For the first time since the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans three Martini coloured Lancia LC2 will share the same track at this summer's Silverstone Classic powered by the AA, racing in the headlining Group C races at the historic racing festival.
The LC2 was Lancia entry into the World Sportscar Championship in 1983, responding to both the Group C regulations introduced a year before and to the Porsche 956. The three cars – in the famous Martini stripes livery – lined up at Le Mans with a stellar driving line-up that included Michele Alboreto and Teo Fabi. Fellow former F1 Riccardo Patrese and Bob Wollek also drove the car during its three full seasons with the works Lancia team.
Three of the seven Ferrari powered LC2 built by the factory will line up at Silverstone (July 20-22) in the hands of current owners Rupert Clevely, Duncan McKay and Roger Wills.
“This is another first for Group C Racing with three magical Martini Lancias on the entry list for the first time in modern history,” said series organiser Bob Berridge. “The Silverstone Classic is a great festival and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Moreover having such fantastic events on our six-round European-based calendar is one of the major reasons that our grids are not only increasing in terms of numbers but also featuring more and more stunning cars such as these three amazing Lancias.”
Just in the seasons when the Lancia team raced the LC2 at Le Mans opposition in the two races during the Silverstone Classis weekend will come from Porsches, including the 956 that dominated Group C in period limiting the LC2 to just three wins from 51 starts. The grid of stunning race cars will also include Nissans, Jaguars and Sauber Mercedes, Gareth Evans' C9 currently leading the championship, though it was Berridge in the younger C11 who won the recent race supporting the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, just beating Wills and his Lancia LC2.
A Courage – also owned by Kiwi Wills (who raced in the main 24 Hours of Le Mans with JMW Motorsport) – will be driven by Georg Kjallgren on his race debut. Paul Stubber will be driving the unusual looking Chevrolet engined Veskanda and Adrian Watt will race the Argo JM19C he brought at the Silverstone Auctions sale run alongside last year's Silverstone Classic.
The Group C cars a sure to be one of the highlights of the three day Silverstone Classic weekend, with the first of their two 30-minute races running into the sunset on Saturday evening, the fading light evoking La Sarthe of the 1980s, surely a fitting tribute in the 30th anniversary of the Group C regulations.