Lamborghini Motorsport


In contrast to his rival Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini had decided early on that there would be no factory-supported racing of Lamborghinis, viewing motorsport as too expensive and too draining on company resources. This was unusual for the time, as many sports car manufacturers sought to demonstrate the speed, reliability, and technical superiority through motorsport participation. Enzo Ferrari in particular was known for considering his road car business mostly a source of funding for his participation in motor racing. Ferruccio’s policy led to tensions between him and his engineers, many of whom were racing enthusiasts; some had previously worked at Ferrari. When Dallara, Stanzani, and Wallace began dedicating their spare time to the development of the P400 prototype, they designed it to be a road car with racing potential, one that could win on the track and also be driven on the road by enthusiasts.[18] When Ferruccio discovered the project, he allowed them to go ahead, seeing it as a potential marketing device for the company, while insisting that it would not be raced. The P400 went on to become the Miura. The closest the company came to building a true race car under Lamborghini’s supervision were a few highly modified prototypes, including those built by factory test driver Bob Wallace, such as the Miura SV-based “Jota” and the Jarama S-based “Bob Wallace Special”.

In the mid-1970s, while Lamborghini was under the management of Georges-Henri Rossetti, Lamborghini entered into an agreement with BMW to develop, then manufacture 400 cars for BMW in order to meet Group 4 homologation requirements. BMW lacked experience developing a mid-engined vehicle and believed that Lamborghini’s experience in that area would make Lamborghini an ideal choice of partner. Due to Lamborghini’s shaky finances, Lamborghini fell behind schedule developing the car’s structure and running gear. When Lamborghini failed to deliver working prototypes on time, BMW took the program in house, finishing development without Lamborghini. BMW contracted with Baur to produce the car, which BMW named the M1, delivering the first vehicle in October 1978.

In 1985, Lamborghini’s British importer developed the Countach QVX, in conjunction with Spice Engineering, for the 1986 Group Cchampionship season. One car was built, but lack of sponsorship caused it to miss the season. The QVX competed in only one race, the non-championship 1986 Southern Suns 500 km race at Kyalami in South Africa, driven by Tiff Needell. Despite the car finishing better than it started, sponsorship could once again not be found and the programme was cancelled.

Lamborghini was an engine supplier in Formula One between the 1989 and 1993 Formula One seasons. It supplied engines to Larrousse(1989–1990,1992–1993), Lotus (1990), Ligier (1991), Minardi (1992), and to the Modena team in 1991. While the latter is commonly referred to as a factory team, the company saw themselves as a supplier, not a backer. The 1992 Larrousse–Lamborghini was largely uncompetitive but noteworthy in its tendency to spew oil from its exhaust system. Cars following closely behind the Larrousse were commonly coloured yellowish-brown by the end of the race.  Lamborghini’s best result was achieved with Larrousse at the1990 Japanese Grand Prix, when Aguri Suzuki finished third on home soil.

In late 1991, a Lamborghini Formula One motor was used in the Konrad KM-011 Group C sports car, but the car only lasted a few races before the project was canceled. The same engine, re-badged a Chrysler, Lamborghini’s then-parent company, was tested by McLaren towards the end of the 1993 season, with the intent of using it during the 1994 season. Although driver Ayrton Senna was reportedly impressed with the engine’s performance, McLaren pulled out of negotiations, choosing a Peugeot engine instead, and Chrysler ended the project.

Two racing versions of the Diablo were built for the Diablo Supertrophy, a single-model racing series held annually from 1996 to 1999. In the first year, the model used in the series was the Diablo SVR, while the Diablo 6.0 GTR was used for the remaining three years. Lamborghini developed the Murciélago R-GT as a production racing car to compete in the FIA GT Championship, the Super GTChampionship and the American Le Mans Series in 2004. The car’s highest placing in any race that year was the opening round of the FIA GT Championship at Valencia, where the car entered by Reiter Engineering finished third from a fifth-place start. In 2006, during the opening round of the Super GT championship at Suzuka, a car run by the Japan Lamborghini Owners Club garnered the first victory (in class) by an R-GT. A GT3 version of the Gallardo has been developed by Reiter Engineering. A Murciélago R-GT entered by All-Inkl.com racing, driven by Christophe Bouchut and Stefan Mücke, won the opening round of the FIA GT Championship held at Zhuhai International Circuit, achieving the first major international race victory for Lamborghini.

Read more at Wikipedia

 

 


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