Mugello, April 13th
Fastest in practice at the serpentine, mountain girt circuit of Mugello near Florenm was a 2-litre Gp 6 Osella-BMW PA8 shared by Lela Lombardi and Vittorio Brambilla. Beaten off the line by Alborcto’s Montecarlo Turbo, Brambilla fought back and powered to the head of the 26-car field before the end of lap two Once in front, he sped away into a long lead, having 70 seconds in hand after an hour. The Osella seemed invincible, but at almost exactly half distance it coasted into retirement with a transmission joint broken. The only other really quick Op 6 car, the ten-year-old Porsche 908/3 shared by Siegfried Bruno and Jurgen Barth, was also out by this stage, following a collision with a much slower Italian driven Osella that moved over unexpectedly on Bruno. The two works Lancias were thus left utterly unchallenged, and at the finish exactly a lap separated the machine of Riccardo Patrese and Eddie Chcever from the
sister car of Michele Alboreto and Walter ROhrl. But prior to the race, Lancia had hatched a very cunning plot indeed. By fractionally enlarging the cylinder bores of the Patrese/Chetver car, they effectively switched that entry to the larger capacity class. So when the factory Montecarlos finished first and second, Lancia claimed a full 20 points in both divisions of the championship, to Porsche’s 15 foot 934’s distant ninth place.