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Learning from the 1982 season with a promising LC1 Group 6 prototype, Lancia ramped up the project for 1983 with the LC2. Lancia and Cesare Fiorio had to design almost an entirely new car. With Ferrari in Fiat's pocket, the LC2 got a Ferrari heart and dramatic closed bodywork. This was in part due to the Group C regulations which stipulated closed coupe bodywork and fuel economy standards.
Like the LC1, the LC2 was developed almost entirely by Gianpaulo Dallara and Abarth. To keep pace with Porsche and the 956, a version of Ferrari's V8 was sourced from the 308 QV. With twin KKK turbochargers, the 3.0-litre engine produced around 850 bhp. This V8 became the center of the chassis and was rigidly affixed as a stress member of the chassis, which was an aluminum-tub clothed in Kevlar bodywork. Over the three years that Lancia actively raced the LC2, its body slowly evolved.
Under the Martini Racing banner, Lancia debuted the LC2 at the 1000 km of Monza and faced the Porsche 956 for the first time. The car posted a promising pole position, but suffered from tire problems for the remainder of the season. The car only won a European Endurance Championship round at Imola with drivers Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer.
Chassis 002 was constructed in 1983 and raced as the Lancia/Martini works car from 1983 to 1986. One of only five chassis built during that period, this car was the workhorse of the team and competed in more races than any of the other cars.
1983, this car competed in nine world-championship events beginning with the 1,000 km of Monza where Riccardo Patrese and Michele Alboreto finished 9th. From there, the car competed at Silverstone, Nürburgring and Le Mans, always qualifying in the top ten, but unable to finish. The next success came at Brands Hatch where, after qualifying 5th, Alboreto and Alessandro Nannini finished 4th. The next race took place at Imola and proved to be a resounding success, with Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer leading the pack over the 1,000 kms and producing the first win for the Lancia/Martini works team. The year rounded out well with second place finishes at both Mugello and Kyalami, as well as a 7th place finish at Spa.
In 1984, 002 was poised to build on the success of the previous season and it first appeared at Monza with Patrese and Bob Wollek. After qualifying 4th and setting the fastest lap of the race, the car met with mechanical trouble and was forced to retire early. At the 1,000 km Nürburgring, the team of Patrese and Wolleck were able to finish 12th overall, before the greatest challenge of all, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After qualifying in pole position, the Lancia went on to set the fastest lap of the race - 3:28.90 - and to finish 8th overall behind a long string of Porsche 956s.
In 1985, 002 could still be found competing at the highest levels of competition, beginning the season at Mugello and following with an 8th place finish at Monza. It again returned to Le Mans in the summer, where it qualified 3rd. In a memorable battle, the Lancia led the field for more than half the distance, however external circumstances resulted in the team having to settle with a respectable 6th place. Amazingly, this car was recorded at 246 mph on the Mulsanne Straight, giving credence to the claim that the LC2 was one of the fastest endurance racing cars ever produced. Hockenheim was the next event and the Lancia saw its last competition outing at Spa, where it went out on a high note, qualifying on the pole and finishing 4th.
In 1988, #002 was purchased directly from Lancia-Fiat Auto S.p.A. and the car has since undergone a meticulous ground-up restoration at the Canepa Design facilities in Scotts Valley, California. This very original car was completely disassembled and prepared for both concours competition and historic racing. The total restoration cost exceeded $350,000, a sum that included 4,000 man-hours of labor, a variety of components and various subcontract work.
With all the above in mind, 002 must be considered the finest example of these extraordinary racing machines. Today the Lancia remains in marvelous condition and it is ready to continue racing in Historic Group C.
LC2 #002 specific race history:
Monza 1000km- Patrese/Alborto- 9th
Silverstone 1000km- Patrese/Alboreto- DNF
Nurburgring 1000km- Patrese/Alboreto- DNF
Le Mans- Patrese/Alboreto- DNF
Brands Hatch 1000km- Patrese/Alboreto- 4th
Imola 1000km- Fabi/Heyer- 1st
Mugello 1000km- Patrese/Nannini- 2nd
Spa 1000km- Patrese/Fabi- 7th
Kyalami 1000km- Patrese/Nannini- 2nd
Monza 1000km- Patrese/Wollek- DNF (FL)
Nurburgring 1000km- Patrese/Wollek- 12th
Le Mans- Wollek/Nannini- 8th (Pole & Fastest Lap)
Mugello- Nannini/Patrese- DNF
Monza- Nannini/Patrese- 8th
Le Mans- Wollek/Nannini/Cesario-6th
Spa 1000km- Patrese/Nannini/Baldi- 4th (pole).
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