In 1979 Lancia returned to sports-car racing for the first time in 25 years by fielding turbocharged Beta Monte Carlo coupes in the Group 5 'Silouette' category. These cars, flamboyantly striped in bright colors, won the 1980 and 1981 world titles in the under-two-liter class.
The car is powered by a 1.45-liter dual-overhead-cam in-line 4-cylinder engine developing 450 hp coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission capable of 178 miles per hour. A Beta Monte Carlo Turbo won in class at the 1980 Daytona 24-hour Race and in 1981 the turbos were one-two at Watkins Glen. This particular Lancia Turbo won in class in the Le Mans 24-hour race in June 1981.
Just after 4:00 PM on June 14, 1981, Lancia Beta Montecarlo number 65 (chassis number 1009) stepped into the spotlight winning the Group 5 category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a superb eighth overall finish.
Driven by Eddie Cheever, Michele Alboreto, and Carlo Facetti that victory kept Lancia's hopes of a repeat World Championship alive. Less than a month after Le Mans Lancia Corsa returned to the scene of their first world title in 1980 and won the Six Hours of Watkins Glen and a second consecutive World Championship. Mission accomplished.