Tag Archives: LC2

Championship Dinger UnStuck – Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometers

Thirty years ago this weekend give or take a day or two I found myself at Brands Hatch for the 1000 kms race, only the second Group C race I had seen, thanks mostly to the fact that my mate Sven was racing his Ford Capri in the supporting Uniroyal Production Saloon car race.

Jaguar XJ6, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

My pit pass from the support race got me into the pits prior to the start of the main event and I wasted no time taking pics of the leading runners from Lancia, Porsche and Jaguar who had locked out the first three rows of the grid in Noah’s Ark fashion during qualifying, above is the Tony Southgate designed Jaguar XJ6 driven by recent Formula One returnee Alan Jones who joined TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing) regular Jean-Louis Schlesser in the leading TWR entry that qualified 5th, but retired from the event early with engine damage after the throttle jammed open.

Porsche 962C, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass qualified 4th on the grid in the #1 Porsche 962C seen above and finished second in the race experiencing only one problem, a faster than mandated refueling stop, which the team corrected by holding the car in the pits for an additional 10 seconds on the cars final fuel stop.

Lancia LC2 85, Wollek, de Cesaris, Baldi, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

The Lancia LC2’s with 800 hp qualifying motors, against Porsches 720 hp qualifying spec, locked out the front row with the #4 driven by Ricardo Patrese and Alessandro Nannini on pole, but in the final hour when the Lancia’s were running 3rd and 4th team mate Andrea de Cesaris ran into the pack of Patrese’s car damaging the exhaust on the #4 forcing a quick stop for repairs to secure it again which left the #5 Lancia Andrea shared with Brilliant Bob Wollek and Mauro Baldi to claim 3rd one lap down on the leading Porsches.

Gebhardt  JC843, Adams, Taylor, Harrower, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

One car I had been particularly looking forward to seeing in the flesh was the super slippery Group C2 #75 Gebhardt JC843 seen above driven by Nick Adams, Ian Taylor and Ian Harrower, on this occasion the 3.3 litre / 201 cui Cosworth DFL car finished tenth, 46 laps behind the winning Porsche, from 15th on the grid.

Ecosse C285, Wilds, Mallock, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

Winners of the Group C2 class were Ray Mallock and Mike Wilds in the Ecurie Ecosse #79 Ecosse C285 which was similarly Cosworth DFL powered, starting from 14 on the grid Ray and Mike came home 6th, 19 laps behind the winning C1 car, but crucially 11 laps ahead of the C2 turbocharged Carma powered Alba AR6 driven by Martino Finotto, Almo Coppelli and Carlo Facetti.

Porsche 962C, Derek Bell, Brands Hatch 1000 kms

Starting from third on the grid thanks to the efforts of Hans Stuck was the #2 Porsche 962C he shared with local boy “Dinger” Derek Bell who crossed the line less the 12 seconds ahead of the #1 Porsche and in the process Hans and Derek more or less secured their first World Endurance Drivers Championship, this would become Derek’s first drivers championship ever in over 18 years as a professional.

My belated thanks to Sven who got me into see the show.

Thanks for joining me on this “Championship Dinger Unstuck” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be locking at a Formula One Toleman that nearly never ran for the want of a tyre contract. Don’t forget to come back now !


Not Quite ‘The Right One’ – Lancia LC2/85

Today I am starting a series of three consecutive blogs on cars that competed in the Group C World Endurance Championship, during the 1980’s I had the good fortune to follow the Group C World Endurance Championship for sports cars from it’s inception through some high’s to it’s eventual death.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The series was for closed 2 seater racing vehicles weighing a minimum 800 kgs / 1760 lbs with the only restriction on the engine being fuel consumption. The cars were expected to race for 1000 kms / 621 miles on 600 litres / 131.87 of fuel. It was soon realised by participants that they needed to run vehicles with around 600 hp to go the distance with the available fuel.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

This endurance fuel mileage racing series did not always produce the most riveting races though it was certainly had a few outstanding ones, but something about the endurance and fuel consumption formula appealed to me and the cars looked absolutely fabulous.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

History will recall the early years 1982 – 1987 were dominated by Porsche with only token resistance from today’s car the Martini Lancia LC2 which was first raced in 1983. Lancia had tried to steal the 1982 World Endurance Championship for Drivers by building the LC1 to older group 6 regulations that only had one year of eligibility.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

Not only did Lancia driver Riccardo Patrese come up short by 8 points to Porsches Jacky Ickx, but Lancia also in the process lost a whole years development on their Group C challenger to the all conquering Porsche 956 that Jacky Ickx had been driving.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The first problem the Lancia LC2 faced in 1983 was inferior Pirelli radial tyres which could not take the strain of the ground effect downforce generated by the aerodynamic venturi at the back of the car. The cars proved quick in qualifying but to add to the problems at Lancia the twin turbo Ferrari V8 motors could not back the speed up with reliability.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

To cure the tyre issues the LC2’s ran with Dunlop cross ply tyres in 1984, this necessitated a change in suspension geometry. The cars were fast in qualifying as they had been in 1983 but the Speedline wheels were now not up to the job. Again the cars were fast in qualifying but rarely reliable over a race distance.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

For 1985 Lancia switched back to radial construction tyres now supplied by Michelin, the Dallara built aluminium chassis were widened with a pronounced step in the side bodywork.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

Again the cars were quick in qualifying but the Ferrari engines were unreliable. Though the team did score it’s one and only victory over the works Porsche team at Spa in a race that was called early out of respect foe Stefan Bellof who had been killed in the event. At the following race at Brands Hatch it looked like the Lancia team might score another victory over the works Porsche team when the two leading Lancia’s inexplicably hit it each other causing sufficient delays for the works Porsche to win again.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

The Martini Lancia LC2’s only appeared in a couple of races in 1986 before they withdrew from road racing completely. With just one win against the main opposition and a couple of win’s when the works Porsche team were not present the works Martini Lancia effort was justly reflected in three 2nd place finishes from 1983 – 1985 in the World Endurance Championship behind the mighty Porsche team.

Lancia LC2 - Silverstone Classic PD

This 1985 car features a slippery nose that was only ever seen at Le Mans.

Next weekend there will be a race for Group C cars at the Silverstone Classic in which this Lancia is scheduled to take part, I hope to be there it should be a magnificent event.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Martini edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at a Group C challenger from Germany. Don’t forget to come back now !