The greatest longtails… in the world
Le Mans is almost upon us. Time to pay tribute to some of the maddest-looking racers to take on the 24 hours…
Posted: 14 Jun 2013
1982 Lancia LC1
Lancia’s little roadster — it was powered by a tiny 1.4-litre turbo-four — was rendered obsolete by rule changes before it ever raced.
Group Six, the formula for which is was designed and Group 5, where Lancia had raced a sensational looking Beta Monte Carlo, were replaced by Group C in 1982. The LC1’s descendent, the more famous Ferrari V8-engined LC2, a regular star of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, would become Lancia’s Group C car.
Nonetheless the lightweight streamliner was allowed to race in 1982 and in the hands of F1 star Ricardo Patrese took the World Endurance Championship driver’s title down to the last round with three wins against the all-conquering Porsche 956 of legendary racing smoothie Jacky Ickx.
At Le Mans both magnificently-liveried works Martini entries qualified in the top six, but the against the Group C bruisers, Le Mans was no place for a lightweight special and they retired before dark.