Dallara is an Italian race car manufacturer, founded by its current President Eng. Gian Paolo Dallara. After working for Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, and De Tomaso, Dallara wanted to fulfill his dream of working in the world of racing cars. In 1972 in his native village of Varano de' Melegari (Parma), Italy he created "Dallara Automobili". The successes in Formula 3 first in Italy then all over the world, its affirmation in America with the Indycar, the consultancies for important manufacturers and the constant attention to technology and innovation have all led Dallara to being recognized as one of the most important realities specialized in the designing, developing and production of racing cars.
The key competences, which characterize Dallara, are design with particular attention given to the composite materials in carbon fiber; aerodynamics with the use of the wind tunnel and of the computational fluid dynamics; vehicle dynamics thanks to the driving simulator and the testing rigs; a quick, flexible and high quality production. Dallara is also the sole manufacturer of racing cars for the Indycar, Indy Lights, Formula 2, Formula 3 and Super Formula Championships. Dallara produces cars for endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Dallara also deals with cars with electric engines such as the Formula E. Dallara provides specialized consultancies and gives assistance to manufacturers and racing teams with regards to developing both racecars and high performance roadcars. In recent years, this latter activity has captured the interest of important car manufacturers such as of Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bugatti, Ferrari, KTM, Lamborghini, Maserati, Renault and Porsche.
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 Three 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 Three 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 Three Championship and was the beginning of the company's dominance of Formula Three. 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 Three 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 has won every major Formula Three title, although Ho-Pin Tung won the 2006 Recaro F3 Cup in a Lola against a field that included several current Dallaras. Dallaras have won the Macau Grand Prix since 1993.
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 Hispania's entry in the 2010 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 contemplating practices commonly employed in the process of building a Formula One car.
On 15 April 2014 Gene Haas confirmed his new Formula One team, Haas F1 Team, had entered talks to form a partnership with Dallara in 2015 for the build of their first car. On 21 February 2016, the Haas VF-16 was officially unveiled. This arrangement has continued since with Dallara designing all the Haas cars up to and including that for the current, 2021 season.
Dallara debuted as a chassis supplier at the IndyCar Series in 1997, and has been the single chassis supplier since 2007. The manufacturer has won seventeen of the twenty Indianapolis 500s they have contested. In 2013, Dallara reached its milestone 200th Indy car victory at Barber.
In 2012 the company opened an engineering center in Speedway, Indiana, at the Speed Zone Redevelopment Area near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where they produce and assemble the IndyCar. The same building also houses an entertainment center, where visitors can learn how a racing car is manufactured.
First generation (IR-7)
Dallara was one of the original three chassis constructors when the Indy Racing League debuted its own chassis formula during the 1997 season. The first model year (1997) was named the IR-7. The cars were most notably differentiated from the competing G-Force chassis by the ovoid shape of the air intake inlet, while the g-forces were triangular. The IR-8 (1998) and IR-9 (1999) were essentially 1997 model year chassis with updated kits.
Second generation (IR-00)
A new model chassis was introduced for the 2000 season; named the IR-00. When updated for 2001 the chassis was designated as the IR-01 and for 2002 it was referred to as the IR-02.
Third generation (IR-03/IR-05)
For the 2003 season, Dallara rolled out the new IR-03 chassis. This chassis would later become the de facto "spec-car" in the series. An aerodynamic update kit was released for 2007, which changed its designation to IR-05. In addition, paddle-shifters began seeing use in 2008, further developing and evolving this generation of Dallaras. Chassis bearing both the IR-03 and the IR-05 designations saw use through the end of the 2011 season.
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. Some smaller teams continued to utilize the slightly older IR-03 designated chassis, particularly at Indianapolis, with update kits affixed to make it on equally competitive ground with the newer-assembled IR-05. Due to IndyCar IR-05 chassis and Honda Indy V8 engine development freeze for the reason of focusing on 2012 new car from the start of the 2009 season, Dallara did not build new IndyCar chassis until the 2011 season.
Fourth generation (IR-12/DW-12)
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 intent that the bodywork and aero parts can and will be provided by other manufacturers. The cars will be branded by the make who provides the "Aero Kit." Dallara rolled out the chassis with its own optional spec aero kit. The aero kit concept was temporarily shelved due to cost concerns, making the Dallara kit the universal spec for 2012-2014. Unique aero kits (manufactured by Chevrolet and Honda, respectively) were introduced for 2015-2017, and Dallara ceased to support and production of their own. In 2018, the third generation of aero kits was introduced for the DW-12, again returning to a universal spec kit for all entries known as UAK18. On 18 October, Dallara confirmed that the 2012 series car would be named after the late IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon (DW-12) in honor 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.
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 chassis builder of the FIA Formula 2 Championship (formerly GP2 Series) and the new FIA Formula 3 Championship (formerly GP3 Series), giving them a near-monopoly of every motorsport series used as a direct entry point into F1.
In 2007 Dallara created a new car model, known as the Formulino ("little formula"), in order to fill the gap between karts and Formula Three. The first series to use the new concept was the ADAC Formel Masters in 2008, and the MRF Challenge also adopted the car.
Dallara has provided the spec chassis to the Indy Lights series, formerly the Infiniti/Indy Pro Series since 2002. For the 2015 Indy Lights season, the car was replaced by the new generation Dallara IL-15, powered by Mazda's 2.0-litre turbocharged MZR-R four-cylinder engine.
Dallara also designed the chassis for the Japanese Super Formula series, formerly known as Formula Nippon, called the Dallara SF19. This update to the previous chassis (the Dallara SF14) followed the FIA's new safety guidelines and added the "halo."
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. In 2002, they built the GC21 for use in the Fuji Grand Champion Series; the car was based on the company's F3 cars.
Other notable cars
Dallara also provided engineering services for Renault (R.S. 01), Alfa Romeo (8C and 4C), Bugatti (Veyron and Chiron), Maserati (MC20), Ferrari (F50 GT) and Lamborghini (motorsport variants of the Huracán)
Dallara also produces handbikes, under Z-Bike. They also designed a handbike for Alex Zanardi for the Men's Para-cycling at the Paralympics, leading Zanardi to win 4 gold and 2 silver medals at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics respectively.
Complete Formula One World Championship results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)
|1988||BMS Scuderia Italia||3087
|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||BMS Scuderia Italia||F189||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||BMS Scuderia Italia||F190||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||BMS Scuderia Italia||F191||Judd GV 3.5 V10||P||USA||BRA||SMR||MON||CAN||MEX||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||POR||ESP||JPN||AUS||5||8th|
|1992||BMS Scuderia Italia||F192||Ferrari
037 3.5 V12
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