Monza, with an LC2 heading for victory, a fallen tree on the circuit stopped the race prematurely. A rogue wheel nut at Silverstone gave Porsche a hat-trick. At Hockenheim, a fuel pump problem robbed an LC2 of a sure-fire victory. A collision at Brands Hatch between two LC2s forced both cars to retire. At Spa, an LC2 at last chalked up a victory. But the win was overshadowed by the tragic death of Stefan Bellof in a Porsche….
At the 1985 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the LC2s could do no better than 6th (Wollek-Nannini) and 7th (Pescarolo-Baldi). During practice, the LC2 got up to 398 km/h in the straight. Speaking of this 1985 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Henri Pescarolo confided that in his car he had tried to spare the gearbox as far as possible by instructing his teammate to use a different gear change sequence from his own. One of them changed up through 1st, 2nd, 3rd and then 4th, while the other changed up through 1st, 2nd, 3rd and then 5th… Only one car was used during the 1986 season, and Lancia withdrew mid-season for lack of results.
For the record : out of loyalty to Pirelli, Lancia began the LC2’s career on Pirelli tyres. But they failed to give satisfaction. At Monza, the LC2s failed to perform well over any real length of time, with the tyres being unable to cope with the prototype’s power and its weight of 800 kg. According to driver Piercarlo Ghinzani, it was data interpretation problems between Pirelli, Lancia and Dallara that led to this imbroglio, forcing a switch to Dunlop tyres from Silverstone onwards. In 1985, in what was to be the programme's final season, the LC2s switched to Michelin tyres.
The Lancia LC2 chassis LC2-0001
In total, Lancia built seven works LC2 chassis, in the livery of the Lancia Martini Racing team. The LC2s were the only Italian Group C cars and, above all, the only ones at the time to use a Ferrari engine! LC2-0001 was the very first of the cars to be produced.
After being damaged in practice at Monza on its debut, the car was repaired for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, being driven by Alessandro Nannini, Jean-Claude Andruet and Paolo Barilla.
It spent part of its sporting retirement, in the collection of Yoshijuki Hayashi.
It symbolizes the daring shown by Lancia, and the attempt they made to come up with a riposte to Porsche, with a car that brought together the know-how of three top-flight partners (Abarth, Dallara, and Ferrari). Capable of approaching 400 km/h down the Mulsanne straight (without the chicanes), this LC2 comes with a Lancia Classiche certificate of authenticity, and has been treated to a complete restoration, which makes it ready to compete in Group C races, and in particular the Le Mans Classic.
10/04/1983 - 1000 km of Monza - Trofeo Filippo Caracciolo - Ghinzani / Fabi - practice only
06/18/1983 - 24 Hours of Le Mans - Alessandro Nannini / Jean-Claude Andruet / Paolo Barilla – retired with turbo failure (No. 6)
Keyword Search Terms:lancia, lancia martini, martini, lc2, group c, ferrari, le mans classic, group c, gulf historic,
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