In the 1982 season came in the World Sportscar Championship numerous rule changes in force the previous groups 1-6 by the newly created (and newly regulated) groups A , B and C replaced. In Group C, the petrol consumption of the sports car was limited, but the engine design was almost unlimited.
As a brand world champion in 1980 and '81, Lancia initially did not have a competitive car as a result of these changes to the regulations, as the heavily modified Lancia Beta Montecarlo was no longer permitted according to Group 5 regulations, i.e. a touring car.
The minimum permissible weight of vehicles in group C was 800 kg, while that of group 6 was only 600 kg. Group 6 sports cars were still allowed to compete in 1982 and were not subject to the new fuel limit, which made them favorites for overall victories, but they were only eligible for points in the drivers 'championship, not those in the manufacturers' championship.
Lancia therefore quickly built parts of the existing Group 5 technology into two open sports cars built by Dallara with a new lightweight chassis based on the regulations of the previous Group 6 . This chassis corresponded to the design of the Formula 1 monoposto at the time, but was made wider in order to allow the installation of the required two seats and weighed only 55 kg including the roll bar. To save even more weight, the engine and transmission have now been designed as load-bearing parts for the rear suspension. The Lancia LC1 baptized car thus reached a weight of 640 kg and was 140 kg lighter than the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 . In contrast to the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5, the engine of the LC1 is also located lengthways and not across the vehicle axis.
Thanks to the lower weight, the low consumption and the stability of the tried and tested Group 5 engines, it was - at least theoretically - an absolute winner. The problem that the 1.4-liter 16V four-cylinder turbo engine was now more easily overheated in the narrower, more streamlined environment, was never really brought under control.
From the starting point of the LC1, Lancia developed the Lancia LC2 for the 1983 season. The vehicle has been completely redesigned. Now a real Group C sports car, the LC2 / 83 268C was similar to its predecessor, but was not an open vehicle, but a closed vehicle. The LC2 was initially powered by an eight-cylinder biturbo engine with 32 valves and four camshafts from Ferrari . The technical basis was the engine of the Ferrari 308 . The engine displacement was initially 2.6 liters; in 1984 it was expanded to 3.0 liters. This increased the power from 700 to 800 hp. The engine block and cylinder heads were made of aluminum. The turbochargers came from the manufacturer KKK, the electronic injection system, which also controlled the ignition, from Weber- Marelli .
The pole position in Monza as well as victories at Silverstone and the Nürburgring spoke a clear language - at first they were ahead of the competition, who developed completely new vehicles, the Porsche 956 and the Ford C100 . The drivers were also selected: Riccardo Patrese , Michele Alboreto and Teo Fabi were three active Formula 1 drivers , Piercarlo Ghinzani and the two Germans Rolf Stommelen and Hans Heyer .
The goal was, of course, a success at Le Mans, where the works Porsche had reported back in 1981 and would dominate the next few years. In 1982 Lancia came to the Sarthe with two cars , with great financial help from Martini & Rossi , the former Porsche sponsor . The car with the number 51, driven by Alboreto, Stommelen and Fabi, broke down after 92 laps with a defective intercooler . The second car with starting number 50, driven by Patrese, Ghinzani and Heyer, fared not much better. After several repairs, the vehicle stopped after 152 laps in the Mulsanne with major engine failure.
The LC2 was presented by Lancia on April 4, 1983, at the first race of the new season, in Monza and immediately achieved pole position with driver Piercarlo Ghinzani. In the second race at Silverstone, Riccardo Patrese's LC2 achieved the fastest race lap time. In 1983 , Lancia was seen again at the 24 Hours of Le Mans . The Italian Scuderia Sivama Griffone and the French Ecole Superieure de Tourisme Chardonnet each use a Lancia LC1 / 82. Actually the two works cars from the previous year, only slightly modified by the plant in Italy. Although both vehicles reached the finish line, they were not scored due to the lack of sufficient distance.
In the Le Mans race, all three vehicles failed early. Car number 4, driven by Fabi, Alboreto and Nannini on lap 27 with a damaged clutch. Number 5, driven by Alboreto, Ghinzani and Heyer, had to be shut down after driving 127 laps with irreparable damage to the fuel supply. The number 6, Barilla , Nannini and Andruet drove a little longer , here the end came after 137 laps due to engine failure.
The cars were nice and fast, but not perfectly prepared. The Ferrari engine used too much fuel, was too heavy and too prone to vibrations. It was foreseeable that he would never endure the ordeal of the 24 hours with almost 80% full load on this high-speed line.
Nevertheless, Lancia tried again in 1984, now with the LC2 / 84, an evolutionary stage. At Le Mans this time with three cars at the start, the LC 2 of Bob Wollek and Alessandro Nannini managed eighth place. The other two dropped out early again. The LC2 won the Kyalami race in 1984 and at the end of this season again came second in the overall standings behind Porsche .
1985 came the LC3. Both works cars saw the checkered flag and Lancia finished its works outings in sixth and seventh place. In the 1985 season, the Lancia LC2 failed to beat Porsche in the overall standings either . This time too, Lancia only finished second, 58 points behind.
Amazingly, Lancia LC variants appeared again and again in Le Mans in the following years. An LC2 / 88, used by Dollop Racing in 1988 and a Lancia LC2 / SP 90, a Spyder, used in 1990 for Mussato Action Cars . Neither of them saw the checkered flag.
The last time you saw an LC2 was in Le Mans in 1991 . The Veneto Equipe used this car, which is now seven years old. Although they crossed the finish line, they had only driven 111 laps and were therefore not classified.
- Wim HJ Oude Weernink: Lancia. 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-613-01503-X (model descriptions of the LC1 and LC2 on p. 331 ff.).