On March 6 2020, Managing Director of the Cortile, Bernard Martin took a tour of John & Suzanne Campion's Collection of Lancia race cars. Prior to the pandemic the Macchina of Lancia had been selected as our 2020 Proiettore Macchina but with the cancellation of the 2020 events we have now moved our celebration to 2021.
Six of the eight stunning cars in our video have been offered for sale through London’s Girardo & Co for sale. John Campion is creating an Irish Race team. But more about that in the video. As you watch, you'll quickly realize that these aren’t just any Lancia race cars, they’re some of THE MOST significant Lancia race cars.
Bernie met with Ben Kruidbos of CJJ Motorsports in between the Porsche Werks Reunion Tours that where happening during this years Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Little did anyone who attended the Concours suspect that this kick off of the automotive car season would also probably mark the end of the 2020 automotive events.
Here's the list of cars that covered in our interview below.
Understanding The Race Groups
Sometimes there is some confusion around what the various racing groups mean and what cars are in them. Rightly so. The definition of which cars fit in which group can change over time, and often do! In addition to that, Groups can come and go only to return at a later time. Below is a qucik summary of the groups that are mentioned in the video.
Group 5 was an FIA motor racing classification which was applied to four distinct categories during the years 1966 to 1982. Initially Group 5 regulations defined a Special Touring Car category and from 1970 to 1971 the classification was applied to limited production Sports Cars restricted to 5 litre engine capacity. The Group 5 Sports Car category was redefined in 1972 to exclude the minimum production requirement and limit engine capacity to 3 litres.
From 1976 to 1982 Group 5 was for Special Production Cars, a liberal silhouette formula based on homologated production vehicles.
4th Generation Group 5 – "Special Production Cars" (1976 to 1982)
For the 1976 season the FIA introduced a new Group 5 "Special Production Car" category, allowing extensive modifications to production based vehicles which were homologated in FIA Groups 1 through 4. These cars would contest the World Championship for Makes series from 1976 through to 1980 and then the World Endurance Championship in 1981 & 1982. The FIA rules restricted the width of the car, therefore cars were built with standard body widths but wide mudguard extensions. The regulation required only the bonnet, roof, doors and rail panel were left unmodified.
The rules however did not mention headlight heights, therefore when Porsche originally were to enter the 935 with the production headlight, they read the rules and discovered the loophole, therefore they raced the 935 with the hallmark flat nose. The category was also mostly associated with the wide boxy wheel arches and extravagant body style. The category would be banished after 1982 in favor of the Group B regulation, but continued to compete in JSPC, IMSA GTX category and other national sports car racing championships for a few more years. The only non-circuit events that used Group 5 cars were in the Giro D'Italia Automobilistico rally.
The Group 4 racing class referred to regulations for cars in sportscar racing, GT racing and rallying, as regulated by the FIA. The Group 4 class was replaced by Group B for the 1983 season.
The Group 4 regulations were also used as the basis for the World Rally Championships until they were replaced by the Group B regulations. In mid 1970s to early 1980s rallying, it was necessary to produce 400 identical cars for homologation as a Group 4 rally car. Notable cars included the Ford Escort RS1800, Fiat 131 Abarth, Lancia Stratos HF and the Audi Quattro.
Group B - "The Killer B's"
The Killer B's
Group B was a set of regulations introduced in 1982 for competition vehicles in sportscar racing and rallying regulated by the FIA. The Group B regulations fostered some of the fastest, most powerful, and most sophisticated rally cars ever built and is commonly referred to as the golden era of rallying. However, a series of major accidents, some of them fatal, were blamed on their outright speed and lack of crowd control at events. After the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA disestablished the class, dropped its previous plans to replace it by Group S, and instead replaced it as the top-line formula by Group A. The short-lived Group B era has acquired legendary status among rally fans and automobile enthusiasts in general.
By contrast, Group B had few restrictions on technology, design and the number of cars required for homologation to compete—200, less than other series. Weight was kept as low as possible, high-tech materials were permitted, and there were no restrictions on boost, resulting in the power output of the winning cars increasing from 250 hp in 1981, the year before Group B rules were introduced, to there being at least two cars producing in excess of 500 by 1986, the final year of Group B. In just five years, the power output of rally cars had more than doubled.
Group VI Two-Seater Racing Cars
Group VI Two-Seater Racing Cars (1976 to 1982)
In 1976, the FIA reintroduced the Group 6 classification, now officially called “Two- Seater Racing Cars”.
Various production based categories, spearheaded by a new Group 5 for “Special Production Cars”, were now to contest the World Championship of Makes whilst the Group 6 cars were awarded their own title, the World Championship for Sports Cars. Three engine capacity limits were applied to Group 6 cars for the 1976 and 1977 championships:
1981 saw the series expanded with an official Drivers’ title awarded by the FIA for the first time and drivers of Group 6 cars were eligible to compete for this. Group 6 was then effectively replaced by the new Group C Sports Car class for 1982 but the FIA granted a concession which allowed the Group 6 cars to compete in the 1982 World Endurance Championship alongside the new cars
Group A was a set of motorsport regulations introduced by FIA covering production-derived vehicles intended for outright competition in touring car racing and rallying. In contrast to the short-lived Group B and Group C, the Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, weight, allowed technology and overall cost. Group A was aimed at ensuring numerous privately owned entries in races.
Group A was introduced by the FIA in 1982 to replace the outgoing Group 2 as "modified touring cars", while Group N would replace Group 1 as "standard touring cars". The FIA continued to promulgate regulations for Group A Touring Cars until at least 1993, and the category survived in domestic championships until 1994. However, Group A is still used as the basis for most rally competitions around the worl
Before 1973 & The World Rally Championship
It was with the Fulvia that Lancia went officially back into racing after its withdrawal from Formula 1 in 1955; this time the effort was focused on rallying. In 1965 the company absorbed the HF Squadra Corse, a privateer racing team founded by Lancia enthusiasts which previously received some factory support, which became the works team under the direction of Cesare Fiorio.
The same year the Fulvia Coupé made its racing debut at the Tour de Corse, placing 8th overall. Starting with the lightened and more powerful 1965 Rallye HF, special HF version were put on sale to the general public to homologate improvements for the rally cars. In 1967 the larger displacement Rallye 1.3 HF followed. As the V4 engine had reached the limit of its development, an all-new 1.6-litre V4 engine was developed and installed on the 1967 Rallye 1.6 HF. The car raced as a prototype until August 1969, when it received FIA homologation.
With the exception of 1970, Fulvias won the Italian Rally Championship every year from 1965 to 1973. The Fulvia's rallying career reached its zenith in 1972, when Lancia won the International Championship for Manufacturers two rounds in advance.
First placements at rallies valid for the Championship were three: included Sandro Munari and Mario Mannucci at the famous Monte Carlo Rally, with a 10' 50" margin over the runner up, Larrousse/Perramond on a much more powerful Porsche 911 S, Lampinen/Andreasson at the Rallye du Maroc, and Ballestrieri/Bernacchini at the Rallye Sanremo.
In 1973 Lancia did not score any podium finishes valid for that year's first-ever World Rally Championship season; though at the hands of Munari the Fulvia won its second European Rally Championship, after the 1969 victory by Harry Källström. During the 1974 season the Lancia Stratos replaced in rallying the—by then ageing—Fulvia. That year Lancia won its second World Championship, also thanks to points scored by the Fulvia in the first rallies—such as the third place Munari caught in the grueling East African Safari Rally.
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.