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1984-1986: Lancia SpA, Italy.
1986-2006: Peter Kraus, Germany, Rosso Bianco collection
2006-2010: Jan Luhn, Germany.
2010-2015: Rupert Clevely, UK.
LC2 Development History
In 1982, the new Group C regulations were introduced to the World Championship. This rule set required teams to use coupé-style cars that had to be able to meet a fuel economy standard mandated at 100 kilometres for every 60 litres of fuel. The Lancia LC1, which had been built to the older Group 6 regulations, initially competed in 1982, but had to be replaced in order for Lancia to earn constructors' points in the World Championship, now open to Group C cars only in 1983. Besides the fact that the LC1 had an open-cockpit, the turbocharged straight-4 Lancia engine it had used was not capable of achieving the fuel economy necessary in the new Group C regulations, requiring Lancia to also seek a new power plant. Under the direction of Cesare Fiorio, Lancia began to work on the LC1's replacement.
Lancia lacked a production engine large enough to base a racing engine on, leaving the company to turn to outside sources. Since the Fiat Group owned Lancia, they were able to seek the assistance of fellow Fiat Company, Ferrari. Ferrari allowed Lancia to adapt the new naturally-aspirated 3.0 litres four valve V8 which had been introduced in the Ferrari 308 GTBi QV in 1982. The engine was reduced in capacity to 2.6 litres and two KKK turbochargers were added to help the engine provide the fuel economy and power necessary.
The specific engine displacement was chosen because of the possibility of using the same engine in the North American CART series. The engine was initially connected to a Hewland five-speed manual gearbox, which was replaced by an Abarth-cased unit in 1984.
Design work on the chassis was split between the Italian racing car manufacturers Abarth and Dallara, the latter of which built the aluminium monocoque and the kevlar and carbon-fibre bodywork in their factory. The LC2 featured a large intake for the radiators in the centre of the nose of the car just as the LC1 had, unlike the contemporary Porsche 956s, which drew all the air from behind and to the sides of the cockpit. This air was also directed through the side bodywork to feed the intercoolers for the turbochargers. Inlets for the rear brake cooling ducts were also integrated onto the side bodywork of the car, immediately behind the doors.
At the rear, a pontoon-style design was adapted to the fenders with
the large wing bridging across the pontoons. The rear diffusers exited between the pontoons and underneath the wing. The LC2s were modified over their lifetime, with a multitude of modifications being made each season to the cars' aerodynamics, including adapting brake duct inlets beneath the headlights. The Ferrari V8 was modified in 1984, bringing the displacement back up to 3.0-litres in an attempt to increase reliability and horsepower while improved engine electronics from Magneti Marelli allowed the larger engine to use the same amount of fuel as the previous version.
In total, seven LC2s were built under the direction of Lancia, while a further two cars were built in 1986-89 for Gianni Mussato without official backing after the program had ended.
The LC2s made their debut at the beginning of the 1983 season, being run under the Martini Racing name and painted in the world famous Martini & Rossi colours, as well as initially using Italian Pirelli radial tyres.
The first race of the season was also Lancia's home event, the 1000 km of Monza. The LC2 proved more powerful than the 956s, taking the
pole position by nearly a second over Joest Racing's 956. However tyre problems took the leading Lancia out of the lead of the race, and the second team car finished twelve laps behind the winning 956.
Tyre problems and engine reliability hampered the LC2s all season; the Pirelli tyres were eventually replaced with British Dunlop cross-ply tyres, although the car's suspension had been optimised for the Italian product. Neither car managed to finish a race again until the fifth round, the 1000 km of Spa. There the two Martini Racing LC2s as well as the privateer Mirabella LC2 all finished, but only after suffering various difficulties that dropped them from contention earlier in the race.
The LC2s finally ran reliably at the European Endurance Championship round at Brands Hatch, where Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese finished fourth. Lancia chose not to participate in the World Sports car event in Japan, instead running the European Endurance event at Imola. The choice paid off as Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer earned the LC2 its first victory. Lancia finished off the season with back-to-back second place finishes at Mugello and Kyalami. Even with their difficulties Lancia took second place in the World Constructors Championship.
The revised LC2s appeared once again at the 1000 km of Monza to start the 1984 season, with suspension redesigned to work with the Dunlop tyres.
Lancia opened the season with a podium finish, followed by another pole position at Silverstone (achieved by this specific car), which led to a fourth place finish by a sister car.
For the 24 Hours of Le Mans, both cars qualified on the front row (this car again on pole) and led for 17 hours, only for problems with the gearboxes on both cars to lose the team their lead. Bob Wollek and Alessandro Nannini, driving chassis 0005, at least proved the potential reliability of the LC2 by completing the full race distance and finishing in eighth position.
The team took a brief hiatus after Brands Hatch, returning for Imola once again but they were unable to repeat their previous performance, both cars crashing out.
Lancia once again skipped Fuji, returning for Kyalami where they took a 1-2 finish (with chassis 0005 winning). Although the LC2 earned its second win, none of the major Porsche teams attended the event.
Unable to challenge further for the Constructors or Drivers Championships, the team did not attend the final round of the year. Although the cars were fast, over the year Autocourse concluded that the team had had so many different problems that poor preparation must be the cause.
1985 was a year in which Martini Racing needed to show the potential winning capabilities of the LC2 in order for Lancia to continue to fund a project that had seen limited success thus far.
The cars were further revised and were running on Michelin radial tyres. The season opened with an LC2 taking pole position at Mugello by 1.7 seconds ahead of the factory Porsche. Although the pole position car's engine did not last, the other team car finished fourth.
For the 1000 km of Monza, the LC2s were nearly four seconds ahead of the closest Porsche in qualifying, and led the race early on. However, while Patrese and Nannini were in third place and on the same lap as the leaders, a tree fell across the track and caused the race to be stopped early.
On double-pole once again at Silverstone, one of the LC2s was in the lead of the race until a wheel bearing failure in the closing laps forced Nannini to pit, forfeiting the lead. Although the LC2s did not take pole at Le Mans, they lead the race early. Reliability issues again forced the team to drop out of the lead. They eventually finished the race in sixth and seventh places.
A fuel pump failure also dropped the team out of contention at the Hockenheimring. The team was competitive throughout the race at Spa with this specific car of Wollek, Patrese, and Mauro Baldi, first the pole position, then leading the factory Porsche towards the end of the event. Another Lancia was leading when the race organisers chose to end the race out of respect for driver Stefan Bellof who had been killed in an accident earlier in the event. Even with the shortened race, Lancia were able to celebrate their first victory over the factory Rothmans Porsche team.
The following event, the 1000 km of Brands Hatch, saw the LC2s leading en route to a potential win, only to hit one another and finish third and fourth.
Once again unable to challenge Porsche in the championships, Lancia chose
not to participate in the final two rounds. However they still earned second in the Teams Championship, just ahead of the privateer Joest Racing Porsche.
Seeing some remaining potential in the LC2, Lancia allowed the project to continue into 1986, but only as a one-car effort. The year opened with a sprint event at Monza, with the speed of the LC2 allowing it to take second place, less than a minute behind the winning Rothmans Porsche. The first endurance event at Silverstone however saw a return of the LC2's reliability problems, as the fuel pump failed and the car was unable to finish. Feeling the cars were still not reliable enough nor fuel efficient enough to compete with the evolved Porsche 962C, Lancia determined that the project was no longer worth supporting, and Martini Racing pulled out of the championship.
1986 and beyond...
Privateer teams initially attempted to carry on with older LC2 chassis. Gianni Mussato unsuccessfully entered two races in 1986 before leaving the championship, returning for oneoff appearances in 1987 and 1988.
The Mussato car moved to Dollop Racing later in 1988, where it was again unsuccessful and failed to finish any of the races that season.
Mussato returned in 1989 with a newly built LC2, but once again the car struggled to finish any races during the season. His team made a final attempt in 1990, running just the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the outcome was the same.
Even into 1991, the Veneto Equipe team turned to the LC2 to contend the World Sportscar Championship.
Period Race history of this car:
Chassis 0005 was built by the Lancia factory for the 1984 Group-C season:
1,000 km of Monza, 23 April 1984. Race number 4. Warm and dry conditions. Driven by Patrese/Wollek Grid 4th place. Race DNF (fire)
1,000 km of Silverstone, 13 May 1984. Race number 4. Windy conditions
Driven by Patrese/Wollek Pole position. Race DNF (ignition problem).
24 hours of Le Mans, 17 June 1984. Race number 4. Warm and dry conditions. Driven by Wollek/Nannini. Pole position with a lap time of 3.17.110. Race 8th overall
1,000 kms of Brands Hatch, 29 July 1984. Race number 6. Hot and dry conditions. Driven by Pierluigi Martini/Paolo Barilla/Bob Wollek. Grid 10th. Race DNS.
Kyalami 1,000 Kms, 3rd November 1984. Race number 6. Driven by Patrese and Nannini. Grid 2nd place. Race winner.
For the 1985 season the car received all factory updates, including the 3.0 litre engine, the updated gearbox, revised aerodynamics and the new ECU:
Monza 1,000 kms, 28th April 1985. Race number 5. Car driven by Bob Wollek, Mauro Baldi. Grid 2nd. DNF, collision with Surer.
1,000 kms of Silverstone, 12 May 1985. Race number 4. Cold conditions
Wollek/Baldi Grid 1st Race 3rd overall.
24 hours of Le Mans, 16 June 1985. Warm and dry conditions. Race number 6. Driven by Henri Pescarolo/Mauro Baldi. Grid 6th, Race 7th overall.
1,000 kms of Hockenheim, 14 July 1985. Hot and dry conditions
Baldi/Wollek Grid 8th Race 4th overall
1,000 kms of Spa, 1 September 1985. Warm and dry conditions
Driven by Patrese/Nannini/Baldi. Pole position. Race 4th overall.
1,000 kms of Brands Hatch, 22 September 1985. Warm and dry conditions
Car was used as a spare car and still wears its scrutineering sticker
Modern Group C Racing
The car was re-commissioned in the workshops of Group C specialists Chamberlain Synergy in Oxford in 2010-2011. This included a strip to the tub, full engine rebuild, and rewire, and brakes and suspension strip and rebuild. The original Magneti-Marelli ECU was replaced with a more reliable modern Motec system, housed in the original box.
30th April 2011, Donington, Race number 6, 10th place, driven by Rupert Clevely.
29th May 2011, Spa Francorchamps, Race number 6, 8th place, driven by Rupert Clevely.
11th July 2011, Goodwood Festival of Speed, driven by Rupert Clevely.
24th July 2011 Race 1, Silverstone, Race number 6, 14th place, driven by Rupert Clevely.
24th July 2011 Race 2, Silverstone, Race number 6, 10th place, driven by Rupert Clevely
23rd October 2011, Portimao, Race number 6, 8th place, driven by Rupert Clevely.
Finished the year 6th overall in the 2011 Group C Championship.
6th May 2012, Donington, Race number 6, 3rd place driven by Bob Berridge, Rupert Clevely.
27th May 2012, Spa Francorchamps, Race number 6, 5th place driven by Rupert Clevely.
16th June 2012, Le Mans, Race number 6, 14th place, driven by Rupert Clevely.
22nd July 2012, Silverstone, Race number 6, Race 1 7th place, driven by Rupert Clevely. Race 2, DNS.
Finished the year 2nd overall in the 2012 Group C Championship.
14th April 2013, Barcelona, Race number 6, Race 1, DNF. Race 2, 4th driven by Rupert Clevely.
29-30th March 2014, the car was demonstrated at the re-launched 72nd Goodwood Members' Meeting at the Goodwood race circuit, driven by Rupert Clevely.
26-29th June 2014 Rupert Clevely at the Goodwood Festival of Speed drove the car
27th July 2014, Silverstone, Race number 6. Race 1 10th overall driven by Rupert Clevely. Race 2, 9th overall driven by Rupert Clevely.
21-22nd March 2015, the car was demonstrated at the 73rd Goodwood Members' Meeting, driven by Rupert Clevely at the Goodwood race circuit.
Following the purchase of the car by the current owner in late 1Q 2015, the car was again commissioned for active racing, with a strip down to the tub, crack tested suspension and rebuilt brakes, as well as a full engine rebuild. The engine produces ca. 770 bhp at around 8,000 rpm.
3rd October 2015, Dix Mille Tours, Circuit Paul Ricard, France, Group C Race, race number 6. Qualification in the wet put the car 11th on the grid. The race was thankfully dry, and finally finished 6th overall and 3rd in Class C1 and class winner in Class C1B.
Also, it won the 2015 Group C Class 1B Championship on points!
Le Mans Classic -
Qualifying - 14th OA, 4:18.3 (2nd IC)
Race - DNS