After several wins in the pioneering races of the 1908-1909, Vincenzo Lancia abandoned racing and expressly forbade official participation of his cars in sporting events. This decision may seem paradoxical, but actually stemmed from his desire to concentrate all the company’s resources on designing and making road cars.
Keeping private owners from racing, however, was impossible.
As a result, many motorists having discovered the sporty temperament of the Lambda, entered their car in races and the wins quickly followed.
The Aprilia had the same fate and reared an entire generation of drivers before and after World War II.
All without any official support from the brand.
It was not until 1951 that the company officially returned to racing, under the guidance of young Gianni Lancia, a motor racing enthusiast.
Four privately-owned Aurelia B21s received backing from Lancia took part in the Tour of Sicily. It was a triumph: they claimed the first four places in their class, defeating the Alfa Romeo 1900, the undisputed sports car of its day.
Four Aurelia Granturismo B20s - virtually production models - entered the Mille Miglia. Bracco came in second after Villoresi's Ferrari which had twice the engine size. The Bracco-Lurani twosome claimed class victory at the Le Mans 24-hour race.
The Lancia Racing Team was officially founded in 1952 after Bonetto's Targa Florio win. An emblem was created: an originally blue, galloping elephant.
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