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Victory for Lancia on a sad occasion
THE second round of the World Championship for Makes run at Brands Hatch on March 16th may not have been the most exciting long distance race ever, but at least it provided an unexpected result. Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbos finished Best, second and fourth, the first time a Group 5 car from the under 2-litre division has over won a World Championship endurance race. Sadly, though, the race was marred by a fatal accident to amateur British sports car driver, Martin Raymond.
It came as no surprise to see the turbocharged 2.1-litre Porsche 908/4 of Reinhold Joest and Volkert Merl on pole. The two Germans had won the last Brands Hatch Six Hours the previous August with the same car, and Joest, its owner, lapped more than a second faster than then to head the 32 car field with a 1 min. 25.42 sec. Second and third on a full and varied grid were the two works Lancia Montecarlos, which with their 1.4-litre turbo engines headed all the bigger cars in the Group 5 classes. The quicker of the two factory Lancias was the red and white car of rally ace Walter Röhrl and F1 driver Riccardo Patter, who set its best practice lap of 1 nun. 27.89 sec. The blue and white sister car of Eddie Cheever and Michele Alboreto was only a tenth of a second slower.