The Speedy Lancia

Lancia, Le Mans, klemcoll

Here braking for Arnage Corner at Le Mans is one of the very fast Lancia LC2s that ran at Le Mans on June 16-17, 1984. This is Lancia number 4 which was driven by Alessandro Nannini and Bob Wollek, running with Martini colors in Group C. The Lancia LC2 used a V8 Ferrari motor derived from that used in the Ferrari 308GTBi QV, but with a reduced displacement to 2.6 liters and the addition of two KKK turbochargers. The Lancia also used a lot of light weight materials which probably made it the lightest Group C car. Ultimately, by 1985 with motors back to 3 liters, about 800 hp was produced.

In qualifying, Wollek posted a time of 3’17”.11 to take pole with the second Martini LC2 driven by Mauro Baldi, Paulo Barilla and Hans Heyer taking second position for the start. Wollek was a full nine seconds faster than the best Porsche 956 in third place. There was no question that the LC2s were fast, but could they last? The Nannini/Wollek LC2 did indeed last to finish eighth overall, about 25 laps behind the winner, the Porsche 956B of Henri Pescarolo and Klaus Ludwig. Nevertheless, Nannini set the race’s best lap at 3’28”.90.

The main weakness of the Lancia LC2 was reliability. These cars ran in various forms from 1983 into 1986. Always a threat to set a pole position time, as they did at many events, they could only win three races over the years they were competing. Engine reliability was an early factor, but afterwards unreliability displayed many additional causes. It seems that the overall package was somewhat underdeveloped, assembled by too many different suppliers, and the level of preparation not competitive with that of the Porsche teams.

Photo by Nigel Snowdon ©The klemantaski Collection – http://www.kklemcoll.com

To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx

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