In 1982 Lancia developed the LC1 as a Group 6 car for the World Sportscar Championship. It used a tiny 1.4-litre Lancia engine and could only cope with much larger-engined competition by having very lightweight chassis construction. It followed the Beta Montecarlo Group 5 car and shared its basic drive train, but had an evocative shape that was only enhanced by the Martini & Rossi livery.
The engine was a turbocharged version of the 1425cc Lancia unit. At 1.5 bar boost it produced 430 bhp and 460 bhp at 1.65 bar. This was attached to a Hewland TG500 gearbox and supported by an aluminum monocoque.
Even before the LC1 turned a lap in anger, the Group 6 regulations were terminated in favor over Group C specification. Fortunately, the LC1 was still allowed to race, and won 3 races in 1982. The following year it was replaced with the LC2 which was prepared for Group C.
Driver Riccardo Patrese said “the most significant thing with the LC1 was that it was light and agile.” He also said the car “was not very powerful,” but could stay competitive because it didn’t have have to comply to the Group C fuel consumption regulations like the Porsche 956.
Both Lancias retired at the car’s debut at the Monza 1000km which set a trend of retirements for the season. However, it managed to win the Silverstone 1000km, Nürburgring 1000km and the 6 Hours of Mugello in 1982. Two cars were also entered for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but both retired with electrical problems. Despite all the trouble, Lancia was still in the running for the Drivers’ Championship, but Riccardo Patrese lost to Porsche at the final round in Brands Hatch.