Automobili Dallara was founded by designer Gian Paolo Dallara in 1972, near Parma, Italy. A graduate of Polytechnic Milan, Dallara had pursued a career in race car design with Ferrari and Maserati before joining Lamborghini where he designed the Espada and the legendary Miura. Dallara later worked for De Tomaso, designing Formula 2 cars and Frank Williams’ first Formula One car as well as contributing to the design of the Pantera. After forming Dallara Automobili, Dallara produced a series of small-engined prototypes before successfully moving into the open wheel market with a Formula 3 car that won the Italian championship in 1980. Subsequently, Dallara became one of the world’s leading manufacturers of open wheel race cars and now dominates the Formula 3 market and supplies cars for the GP2 series as well as the World Series by Renault. In addition, Dallara has consulted on the design, research and production of racing projects for Audi, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Honda and Toyota. In 1997, Dallara entered the Indy car market with its IR7. That basic design, updated in ’98 (IR8) and ’99 (IR9), won two IndyCar Series (ICS) titles and a like number of Indy 500s. A second generation chassis was introduced in 2000 and it too achieved considerable success, winning three straight Indianapolis 500s and two IndyCar Series titles. In 2005 Dallara introduced a host of aerodynamic updates to the chassis (designated the IR05), which has continued as the platform for subsequent Indy cars.
The IR03/05 incorporates a host of safety enhancements including energy-absorbing materials in the footbox and leg areas as well as a 7 mm thick side anti- intrusion panel and a compact, gears-forward transmission. Additionally, the mounting points for the Suspension and Wheel Energy Management System (SWEMS) ‘tethering’ the wheels to the car are fully-integrated into the Dallara’s design.
In addition to the basic chassis, Dallara also supplies an array of front and rear wings designed to optimize performance on a variety of race tracks including road courses, street circuits and short ovals, 1.5 mile speedways and the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Since its introduction, the Dallara 03/05 has won six of seven Indianapolis 500s and the five most recent ICS titles. Although ICS regulations do not preclude teams from utilizing other approved chassis, the Dallara is now used by every team in the IndyCar Series.