IRL, Indy 500: Chassis Engineer Dallara Receives Schwitzer Award
30 May 1999INDIANAPOLIS- Gian Paolo Dallara, president and owner of Dallara Automobili S.r.l., received the prestigious Louis Schwitzer Award on Friday for improvements to the Dallara chassis used in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League.
The Louis Schwitzer Award has been presented annually since 1967 to an individual or individuals who display innovation and engineering excellence in the field of race car design. The Indiana Section, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) presents the award, named in honor of automotive pioneer Louis Schwitzer.
Dallara, a native of Parma, Italy, earned a $5,000 cash award and an award plaque. His name also will be inscribed on the permanent trophy in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
"I am honored," Dallara said. "But I feel I have to split this award with the people who work with me in Italy and the United States. It would not be possible without their work."
The 1999 Dallara chassis includes notable engineering advances over previous models. Many aerodynamic improvements produced an estimated 5-percent reduction in drag. Other refinements to the front wing, side plates, rear-tire flips, side pods, engine inlet airbox and undertray created more aerodynamic efficiency.
Development also focused on the suspension, with a new optional spring arrangement for independent control of ride and roll stiffness.
"This award is very important because of the name of Louis Schwitzer and because it comes from SAE," Dallara said. "It's also important because it is from Indianapolis, home of the most important race in the world."
Dallara was appointed as the Italian representative to the technical committee of the FIA in September 1998. He has been a member of SAE for 35 years. Besides its Pep Boys Indy Racing League chassis, Dallara's company builds chassis for cars raced in Group C and GT sports car, Formula 1, Formula 3000 and Formula 3.
Borg-Warner Automotive, sponsor of the Borg-Warner Trophy presented to the Indianapolis 500 winner, sponsors the cash prize for winners of the Schwitzer Award. Borg-Warner recently purchased Indianapolis-based Schwitzer Group.