Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009

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Lot 169
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H, 1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype
Chassis no. 1009

Sold for € 225,000 (US$ 233,662) inc. premium
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H
1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype
Chassis no. 1009

Footnotes

  • Following its highly successful World Rally Championship campaign with the Stratos, Lancia changed tack and re-entered the world of international sports car racing in 1979, contesting the Group 5 series within the World Championship for Drivers and Makes. Essentially a ‘silhouette’ formula, Group 5 was for modified production cars with two classes - under and over 2.0 litres - and Lancia’s chosen weapon was an extensively modified version of the Beta Montecarlo Coupé. Normally aspirated in road trim, the Montecarlo would have been hopelessly uncompetitive, but Lancia Corse sporting director Ceasare Fiorio had concluded that turbo-charging the 1,425cc four-cylinder engine would liberate sufficient power to make victory possible in the 2.0-litre (Division 2) class.
    Ex-Lamborghini designer Gianpaolo Dallara had built the Group 5 Stratos that had won the 1976 Giro d’Italia, and his Dallara Automobili company was entrusted with constructing the works Montecarlos. Carrozzeria Pininfarina was contracted to develop the chassis and bodywork. Although nominally a ‘silhouette’ formula, Group 5 permitted a generous amount of bodywork modification, which in the Montecarlo’s case involved extending the car with front and rear spaceframes. Pininfarina’s striking new coachwork was designed to increase downforce, and featured an aggressive-looking chin spoiler at the front and extended wheelarches and large wing at the rear. Only the car’s centre section retained the slightest resemblance to the production item, yet despite the increases in both length and width the racer weighed all of 300kg less than the road car. Engine development was undertaken by Gianni Tonto at Abarth, where maximum output was boosted (initially) to 370bhp at 8,800 rpm by means of a KKK turbo-charger.

    Presented to the press in December 1978, the Montecarlo racer began testing in February 1979 and first raced at the Silverstone 6 Hours on 6th May having missed the Championship’s first two rounds. Finished in dramatic, black & white ‘Zebra’ livery, the Montecarlo was driven by rising star Ricardo Patrese and ex-European Rally Champion Walter Rohrl, proving impressively quick in qualifying but retiring from the race after only four laps with a blown ’head gasket. Despite continuing unreliability, the team managed to amass sufficient points to take the Division 2 title in its debut season.
    Boasting 400bhp and larger diameter rear tyres, five new cars were built for 1980, two of which contested the entire championship backed up by ‘second string’ entries from the works-supported Jolly Club team. The Zebra livery continued but now with white/red and white/blue combinations, while the driver parings were Eddie Cheever/Riccardo Patrese and Walter Rohrl/Michele Alboreto. Although the team fared badly at the Le Mans 24 Hours, victories at Brands Hatch and Mugello brought the Lancia Montecarlo overall victory in the World Championship of Makes. Having clinched victory by the penultimate round at Vallelunga, Lancia Corse opted to miss the final event at Dijon in favour of the Giro d’Italia, in which the works cars appeared in the soon-to-be-familiar Martini Rossi colours of white, blue and red. First and second places wrapped up a highly successful season for the Montecarlo.

    Lancia Corse adopted the classic Martini racing livery from the start of 1981, for which year the Montecarlo was equipped with twin turbo-chargers giving 450bhp. This would be the final season in which Lancia Corse would rely on the Montecarlo, as the works had its sights set on Group C competition with the forthcoming LC10. Nevertheless, the ‘Monte’ proved good enough to secure its second World Championship courtesy of wins at the Nurburgring and Watkins Glen. The works cars were sold off and some were raced by privateers in 1982, the last year of Group 5, but by then the Montecarlo had ceased to be a force on the international scene.

    This car, chassis number ‘1009’, was campaigned by Lancia Corse in the World Championship of Makes during the 1981 season, in which it was driven at Monza by Piercarlo Ghinzani/Andrea de Cesaris, at the Nurburgring by Riccardo Patrese/Eddie Cheever and at Le Mans by Eddie Cheever/Michele Alboreto/Carlo Facetti. ‘1009’ was classified 13th overall at Monza, 11th at the Nurburgring and finished in 8th place overall at Le Mans, the 1st 2.0-litre Group 5 car home.
    The vendor purchased the car from Squadra Lancia Corse via Classic Cars (Luciano Bertolero) in Turin on 10th September 1983. From 1983 to 1993 the Lancia was on display at the Musée du Lugano in Switzerland, and from 1993 to the present day has been kept garaged as part of the vendor’s private collection. Although not a race-winning chassis, ‘1009’ nevertheless contributed to Lancia’s successful 1981 World Championship campaign and thus represents a rare opportunity to acquire an important part of the marque’s post-war competition history.

    Cette voiture (châssis n° 1009) a été engagée en compétition par Lancia Corse dans le Championnat du Monde des Marques de la saison 1981, pilotée à Monza par Piercarlo Ghinzani/Andrea de Cesaris, au Nürburgring par Riccardo Patrese/Eddie Cheever et au Mans par Eddie Cheever/Michele Alboreto/Carlo Facetti. “ 1009 ” finit 13e au général à Monza, 11e au Nürburgring et 8e au général au Mans et première de la catégorie deux-litres Groupe 5.

    Le Vendeur a acquis la voiture de la Squadra Lancia Corse via Classic Cars (Luciano Bertolero) à Turin le 10 septembre 1983. De 1983 à 1993, la Lancia fut exposée au Musée de Lugano en Suisse et de 1993 à aujourd'hui, elle a été conservée dans la collection privée du Vendeur. Sans que ce châssis ait remporté précisément une épreuve, “ 1009 ” a contribué au succès de la saison 1981 du Championnat du Monde de Lancia. C'est une rare opportunité d'acquérir un important acteur de l'histoire sportive récente de la marque.

Saleroom notices

  • This car is subjec to EU taxes
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
Winner of the Group V class at the 1981 Le Mans 24H,1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo Group 5 Prototype  Chassis no. 1009
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