Page 15 - Dallara Magazine

I am not seduced by the knowledge of
the learned, nor do I fear the power of
the great, truth and justice dominate
my will”: these are the words of Father
Eugenio Barsanti, a Piarist monk born
in Pietrsanta in 1821, and co-inventor
of the internal combustion engine
together with the engineer from Lucca,
Felice Matteucci.
In order to honour them, the beautiful
town of Pietrasanta, with its rich artistic
and historical heritage (the great
Michelangelo spent time here and today
it is one of Fernando Botero’s favourite
residences) founded the “International
Barsanti and Matteucci Award”, which
in this, its XIII edition, was presented to
Engineer Gian Paolo Dallara.
The purpose of the award, which is one
of the most important annual events in
Pietrasanta, is recognise contributions
to continued research into, and
improvement of, motor vehicles, both at
national and international level, and its
past recipients include such illustrious
figures as: Cav. (Sir) Giorgetto Giugiaro
President of Italdesign Giugiaro), Prof.
Gerhard Ertl (Nobel Prize for Chemistry),
Engineer Massimo Lucchesini (General
Manager Alenia Aermacchi) and
Commander Maurizio Cheli (Astronaut
and Chief Test Pilot on EF2000) etc.
The award ceremony, which was co-
hosted by the Viareggio Versilia Rotary
Club, who inaugurated the Award, is
sponsored by the seven local councils of
the Versilia area, the Province of Lucca
and the Tuscan Regional government, as
well as enjoying the support of the
President of the Republic.
Gian Paolo Dallara was presented with
the award by the rotarian Piero
Maremmani, on 27th October in
Pietrasanta Theatre. The event was
attended Engineer Stefano Iacoponi, ex
President of the FIAT Research Centre
and member of the Award scientific
committee, Domenico Lombardi, the
mayor of Pietrasanta, Francesco Gaspa,
the new president of the Award
committee, and Fabrizio Papi, President
of the Viareggio Versilia Rotary Club.
Engineer Dallara was also presented
with the President of the Republic’s
bronze medal as an example of Italian
ingenuity capable of “conquering” the
world. Gian Paolo Dallara was clearly
moved by the recognition he received:
when Engineer Iacopini told me about
the award – he revealed – I felt that,
after this, anything else would have
been superfluous”.
The ceremony concluded with an
informal interview with the sports
journalist, Guido Schittone, who
retraced the various phases of the
Engineer’s life, from the early days at
Ferrari and the foundation of his own
company, right up to the present day,
and such current themes as reducing
pollution and the role played in this
process by new forms of energy and the
aerodynamic efficiency of the cars.
Dallara offered a message of hope and
optimism: “My company’s growth has
been a gradual process, and has always
been fuelled enthusiasm and a drive
towards the future, which is why we
continue to invest in young people, who
I believe are extremely well-prepared
for, and positive about the future.”
But there’s also a private side to
Engineer Dallara, who likes nothing
better than game of cards with his old
friends in his local bar of an evening,
and who is a passionate fan of Parma
Football Club: “I took my wife to a
game once - he said - but she was so
embarrassed when I suddenly turned
into a fanatical football supporter that
she vowed never to come again. To be
honest I’m quite a mild man, but when
I’m at the ground my passion takes
over, fortunately it’s something I share
with my daughter!”
The interview was followed by a
selection of classical music by Verdi and
Puccini, including a very special guest
in the person of the Tuscan tenor,
Andrea Bocelli.
In addition, four famous Dallara cars
were put on display in the Pietrasanta
town square for three days: the Formula
that Guido Pardini drove to Dallara’s
first Italian championship win in 1980,
the 2008 Team BVM Formula 3 model,
the Italian team’s 1988 Formula 1 car,
and the most successful IndyCar in the
history of Indy racing, with seven
Indianapolis 500 victories, which was
first produced in 2003 and used by the
teams until 2011.
Also in Pietrasanta, a public exhibition
entitled “Gian Paolo Dallara: from
Varano to Indianapolis” was on display
in the central Palazzo Panichi facing the
Piazza Duomo, from 27th October until
th November, and attracted around
visitors. The exhibition was
divided into four rooms: the first
dedicated to the life of Gian Paolo
Dallara, the Dallara company and the
successes achieved over 40 years of
history; the second was dedicated to
innovation, concentrating on the
simulator and aerodynamics; the third
room was dedicated to design, research
and development, and collaboration
with the automotive sector; while the
last was dedicated to composite
materials, safety design (structural
analysis and crash tests) and
In addition to the display panels, the
rooms also featured video content
illustrating the techniques used to
process composite materials, the driving
simulator, the wind tunnel and the
A charming initiative, in an evocative
Italian cultural and historical setting,
that did a great deal to promote the
passion and technical excellence that
are a by-word at Dallara and bring them
to a wider audience.
Alessandro Santini
Dallara with the tenor Andrea Bocelli