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GP Week : Issue 52
Grand Designs W HEN the FIA announced the three new teams that it had chosen to join the Formula 1 World Championship in 2010 just a few weeks ago, there were raised eyebrows throughout the sport. USF1 had been a given for some time, but the identity of their fellow newbies caused some surprise. Lola and Prodrive, who had been seen as by far the favourites for the final two slots, were nowhere to be seen. In their place came Manor and Campos-Meta. But while the inclusion of Manor was met with some genuine shock, the Campos entry was, and always had been one of the strongest. Adrian Campos began his career as a racing driver, disputing 21 Grands Prix for Minardi, but in recent years has become a very successful racing team owner. He brought the world’s attention to drivers such as Marc Gene and Fernando Alonso, and forged his name as an astute businessman in his native Spain. Of course, having a Spanish team in a sport with two Spanish races also made a lot of sense to the FIA. But it was the people and companies whom Campos chose to partner him in his bid that marked his entry proposal out as a leading contender – because Adrian Campos has done what many of his rivals must have been wishing they’d thought of first. To give his team the best chance of success, he’s teamed up with one of the most successful racecar design studios in the world. Dallara Automobili was established by Gian Paolo Dallara in 1972, and has operated for the last four decades from its base in Varano, Italy. Gian Paolo, a graduate of Aeronautical Engineering, had cut his racing teeth working with Maserati, and had been Lambourghini’s first chief designer, coming up with the iconic Miura. Initially, Dallara Automobili designed racing chassis for hillclimbs and sportscars, but played a large They’ve been in Formula 1 before and now, thanks to the new entries in next year’s World Championship, Dallara is coming back again. WILL BUXTON spoke to Gian Paolo Dallara, the man behind the famous racecar brand role in Lancia’s rallying Stratos before stepping into Italian F3 at the end of the 1970s. Today Dallara chassis are the class of the F3 world, and have been ever since the early 1990s. Dallara is the sole supplier of chassis to the Renault World Series, GP2, GP2 Asia, GP3 (from 2010) Series and the IRL. Dallara is the racecar designer of choice in the 21st Century. But this won’t be the company’s first foray into Formula 1. Back in 1970, Gian Paolo himself was called up by de Tomaso and Williams to design a Formula 1 car, after the three had worked together in Formula 2. In the late 1980s, Dallara joined up with the Scuderia Italia F1 team, in a