|In the early year of Group C racing Porsche's main rival came from the Italian FIAT group. Lancia was chosen as manufacturer and their first entry under the new Group C rules was the ill born LC1. Basicly a devellopment of the old lightweight Group 6 barchetta fitted with a roof, its 1.4 turbo engine was hopelessly outclassed by the Porsches. To take them on Lancia needed a much bigger engine, bigger than any engine available.
For 1983 Lancia returned the more powerfull and better handling LC-2. As with the Stratos of the 1970s, Ferrari was picked as an engine supplier.
The engine was based on the 32 valve V8 engine used in the 308 QV, downsized to displace 2.65 litres and fitted with two KKK turbo's.
Responsible for the chassis design was Gianpaulo Dallara. Designed much along the lines of the LC1's body, the LC2 body was made from carbon-fibre and kevlar. Mounted low in the nose was a big radiator to cool the engine. Each side-pod was fitted with an intercooler to cool the hot air from the turbos. A sophisticated ground effects underbody was fitted to create additional downforce.
Livered completely in white with Martini stripes, the LC2 looked good and quick right away. It proved just that at its first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983
Recruiting F1 drivers, like Patrese and De Cesaris to drive them it was more common than not to find an LC2 on pole for a race. Unfortunately, they lacked 100% reliability. Total failure was not common, but niggling faults often delayed the cars.
Although, they did win 1000km races, Le Mans victory eluded them as the Porsches were always there to pick up the pieces.
Best cards for a victory at Le Mans came in 1984 when Porsche was in a quarrel with the event's organisers and decided to boycot the race, leaving Lancia as the only competitive works team entered. As in the previous events the LC2s were stunningly quick in qualifying, resulting in a front row qualification for the two works cars. After leading the race, it all went sour again for the Lancia team. Bob Wollek did manage to record the race fastest lap in the LC2 he shared with Alessandro Nannini, but teething gearbox problems hampered them throughout the race. They did not manage to finish higher than an eight position, behind seven privately entered 956s.
Third time lucky then for the Lancia team in 1985? Alas, no! More modifications were carried through, but the engine remained the car's strong and weak point, being immensely powerful but equally unreliable. With a rumoured 850 bhp on the tap, the Nannini/Wollek car qualified third on the grid. After a good start the LC2 stormed to the front and led for the first three laps, but again engine related problems struck the cars back. Eventually the two works cars finished sixth and seventh, the rest of the top ten was made up of Porsches. At the end of the season Lancia decided to retire from road racing once more. The LC2 was entered by priveteers on several occasisns but failed to impress.
Lancia LC 2 (Gr C 85):
Length : 4800 mm (189 in), Width: 1800 mm (70.9 in),Height: 1065 mm (41.9 in) Wheelbase / Track:2665 mm (104.9 in) / 1586 mm (62.4 in) / 1564 mm (61.6 in), Tyres: Pirelli / / 18" , Wheels : BBS