Dallara Automobili is an Italian chassis manufacturer for various motor racing series, being most notable for its near-monopoly in Formula 3 since 1993. Dallara also produces the chassis used by the IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, GP2 Series, World Series by Renault, GP3 Series and ADAC Formel Masters and is one of the manufacturers in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
The company was founded by designer Gian Paolo Dallara in 1972 in Varano de' Melegari, near Parma, Italy, and started building chassis for sports car racing and hillclimbing, racing in the smaller engine classes. Dallara designed his first Formula 3 car for Walter Wolf Racing in 1978. Dallara also had a brief involvement in Formula 3000 in the mid-1980s.
The first F3 car under the Dallara name came in 1981, and the cars became particularly successful in Italy. Since 1985 Dallara drivers have taken the Italian Formula 3 Championship every year except 1990. The late 1980s and early 1990s also saw Dallara make inroads into the German and French markets, winning the German title in 1987 and the French in 1987 and 1992.
1993 was the first year that Dallaras were entered in the British Formula 3 Championship and was the beginning of the company's dominance of Formula 3. The new F393 featured major aerodynamic changes compared to its predecessor and introduced a monodamper front suspension layout. The F393 won every race in the Italian, French and German championships that year, while the British series saw numerous entrants - including champion Kelvin Burt - forced to switch from Reynard or Ralt chassis to Dallara in order to remain competitive. TOMS would win the Japanese championship with its own cars in 1993 and 1994 before switching to Dallara chassis. From then on Dallara would dominate the Formula 3 market, although Martini had some success in France and Germany in the late 1990s, including Sébastien Bourdais winning the French title in 1999. Since then Dallara have won every major Formula 3 title, although Ho-Pin Tung won the 2006 Recaro F3 Cup in a Lola against a field that included several current Dallaras.
In 1988 the company became a Formula One constructor, after being hired by BMS Scuderia Italia to build their chassis. The relationship between the Italian constructor and Beppe Lucchini's racing outfit endured until 1992, with their best result being two third places: one at the 1989 Canadian Grand Prix with Andrea de Cesaris; the other at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix, thanks to JJ Lehto. The Constructors' Championship results were: no classification in 1988, 8th in 1989 (with 8 points), 15th (with no points) in 1990, 8th in 1991 (with 5 points) and 10th in 1992 (with 2 points) by Pierluigi Martini.
During 2004, Dallara recruited ex-Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar F1 designer Gary Anderson, leading to speculation that the Italian company was working on another F1 project. Late in 2004 the nascent Midland team announced that Dallara would be designing and building their Formula One chassis which was due to be entered for the 2006 season. Following Midland's purchase of the Jordan team for early entry to F1 in 2005, Dallara continued co-operating with the team technically. However, the relationship fizzled out as Midland focussed its resources on developing the existing Jordan infrastructure, and a new Dallara F1 chassis never appeared.
Dallara built the cars for the Hispania Racing F1 Team team's entry in the 2010 Formula One season. The Hispania team's financial problems—which delayed payment of money owed to Dallara and the completion of the cars—and the alleged low quality of the F110 chassis resulted in the two parties officially ending their partnership in May 2010. The car was used in all 2010 races without any development except the graphics. They had only one aerodynamic configuration, used for all races, including Monte Carlo and Monza. Geoff Willis, who joined Hispania in March 2010, criticized the F110, saying that he was disappointed at the quality and level of engineering in the car and that the design of the car was missing a lot of practices commonly employed in the process of building a Formula One car those days.
Dallara was one of the original three chassis constructors when the Indy Racing League debuted its own chassis formula in the 1997 season. The first model year (1997) was named the IR7. The cars were most notably differentiated from the competing G-Force chassis by the ovoid shape of the air intake inlet, while the G-Force's was triangular. The IR8 (1998) and IR9 (1999) were essentially 1997 model year chassis with update kits.
A new model chassis was introduced for the 2000 season. When updated for 2001 the chassis was referred to as the IR-01 and for 2002 it was referred to as the IR-02.
Third generation (IR-03)
For the 2003 season, Dallara rolled out the new IR-03 chassis. This chassis would become the de facto "spec car" in the series. An aerodynamic update kit was released for 2005, which changed its designation to IR-05.
For the 2006 season, over 80% of the field began the season with a Dallara, a possible symptom of Panoz (manufacturer of the G-Force chassis)'s perceived lack of interest. This was around the time Panoz began delivering the DP01 chassis to the rival Champ Car series. From 2007 to 2011 all IndyCar teams used the Dallara IR-05 chassis, although a few teams entered a Panoz/G-Force chassis into the 2007 Indianapolis 500 singly.
Fourth generation (DW12)
Starting in 2012, Dallara began providing the common monocoque and suspension parts for the new IndyCar formulae – known as the IndyCar Safety Cell – with the bodywork and aero parts eventually being provided by other manufacturers. The cars will be branded by the make who provides the body and aero parts, which means that none of the cars will be known as a "Dallara", unless the body and aero is designed and build by Dallara themselves. The body and aero parts will not be in effect until 2013, so for 2012 all teams used the identical aero package provided by Dallara.
On 18 October, Italian manufacturer Dallara confirmed that the 2012 series car would be named after the late IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon (DW12) in honour of his work testing the car before his death two days prior at Las Vegas, with the new bumper/nerf bar section being featured, it was designed to prevent many similar single-seater crashes such as the one that killed Wheldon. The nomenclature is similar to that of the old Formula One team Ligier, whose cars were labeled JSxx in memory of French F1 driver Jo Schlesser after his death at the 1968 French Grand Prix.
In 2002 Dallara became the exclusive supplier for World Series by Nissan, a move that allowed them to gain the contract for the World Series by Renault in 2004. Dallara was also appointed by the FIA to be the sole supplier of the GP2 Series and the new GP3 Series, giving them a near-monopoly of every motorsport series used as a direct entry point into F1.
Dallara has provided the spec chassis to the Firestone Indy Lights series, formerly the Infiniti/Indy Pro Series since 2002. The car is slated to be replaced by a new generation for the 2014 season.
Sports car racing
In the early 1980s, Dallara was responsible for the construction of the Lancia LC1 Group 6 prototype as well as the later LC2 Group C car, along with Lancia's partner Abarth. It would not be until 1993 that Dallara returned to endurance racing, although very few chassis would take their name. The first project was the Ferrari 333 SP, made for the new WSC regulations in the IMSA GT Championship. The 333 SP, manufactured at Michelotto, won a great number of races both in North America and Europe. Ferrari also hired Dallara to develop the racing version of the Ferrari F50, financed by French racing driver Fabien Giroix, but the project was aborted before it got off the ground, in 1998.
As a consequence, the company secured other contracts and built chassis for Toyota (GT-One), Audi (various incarnations of the R8) and Chrysler (the Oreca-run Chrysler LMP). Later, the Chrysler LMP would become Dallara's customer car available to privateers, known as the Dallara SP1, which has also served as a test mule for Nissan's aborted return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. All these cars were competitive in prototype sports car racing, with the Audi R8 in particular becoming the most dominant chassis in modern times at the 24 Hours and the American Le Mans Series.
X-Bow and partnership with KTM
Complete World Championship Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|Ford DFR 3.5 V8||G||BRA||SMR||MON||MEX||CAN||DET||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||0||NC|
|1989||Scuderia Italia||189||Ford DFR 3.5 V8||P||BRA||SMR||MON||MEX||USA||CAN||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||8||8th|
|Andrea de Cesaris||13||10||13||Ret||8||3||DNQ||Ret||7||Ret||11||Ret||Ret||7||10||Ret|
|1990||Scuderia Italia||190||Ford DFR 3.5 V8||P||USA||BRA||SMR||MON||CAN||MEX||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||0||NC|
|Andrea de Cesaris||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret||13||DSQ||Ret||DNQ||Ret||Ret||10||Ret||Ret||Ret||Ret|
|1991||Scuderia Italia||191||Judd GV 3.5 V10||P||USA||BRA||SMR||MON||CAN||MEX||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||5||8th|
037 3.5 V12
|2010||HRT F1||HRT F110||Cosworth
- "2010 FIA Formula One World Championship Entry List" (Press release). FIA. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
- Beer, Matt (2010-05-26). "Hispania and Dallara end partnership". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- Rencken, Dieter; Elizalde, Pablo (2010-04-02). "Willis unimpressed by HRT's car design". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2010-04-07.
- Lewandowski, Dave (2013-04-01). "Dallara to mark its 200th win in series at Barber". IndyCar. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Dallara to name 2012 IndyCar in honour of Dan Wheldon". Autosport.com. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
- Official Dallara website (English)
- Dallara's Profile on Historic Racing
- History of Dallara in Formula 3