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DALLARA: ITALIAN-MADE RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGIES IN THE LEAD WITH RACING CARS
Dallara automobiles in Varano de’ Melegari, an old town in the province of Parma, is an Italian producer and niche market world leader, known throughout the world for its single-seater racing cars. For over 40 years it has been providing advice for car makers and designing and building one-make vehicles for track championships all over the world. As well as designing and building single-seaters for Formula One, Dallara has won the Indianapolis 500 seven times and the Indy Racing League (IRL) championship nine times. The company designs and builds one-make vehicles for the Indy Pro Series (IPS) championships, the World Series by Renault, the GP2 Series, and F3 championships all over the world. It also collaborates in numerous research and development projects with leading international manufacturers (Ferrari, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Toyota and Honda). The company, which had a turnover of 30 million Euros in 2009, has recently opened its third wind tunnel.
Today Dallara is headed by Andrea Pontremoli, former CEO of IBM Italy, who holds the position of managing director and is also a shareholder. It is a young company, with 50% of its 180 employees having been there for less than 18 months, and to combat the economic crisis, the company has opted to invest in research and development. 15% of its turnover has been channelled into creating a cutting-edge driving simulator that is the only one of its kind in the world.
The racing car simulator is so sophisticated that it reduces crash tests, track tests and prototypes to a minimum. The simulation has four stages. The first studies the dynamics of the vehicle, using mathematical models. The second calculates aerodynamics and enables a scale prototype to be built, which is then tested in the wind tunnel. This is followed by a computer analysis of the materials and structure in virtual crash simulations. Finally, there is the design and packaging stage in which everything is assembled, still on a virtual level. Only when each particular detail has been established, tested and studied do Dallara’s expert craftsmen finally build the prototype and test it on the road. The level of simulation is so accurate that the performance of the real vehicle does not vary much from the simulation. However, it provides remarkable savings when compared to the traditional processes, with fewer prototypes needed to be built and less track expenses and design errors. Thanks to this innovation, Dallara achieved a record number of vehicles in production last year. It is no coincidence that all of the 23 cars that raced in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 came from the Dallara factories.
2010 has been the year of return for Formula One and Campos Meta, Spain's leading Formula One racing team, has a strong Italian accent. Daniele Audetto, known in the motor racing world for having competed in rally championships with Fiat and, more recently, as manager of the Super Aguri F1 team, has been named as the group’s managing director. Aside from this, Campos Meta relies on the technological assistance and engineering experience of Dallara, with its winning track record.