January proved to be a winning month for Dallara, whose U.S. base is located just a few blocks south of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
First, Dallara signed a new contract with INDYCAR to extend its relationship to provide the Verizon IndyCar Series chassis through the 2020 season. Then, last weekend, the company dominated IMSA’s Rolex 24 At Daytona sports car race, going to victory lane with the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing. That DPi car was driven to the overall and Prototype class win by brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor along with Jeff Gordon and Max Angelelli.
Dallara built the Cadillac-powered entries not only of the overall winner but also the runner-up No. 5 of Mustang Sampling Racing (whose driving group included Indy car race winner Christian Fittipaldi, nephew of two-time Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi). It means Dallara had both cars in the dramatic final battle between Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque.
Between those two cars, Dallara led 521 of the 659 laps in its first Daytona effort. Whelen Engineering also used a Dallara and led 89 laps, which means a Dallara led more than 92 percent of the laps on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. Whelen’s No. 31 entry, which included Verizon IndyCar Series race winner Mike Conway, finished 14th.
“It was an amazing result, totally unpredictable, which brings us back to more than 10 years ago when we were running in the championships which there were several manufacturers,” said Giampaolo Dallara, president and founder of Dallara Automobili. “Not even the most optimistic among us would have imagined that a car which made the first laps only four months ago could win in such a definitive way in such an important and exhausting race as the 24 Hours of Daytona.
“We must be proud of this result, and I want to thank all the employees of the company for this effort that has given us great satisfaction.”
The cars were designed at Dallara’s headquarters near Parma, Italy, and assembled at the Speedway, Indiana facility, which is a short drive from Wayne Taylor’s shop in Brownsburg. Gordon, the retired NASCAR great, was among the drivers to utilize Dallara’s local simulator to prepare.
The Indianapolis-based crew found many mechanical similarities in the sports car chassis to its INDYCAR efforts, boosting confidence that the program would be successful.