Lancia is celebrating 115 years of history by putting docu-series online, a nice way to remember how many incredible goals have been achieved since the creation of the brand. But also giving the classic sigh a bit sad in realizing that today the car manufacturer survives in a single small European market with a single model in the price list. Waiting for the future to return prosperous, rally nostalgia ‘calls’ in the third episode, entitled Dust and Stars.
The part of the dust is also told by Sergio Limone, responsible for the design and testing of the Lancia HF Racing Team. In the motoring that counts, the brand has won a lot: 15 World Rally Championships, three World Endurance Constructors’ Championships, a 1000 miles, two Targa Florio and a Carrera Panamericana. He hasn’t made it to Formula 1, but maybe it doesn’t matter when it comes to cars like Stratos, 037 e Delta, the latter able to assume the role of the pulsating legend of Lancia.
«Without the Lancias, Rally certainly would never have been the sport of millions of fans and would not have won so many front pages of newspapers. Lancia has not dominated the world of racing only technically, but it has also done so from a sporting point of view. Innovative cars, but also innovative solutions in terms of race management: Squadra Corse Lancia was the first to adopt tire changes in special stages, to optimize the use of tires according to the type of road surface. Another first: this was the Lancia so loved all over the world », Limone said.
The design and testing manager then churned out an anecdote related to the ravenous 037: «The era of all-wheel drive had already begun, but the 037 – rear-wheel drive – was the car to beat, even on dirt roads, and it was the only one to counteract the dreaded Audi Quattro. The 037 was technically superior, so much so as to make the Audi team suspicious, which during the Sanremo Rally sent one of its technicians to one of our assistance points.. He arrived by helicopter, to verify that the Lancia Rally did not have an additional front-wheel drive. And in fact he didn’t ride it. Let’s talk, once again, of records: the 037 was the last 2-wheel drive car to win a world championship “. The ‘derivative’ of the Beta Montecarlo is still today one of the most popular rally cars.