The Lancia LC2 in the World Sportscar Championship, and the Lancia 037 in the World Rally Championship, were the two weapons presented by Lancia for the 1983 motorsport season. Dressed with the legendary Martini Racing colours, the cars were designed under the wildest car regulations ever known, the Group C and the Group B respectively.
During this video, made by the FIAT Group in 1983, we can see very interesting footage of both cars. The first part, related to the development period, shows the cars completely naked and their building process. The second, more focused into the season, delights us with a great variety of footage with the machines in action. All this, seasoned with the characteristic audiovisual style of the early 80s. Old but gold!
During the 1983 season, both racing programmes would face German manufacturers as their main rivals in their respective championships. However, the result would be very different for each of them. In any case, it is fair to mention that the difference between Italians and Germans, in terms of budget and resources, was quite significant.
The previous year (1982) was the first of the Group B era, and Audi Quattros’s 4WD new technology destroyed the competition demonstrating a great superiority among its rivals. Rapidly, all the manufacturers started to develop their own 4WD technology. All, except Lancia.
Developed in collaboration with Abarth, Pininfarina and Dallara, the Lancia Rally 037 was still a RWD. The last of its kind to win the championship. And for the 1983 season, against all odds, managed to win the Constructor’s Championship.
Something that will blow your mind is that after winning the Constructor’s Championship, Lancia decided to not take part in the remaining two events. And yes, both of its drivers (Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén) had mathematical options to win the championship until the last rally.
To meet the requirements of the new Group C regulations, Lancia introduced in 1983 the Lancia LC2. It was an evolution of the previous Group 6 LC1 with a naturally-aspirated Ferrari V8 engine. With the collaboration of Dallara and Abarth in the designing of the car, the goal was to beat the dominant Porsche 956.
The car seemed to be fast enough to stand up to Porsche, taking the Pole Position at its first event at the 1000km of Monza. However, frequent reliability problems harmed the possibilities of Lancia during the races.