02 Jun LANCIA SPORT GR.6 (LC/1)
LANCIA SPORT GR.6 (LC/1)
June 2, 2020 Ruote Leggendarie Production | Italy
I have always been totally convinced of the usefulness of racing. When I say racing, I don’t only mean rallying, I’m also referring to our involvement in racing in circuits and on the roads. What you learn from the track you can’t find in rallies and vice versa. It was only by being involved on all fronts that we could become more competitive in rallying and get answers that we were looking for. We were also successful on track: I remember our triumph at Nürburgring, ahead of all the more powerful Porsche.
It was 1980, and a group of young men set out to write what now is considered a wonderful fairy tale. LC / 1 Group 6.
The question is: could the joy of today ever reward the long time spent, the fatigue, the technical discussions and the Sundays on the test fields? Looking at the appreciation by all fans in the world, the answer is certainly positive.
It is true that sometimes events happen by chance, it is equally true that the probability increases if one goes to look for them; and it happens when, after digging on the internet, in the bookstore and in the racetrack that it happens, by crossing information, you meet the people who wrote the story. Genuine and sincere people, immersed, exactly like 35 years ago, with their heads in the hood, screwdriver in their hands and an extra book. A book that was not there yet but created today; and, reading it, it shows their faces, shots of an era that, when seen again today, conveys great emotions.
You can find again the drivers, the technicians, the skilled hands of mechanics and enthusiasts, who, after 35 years, show the “old racing cars” to their dear friends. And it is precisely beside a race – of historic cars, of course – track that you have the pleasure of meeting those who were and are still there today, who built the cars, reading today the same words written on notebook that they used back in time to start an engine that today does not really want to turn on!
At that point you meet the owners of those cars, wonderful people who show and explain them to everyone who want to learn about them; finally, when the day is going to end, you come home full of adrenaline, memories, photos, and with a book tightly under your arm.
This is a book that can be considered a photo album for some, a technical manual for others, or the plot of a fantastic story, that recalls when the car was brought to its race debut on April 18, 1982 at the 1000km of Monza, using the first two protos built.
THE BIRTH OF AN ADVENTURE
The car, due to the regulation change, was conceived around the 1.4 turbo of the Lancia Beta Montecarlo, and got the contribution of Dallara in the design and construction. The book shows the drawings of the preliminary study of the complete car, with details such as the presence of the hydraulic lifting jack near the front axle, a solution then abandoned; shows also the complete description of the monocoque tub-style frame like the F1 of that time, with original tables and three-dimensional reconstruction, a two-seater Avional shell with a weight of 55kg only, the scans of Roberti’s manuscripts describing the reports of the torsion test.
The graphic quality that is found in the details of the illustrations, some of them rebuilt starting practically from scratches, is amazing, a true work of art: take a look to the front grill, designed to cool down the unit and to provide aerodynamic load, or to the 3 different nose pieces, “spoon”, “rounded” and “Le Mans”.
The technical description of the car is superlative, including several sections divided into bodywork, chassis, engine and supercharging, transmission, suspensions, ancillaries. It is the result of the work of a perfect team, and we want to imagine it that way even if it hadn’t been.
The aerodynamic study of the LC/1 is stunning, incredible; photos and graphic descriptions perfectly convey the idea of how a vehicle born to win should be, and today it excites much more than at that time.
Reading it you get involved by the technical facts told by the people involved: for example when Michele Alboreto explains what happens to the ground effect during the race, decreasing in time because of the progressive wear of the rubber skirts placed on the front and side.
The adventure continues in thee description of the engine, in code 14.81 PT, with its characteristics, components, data collected on the engine bench (!), the layout of the auxiliary systems.
We consider it more a technical-graphic-historical manual, where you can enjoy the drawings of the ZF self-locking differential with flaps, of the frontal couplings 5-speed gearbox that had the option of changing the single gears ratio.
Other pictures of the unforgettable Alboreto with Vasco Pisanelli, Lancia gearbox specialist, or pictures of the details of the suspensions, having a geometry similar to the Williams F1 FW07, bring you through the book, down to the complete graphic reconstructions of the front and rear side of the car, or to the original drawing of Dallara.
Finally the book shows the braking system and the passenger compartment, with detailed photographic representations.
The fundamental LC1 project milestones are squeezed in a very short time, between 1981 and 1982. Everything started in June 1981, when the program was finally signed off as 828CB1 with the scaled (1:5 and 1:1) mock-up of the car. The wind tunnel tests started in September ’81 and in November 3rd 1981 the first final fiberglass body, in Gr.6 version, was ready. Curiosity, in the same day another iconic model from Lancia was signed-off, the 037.
The racing season 1982 and the car development is then described, showing the evolution that the car had in the championship: Monza, Silverstone, Nürburgring, Les Mans, Spa , Mugello, Fuji and Brands Hatch. The car then evolved from 828CB1 – Grop 6 to LC/1 – Gruppo C, under the Scuderia Sivama Motor responsibility, and there’s a rich recollection of each race with marvelous picture of this fantastique coupè.
A long section of the book, probably the most technical one, describes the aerodynamic studies and tests, with a huge pack of pictures, data, sketches and detailed description .
WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP 1982
The next big section of the book is dedicated to each single race during 1982 World Endurance Championship, showing the Team, the race results, an incredible collection of pictures, the after-race technical notes reporting the issues found during the race and possible suggestions for improvements, Drivers’ impressions and feelings, the body graphics of the cars.
And don’t forget that the 1982 World Endurance Championship was one of a kind, with a mix of Group C, 5 and 6 cars: Ford C100/03, Porsche 956, Sauber SHS C6 – BMW, TOJ SC 205 BMW , Lola T 296 BMW, Porsche 935 K4, Joest 936/C – Porsche, Nimrod NRA/C2, GRID Plaza SA1 –Ford, Lola T610 – Ford, BMW M1, Mazda RX – 7, March 75 SC – Toyota, Ferrari 512 BB, Osella PA9 BMW, and obviously the Lancia Beta Montecarlo e LC/1. Need to add more?
The following season 1983 Lancia adopted the Coupè version of the LC/1, ready in March of that year, with the usual plethora of drawings and car graphics for each single race. 1983 was not a lucky year for the team, and at the end the cars were rebuilt as original Spider Croup 6 with Martini graphics and finally sold to the Customers.
WHEN IMAGINATION RUNS FAST…
The book ends with the chronological story of the 4 cars built, the drawings tracing the evolutions for each of them and the pictures of the people who did the graphic restoration of the car #004, using the same working processes and dedication used once upon a time: our friends from Pubblimais.
We were so lucky and had the unbeatable pleasure to talk with them and the technicians, and the owners, with Alessandro and Vittorio, those who wrote the LANCIA SPORT GR.6 (LC/1) story. Amazing see this car beside her sister, the Beta Montecarlo…
Who from you had the chance to see a creature like this one? A perfect mix of technology, aerodynamic, heart and passion. The opening lines, from CESARE FIORIO, one who battled and won couple of races, tells us in advance what will be the spirit of the book.
So: wear your helmets, fire-up your engine and have a good read!
Imagination runs as fast as the wind: what would you give to sit beside the driver on one of those car, listening to the engine growling and with your head in the air? Can you imagine this? We try, and with us also Stefano, Massimo, Vittorio, Alessandro and Pubblimais.
Images courtesy of PubbliMais Torino