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 formulae.
Dallara graduated from the Polytechnic of Milan with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1959, and he embarked on a career of race car design, starting with a position at Ferrari. He then moved to Maserati and then, in 1963, to Lamborghini where he designed the "Espada" and in 1966, the "Miura." At the end of the 1960s, he moved to De Tomaso, where he worked on the design of F2 and F1 run by F1 team owner Frank Williams.
After forming Dallara Automobili, Dallara's first modern product was a 1,000-cc sports prototype, followed by further prototypes of 1,300-cc and 1,600-cc cars.
In 1978, Dallara designed his first Formula 3 car, which won the Italian championship the same year. In 1993 Dallara introduced an all conquering new car which lead to the company becoming the market leader. Today Formula 3 is a corner stone product of the Dallara company and has been a great success story. Dallara F3 cars have won championships worldwide, including in Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, South America, Russia and Austria.
From 1988 to 1992, Dallara Automobili designed and manufactured F1 cars for Scuderia Italia, driven by Caffi, De Cesaris, Letho, Pirro and Martini.
Since 1997, Dallara has designed and built chassis' for teams competing in the Indy Racing League championship. Dallara cars have won the series championship seven times since 1998 and the Indianapolis 500 race six times since 1998. Dallara has also won the IRL manufacturers championship eight times since 1998.
Dallara has also built up a close working relationship with some of the most prestigious motor car manufacturers, including Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Toyota and Honda, consulting on design, research and production of racing projects.
In April 1998, Honda gave Dallara the responsibility of design, aerodynamic development and manufacturing of Honda F1 chassis.
In April 2000, Dallara signed an exclusive agreement with the French team ORECA for the supply of sports cars, powered by Chrysler engines, that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 2001 Dallara was awarded two prestigious 'one make' contracts, one for the Spanish Formula Nissan (Now the World Series by Renault) and the other the US Infiniti Pro Series, both launched successfully in 2002.
More recently Dallara was awarded the contract for the supply of all the cars to the Gp2 series-an innovative new car that is the true stepping stone to F1. The series is the official FIA support to the Formula One Grand Prix in Europe.