Gian Paolo Dallara founded Dallara Automobili in 1972 in Varano Melegari, near Parma, Italy. The company has an enviable record of success around the world, designing and manufacturing cars for a range of different major motor racing formulas.
Dallara's first modern product was a 1,000cc sports prototype, followed by further prototypes of 1,300cc and 1,600cc cars. In 1980, Dallara designed his first Formula 3 car, which won the Italian championship the same year. Dallara Formula 3 cars have since won championships worldwide.
Since 1997, Dallara has designed and built chassis for teams competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Dallara cars won the series championship in 1998-2002 and 2004-2012 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1998 (Eddie Cheever Jr.), 1999 (Kenny Brack), 2001, 2002 and 2009 (Helio Castroneves) 2005 and 2011 (Dan Wheldon), 2006 (Sam Hornish Jr.), 2007, 2010 and 2012 (Dario Franchitti), 2008 (Scott Dixon) 2013 (Tony Kanaan), and 2014 (Ryan Hunter-Reay). Dallara became the series’ sole chassis supplier in 2006. The company has also built the chassis for Indy Lights, the top-level of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder since 2002.
Dallara was awarded the contract to produce the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series chassis, the IR-12, the basis for the fourth generation IndyCar Series car. Beginning in 2015, all cars will utilize Dallara’s safety cell, and manufacturers will have the opportunity to use their own aero kits.
The chassis, which will be used through at least 2016, is being built in Dallara’s Speedway, Ind., headquarters, located near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The same building is also home to an edutainment center where visitors can learn while having fun how a racing car is designed, developed and produced.
Dallara also has built a close working relationship with some of the most prestigious motor-car manufacturers, including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Toyota and Honda. Consulting on design, research and production of racing projects for manufacturers is becoming a major part of the core business of Dallara.
Dallara today competes in all F3 championships around the world and is the sole supplier of cars to the IndyCar, Indy Lights, GP2, GP3 and World Series by Renault championships. It also supplies cars to instructional championships such as the German Formel Masters, as well as participating in the Grand-Am series in the USA.
In the last few years, the Engineering division at Dallara has significantly expanded its activities for both race and high performance road cars alike. The consultancy services offered by Dallara have attracted business from some of the most important names in the automotive industry including Alfa Romeo (8C and 4C), Audi (DTM and LeMans series), Bugatti (Veyron), Ferrari, Porsche, KTM (X-Bow) and Maserati (MC12), to name but a few.
The company has state-of-the-art facilities that include a new 50 percent wind tunnel and a 40 percent wind tunnel, a seven-post dynamic test rig, a Pro Engineer CAD system with FEA and CFD, a well-equipped modern machine shop with CNC machines and two five-axis routing machines and an in-house composites department. The latest acquisition is a rapid prototyping machine that allows the rapid production of test parts straight from CAD data without the need to produce molds.