When a new formula was announced for Grand Prix racing in 1954 Gianni Lancia decided to build his own Grand Prix cars and hired designer Vittorio Jano to do the design work. Jano designed a 2.5-liter 90-degree V8 engine for the D50 chassis. These cars were late arriving and did not appear until October that year when Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi debuted at the Spanish GP on the Pedralbes circuit. The team was ready for the 1955 season and entered Ascari, Villoresi and Eugenio Castellotti. Ascari won the non-championship Valentino GP in Turin in March and again in the Naples GP at Posillipo. In the World Championship Ascari crashed one of the Lancias into the harbor at Monaco. A few days later he was killed testing a Ferrari at Monza. Not long afterwards Lancia was forced to sell his company to Carlo Pesenti and the company's new chief engineer, Antonio Fessia, canceled the F1 program. The cars were sold to Ferrari for the 1956 season. Jano and Luigi Bazzi modified the engines although they remained in essence Lancias. That year Juan-Manuel Fangio won the World Championship driving one of the cars.