This talented and charming Spanish driver contested the 1985 Italian F3 championship with the Pavesi team's Ralt-Alfa, winning a round of the series, but didn't pull up any trees. However, he was a different proposition when he moved up to Formula 3000 with Pavesi the following season. Luis was well served by his team and, in his own quiet way, soon got to grips with the formula, winning two rounds (at Enna and Birmingham). Backing these victories up with a consistent finishing record, he took fifth place in the points table.
This excellent first season booked him a place in the works Lola team for 1987, and he again won two races (at Donington and Le Mans) but was unable to stop Stefano Modena's title charge, having to settle for the runner-up slot.
With Spanish backing, Sala joined his former rival Adrian Campos at Minardi for 1988 and looked quite promising in the early races, but once his countryman had been replaced by Pierluigi Martini the picture changed. Suddenly Luis was very much second-best within the team, particularly the following season when Minardi were quite capable of scoring points.
At the end of the year Sala was out, but he went on to enjoy an excellent career with Nissan in the Spanish touring car championship throughout the nineties.