Dallara Magazine - page 6

Louis Schwitzer Award
«Well... Gianpaolo Dallara already won it
twice, in 1999 and 2003, for the IndyCar
Dallara project. For me it's the second
time too. The first one was in
collaboration with Bishop Engineering for
the development of a mechanical
steering box with variable ratio. This
season, I was appointed for the Dallara
driving Simulator we installed in our
Speedway headquarters, but it's clear
that I'm not the only deserving one for
that. Other people I want to point out
are Gianpaolo Dallara himself, because
he always supported my decisions with a
young man's enthusiasm, and Alessandro
Moroni, because many of the decision
taken started from his ideas. In addition
of them, all the engineers of the Dallara
Research and Development department: I
know some of them will deservedly win
this awards in just a few years. The roll
of honour is incredibly impressive and
includes A.J. Foyt (who showed up
unexpectedly at the launch of our
simulator), Mario Illien, John Barnard,
Parnelli Jones, Jim Hall and all the great
engineers that made the Indy 500 great.
I want to add that for me it's not good
when the fame of a prize is bigger than
the personal reputation of the winner. If
it was this way, the prize itself can be
instrumental in honouring an
undeserving person, should he be a
council member, a civil or political
official or again a sports or show
business personality. It must be the
exact opposite. It's the man that honours
the prize and the institution that awards
it, becoming a testimony and servant of
a very important heritage. You never win
alone and you never win by highlighting
your own qualities. The feeling I got
when I received the award was very
simple: I'm alone in this moment, how
can I share it? How can I emphasize
other people's great work? The Simulator
team are the winners now and, without
any doubt, the 10.000 dollars from Borg
Warner were divided among them. Of
course I was proud. But then I
remembered the inscription I noticed in
New York over the front door of banker
and financier John Pierpont Morgan:
“Soli Deo Honos et Gloria”. Every day,
when he came home, J.P. Morgan used
to meditate on vanity and on the limits
of human glory».
What did you say in your acceptance
«I remembered, with admiration and
respect, Louis Schwitzer, driver and
engineering, his style and merits. I'm
proud to be part of this group of greats
and I will try to renew, with my
behaviour, the memory and meaning of
what Schwitzer did for Indianapolis.
Then I added that I feel at home in
Indianapolis. I have been responsible for
the Dallara IndyCar program and, with
time, I developed a strong affection
towards the people I worked with, from
AJ Foyt to Mario Andretti, from Brian
Barnhart to Tony George and his family,
to the places and smells, from the
Memorial Day celebration to the sun
rising on Race Day. I called on stage all
the Dallara engineers that were with me
in that moment and I thought to al the
guys, many more than the ones that
were present, that were in Varano. As I
said before, I'm sure that some of them
will win the Schwitzer Award in the next
few years. The ideas they develop every
day are just fantastic, their human and
technical preparation fear no
confrontation with the students of the
most important universities of the globe.
I can just get credit for having found
them and called them to Dallara. I then
pointed out that it's always difficult for
the engineers to learn and build some
experience without making some damage
and fear is sometimes refraining the
enthusiasm. The simulator is a great way
to learn without making any damage. So
this way the enthusiasm stays intact and
the learning goes on quickly especially
when it's collective with an healthy and
challenging atmosphere. If this is true,
there couldn't be a better opportunity for
the Indianapolis community to proudly
rise the banner of American automotive
culture again after more than 100 years.
After getting stopped by the Great
Depression in 1929 and moving to
Detroit due to more favourable tax
conditions, the automotive culture will
be back to Indianapolis with more
passion, which is the catalyzer of new
hopes and a new American dreams. How
many engineers will become better
engineers if they will have the chance to
learn, train their mind and verify their
ideasi immediately? Last but not least,
given that what I said is really strong in
me, I proposed to the Schwitzer family's
heirs to dedicate the Simulator to the
memory of Louis Schwitzer. They
accepted immediately and we will shortly
be organizing a sober ceremony that will
culminate in a driving session with Louis
Schwitzer IV behind the wheel at Indy
like his grandfather!».
The motivations include the Dallara
Simulator in the USA, how was it
received? Who is working on it?
«As we said, the simulator will be the
“Louis Schwitzer Dallara Simulator” and
will be accessible not only by the drivers
and technicians of IndyCar, but also to
drivers and students from the local
Universities, to the local producers of
engines, gearboxes, dampers, electronics,
clutches and brakes. IndyCar and Dallara
are discussing in order to use the
Simulator to run part od the Rookie
Orientation Program for the drivers
trying ovals for the first time. The
owners of the racetracks and their
investors are interested in developing the
project and all the safety rules that still
do not exist. The medic staff following
the races would like to test the effects of
crashes and the physical and
psychological integrity of the injured
drivers and would like to use the
simulator as a test for drivers coming
from serious crashes in order to be
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