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Amelia 2017: Homecoming for an Italian World Champion

Al Unser Sr.

A World Championship endurance racer will make its international concours debut at the 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance on Sunday March 12, 2017. That championship quest began in Florida 36 years ago.

The 24 Hours of Daytona -- the Rolex 24 -- is a harsh and unforgiving place to begin a World Championship quest. Points earned here are hard won during Daytona's long night and sometimes freezing temperatures. There were no points at Daytona in 1981 after the Martini-liveried Lancia engine dropped a valve near midnight.

Racing at Daytona

But that summer on World Championship sports car racing's biggest and most glamorous stage John Campion's Lancia Beta Montecarlo shone brightly after a trying competition debut at in the 1981 Rolex 24.

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.

Race Car 3qtrs

"When we coax a significant racing car out of a private museum we believe we've added something valuable and important to 'The Amelia' experience," said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

"When we can present a car with World Championship provenance and pedigree, something that would rarely if ever be seen in public -- a Le Mans winner still wearing its race number -- we're honored to have it on the field." said Bill Warner, founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

About the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

Amelia Island

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance now in its third decade, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, "The Amelia" draws over 250 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show's Foundation has donated over $3.0 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., Spina Bifida of Jacksonville, The Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Shop with Cops, and other deserving charities. The 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is scheduled for March 10-12, 2017. For more information, visit

3016 Mercury Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32207

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