Ferrari 126 C2B

Ferrari 126 C2B

by Luca Dal Monte

Despite numerous incidents and many ups and downs, the Ferrari 126C2 was built in eleven units, a significant number for a car that ultimately only raced for one and a half seasons, totalling 24 races in all. Of the eleven units, nine were built for the 1982 World Championship season. Two were specifically made for the 1983 season. The B-spec models numbered only three (chassis numbers 063, 064, and 065). Among these, the only car born directly in B specification (the other two were converted at the end of the ’82 season) is chassis number 065. And it’s a car that, in its own way, has become legendary.

The reason for the legend is quickly explained. It’s with this car, with this Ferrari number 27, that Patrick Tambay wins the 1983 San Marino Grand Prix, a year after the controversial race between Villeneuve and Pironi. The race at Santerno track takes place on the first day of May. A week later falls the first anniversary of Gilles’ passing. Tambay is a close friend of Gilles, and, with the help of a mistake made by Riccardo Patrese six laps from the end, he crosses the finish line first.

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Patrick Tambay: At Imola, the French driver starts from the same position on the second row of the grid from which Gilles Villeneuve had started the previous year. Someone overnight has hand-drawn a Canadian flag on the asphalt, at the exact grid spot from which Gilles had started a year ago and from which Patrick will start the next day. The rest, indeed, is myth. With this same car, Tambay finishes second in Belgium and third in Canada.

RenĂ© Arnoux: For the 1983 season, Enzo Ferrari hires a second French driver. Arnoux is fast and combative, and he’s also the other half of the 1979 Dijon duel that has become an integral part of the Villeneuve legend. With the 126 C2 (chassis 064, one of the two converted from the ’82 configuration), RenĂ© achieves two third places at Long Beach and Imola. And the victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, the last race in the history of the Ferrari 126 C2. Canada, Gilles’ homeland…

Our model cars:

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The 1983 126 C2B is actually a transitional car towards the C3, which arrives midway through the season. Due to the new regulations, the B2 model in the ’83 version has a flat bottom and no longer features side skirts. The wings are completely revised, as are the side pods, which are now much shorter and angled compared to the previous season.

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