1982 Le Mans 24 Hours Lancia Martini Racing Works entrant
Winner of the 1982 Nurburgring 1000 KM
Driven by World Sportscar Champion, Teo Fabi, and Formula One Grand Prix winner, Riccardo Patrese
One of only four examples built, and Italy’s first ground-effect sportscar
Lancia Classiche Certified
Lancia, Dallara and the LC1
The LC1 chassis was designed and built by the great Giampaolo Dallara at his factory in Parma, Italy. The monocoque was designed in a similar way to a Formula One car of the same era and weighed a mere 55 kg! It was constructed from sheets of Avional (aluminium alloy) with three magnesium alloy ribs and bracing.
The slender Kevlar and Carbon bodywork was designed in the Fiat Research Centre at Orbassano, Turin, with the aim of optimizing airflow both internally and externally. After more than 120 hours of refined aerodynamic work in the wind tunnel, the finished bodywork design weighed an impressive 58 kg, giving the LC1 a total dry weight of only 640 kg, considerably less than the 800 kg required of the Group C cars.
Internally known as the 14.81 PT, the Lancia Abarth engine was very similar to that used in the Montecarlo Turbo to win the 1981 and 1982 World Endurance Championship for Makes. The block was partially redesigned for strengthening with the cylinder head based on that fitted to the Fiat Abarth 131 but benefitted from an optimized combustion chamber design. To lower the engine cover height and enhance aerodynamics, the KKK K27 turbocharger and Porsche-type wastegate were located above the five-speed Hewland DG 300 gearbox. Amazingly, only six gearbox sets were built and used throughout the lifetime of the LC1 project, with records clearly showing which unit was fitted to which car for each race. With its 450 bhp in race trim, and weight of only 640 kg, the LC1 had an impressive power to weight ratio of 0.65 bhp per kg.
Lancia built only four LC1s, with three cars securing victories. The first came at the 1982 Silverstone 6 Hours, beating the Porsche 956 Group C at its debut race, with victories following at the 1982 Nurburgring 1000 km and 1982 Mugello 1000 km, an important victory on home soil for the Italians.
This Nurburgring 1000 km-Winning Lancia LC1 Group VI
The Lancia LC1 offered here was completed by Lancia in March 1982 and was the second of only four examples ever produced, being shakendown by test and race driver, Piercarlo Ghinzani at Mugello on the 14th March. With its shakedown complete, on April 1st 1982 this LC1 was driven by Ghinzani once again at Monza for setup and aerodynamic testing in advance of the 1982 World Endurance Championship.
For the opening round of the 1982 World Endurance Championship, the Trofeo Filippo Caracciolo held at Monza on 18th April, this LC1 was entered by Lancia Martini Racing and driven by Formula One and sportscar racer, Teo Fabi, and Piercarlo Ghinzani. Wearing race number 52, this LC1 qualified an impressive second overall on its debut, beaten only by the sister Lancia Martini Racing LC1 with the first Group C car nearly three second further back. After 104 laps this LC1 retired with an electrical issue.
A month later, the World Endurance Championship moved to England for round two of the 1982 Championship, the Pace Petroleum Silverstone 6 Hours. Once again, the LC1s proved to be quick, with Ghinzani qualifying this car second overall, this time bettered only by the new Porsche 956 Group C. Once the flag dropped, the two Lancias quickly pulled away from the Porsche 956, with this LC1 leading for more than two hours with Ghinzani and Fabi before retirement with an engine issue.
The Rudolf Caracciola Wanderpreis Nürburgring 1000 km was held on May 30th, with this LC1 wearing race number 50 and being driven in the race by Teo Fabi and Grand Prix winner, Michele Alboreto. For this event, Lancia fitted a high-downforce nose and new rear wing, all geared to produce more downforce and grip around the fearsome Nürburgring circuit.
Qualifying saw this LC1 continue its tradition of qualifying second overall, also claiming class pole position. After the rolling start, this LC1 quickly established itself as the lead Lancia, before taking the lead of the race with several hours remaining. The system LC1 retired, with team manager, Cesare Fiorio, taking the decision to have Riccardo Patrese drive this car for the minimum 14 laps required to allow him to score points for the Drivers’ Championship. After 5 hours and 54 minutes, and 44 laps of the fearsome 22.8 km Nürburgring circuit, this Lancia LC1 crossed the line to win, finishing more than a lap ahead of the Group C Rondeau-Ford driven by Henri Pescarolo and Rolf Stommelen.
This victory was to become the greatest success of the Lancia LC1 project.
A few days after this German success, this LC1 was used in the Galleria del Vento – FIAT’s wind tunnel for a final test session ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Wind tunnel data suggested a top speed of 330 km/h at Le Mans was achievable, a true testament to the efficient aerodynamic design.
Le Mans scrutineering began as usual on Tuesday 15th June in the Le Mans town centre with Lancia choosing to fit the low-drag convex front nose fairing with headlights and a special low-downforce rear wing. This car, chassis 0002 was assigned race number 51 and driven once more by Michele Alboreto and Teo Fabi who were joined by four-time Daytona 24 hours winner, Rolf Stommelen. This car claimed pole position in class and lined up fourth overall on the grid for the most famous endurance race of them all, the Le Mans 24 Hours. After 92 laps, at 00:22am, this LC1 retired.
In early September, this LC1 was used as a spare car for the Trofee Diners Club 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium before racing at the Mugello 1000 km on the 19th September. In Italy, this car was wearing race number 40 and driven by future Grand Prix drivers, Alessandro Nannini and Corrado Fabi. This car qualified third overall and finished second, beaten only by the sister LC1 of Alboreto and Ghinzani. Watching from the Lancia race box was Germano Nataloni, who had experienced excellent results with an ex-Lancia Martini Racing Montecarlo Turbo in Italian hill climbs. After this impressive display, Germano expressed an interest in buying one of these LC1 Group VI cars for the 1983 hill climb season.
Having been the test car at the Fuji 6 Hours in Japan, this LC1 was entered in the 1983 World Sportscar Championship-ending Shell Oils 1000 kilometres of Brands Hatch where it was driven by Ricardo Patrese and Teo Fabi, wearing race number 50. Qualifying saw this LC1 take its fourth pole position in Group 6, lining up third overall on the grid. Thanks to fantastic driving by Fabi and Patrese, this LC1 was leading the race going into the final stages. However, due to a red flag caused by torrential rain near the start of the race, Lancia were robbed of certain victory as the race would now be calculated using an aggregate of the two finishes (red flag, and chequered flag). In the final stages, Porsche realised the race distance had been reduced so increased the boost of the 956 turbos as the reduced distance meant there was no need to worry about running out of fuel. Despite the LC1 crossing the finish line first, nearly five seconds clear of the 956 of Jacky Ickx, the Porsche was awarded victory on aggregate standings.
At the end of the 1982 FIA World Sportscar Championship, this Lancia Martini Racing LC1 had raced in six of the eight rounds, claimed four pole positions in the Group 6 class, finished second overall in two rounds and claimed victory at the 1982 Nurburgring 1000 km. The car has been driven by racing greats including Michele Alboreto, Alessandro Nannini, Teo Fabi, Rolf Stommelen and Piercarlo Ghinzani.
Factory duties were not over for this LC1 at the end of the season, and on 2nd December it took pride of place at the presentation of the FIAT Group’s racing activities for 1983, the same day as Michele Alboreto was awarded ‘Driver of the Year’ by French magazine L’Automobile. Two days later this car was then displayed at the Bologna Motor Show. In December and early 1983, this LC1 was used for light testing of tyres and limited slip differentials ahead of the LC2 Group C programme.
In June 1983, this LC1 was sold by the Lancia Martini Racing Team to Giuseppe Di Gioia and Germano Nataloni. The latter used the car in a few hill climbs, before Di Gioia raced it at the Circuito del Levante. The car remained in its original Lancia Martini Racing livery.
This LC1 later passed through the ownership of motorsport enthusiast, Michele Di Gioia in Italy, before being bought by another Italian, Marco Bianchi in 2008. A well-known Lancia competition specialist, Keysport then sold the car to French racer, Jean Guittard, in 2015 prior to a mechanical overhaul. Once works were complete, this LC1 received its FIA Historic Technical Passport in February 2016.
John Campion took ownership of the car in late 2016, with the car being awarded its Lancia Classiche Certification in December 2017 after inspection in Florida, USA. During Campions ownership, this LC1 has been maintained regardless of cost by both Andy Greene Sports & Vintage Race Cars and Savannah Race Engineering.
Today, this LC1 is presented in a beautifully original condition, with recent mechanical overhaul by Lancia competition car specialists in Italy. LC1 0002 scored victory in one of the most gruelling endurance events, the Nürburgring 1000 km in 1982. In the same season, this car claimed pole position in the Group VI class in four of the six World Sportscar Championship events it raced, going on to score two further second-place finishes.
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