Lancia was back
The Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo (picture above) driven by Michele Alboreto and Riccardo Patrese won the 1981 Watkins Glen 6 Hours. Three cars in Martini livery were entered by the Italian marque for this event driven by: Patrese-Alboreto in the #1 (winners), de Cesaris-Pescarolo who finished second in #5, and Ghinzani-Gabbiani in the #4 car, that failed to see the checkered flag.
Introduced in 1975, the Beta Montecarlo was to prove the perfect platform for Lancia and Dallara to build the Beta Montecarlo Turbo which would go on to claim the World Championship of Makes in 1979 (under 2-litre class) and overall in 1980 and 1981. After eight years of absence, Lancia was back, and it was competitive.
The Beta Montecarlo Turbo was a silhouette racer, with only the centre section of the body and the engine block being shared with road going namesake. Lancia Corse called upon competition experts Abarth, to design and develop the mechanical aspects, with Pininfarina responsible for the striking aerodynamics, with chassis guru, Gianpaolo Dallara, reworking the production car derived monocoque and suspension. The result was remarquable; here-under Riccardo Patrese at the wheel of the Montecarlo Turbo in 1981.