Dario Franchitti, Scottish four-time IndyCar champion, visited the Automobili Lamborghini headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. After meeting Chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali, he tested the Aventador S Roadster and the Huracán Performante Spyder, and had a chat with Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Motorsport. Here’s what they talked about.
Giorgio Sanna: Dario, how was the Aventador?
Dario Franchitti: The Aventador was fantastic. The sound of the V12 has special high revs, it’s incredible, and the noise was great. For such a big car, the steering was very light and precise, I loved that part of it, which was a big surprise. I was driving along and I could have just kept driving all the way to London!
GS: The Aventador is always the best in class in terms of performance, and offers design and comfort at the same time. And then you took the Huracán for a spin…
DF: I did, and I was shocked! It’s a convertible and yet has an incredibly responsive chassis. And the gearbox… Simply great.
GS: The Huracán is more agile and easier to drive. It’s the state of the art in terms of handling. This kind of car was developed to achieve the best weight-to-power ratio and performance in terms of lap time on the track.
DF: I think you’ve managed it very well! You know, it was a really nice experience to drive both cars and to drive on the roads around here. I had never been here before. My whole life I have read about this area and Lamborghini, and I have always wanted to come and visit.
GS: Do you have a favorite Lamborghini road car? I know you drove a Diablo some years back…
DF: I did, it was amazing! In terms of favorite road car, I think… the Countach 5000 QV with low draft carburetors. That car is such a compromise.
GS: If you just think that it was a car created in the Eighties, it’s something unique. Like an Aventador today.
DF: Yes. But also the Miura. I mean, just look at it. My friend Giampaolo Dallara was involved in the engineering, so I also feel a connection with it. It’s a work of art!
GS: Back to the present, we have developed the Huracán GT3, starting from the first version of the road car. We also won Daytona this year.
DF: Of course, I was at Daytona to watch, it was very impressive! The aero in this car is incredible.
GS: Yes, it is. On some tracks, GT3 racing looks very similar to Formula 3, where the aerodynamic balance is so close. And it’s sometimes not easy to overtake, you need to be very precise. So it means that the aerodynamic influence is even stronger. You can also adjust ABS in 12 positions between dry and wet and it’s the same also for the traction control.
Speaking of racing, you basically won everything you could win in the US. How did your career begin?
DF: I started with karting, then Formula Vauxhall Junior, Formula Vauxhall, Formula 3, and then I went to DTM. I raced there for two years and then I had the choice of doing the GT championship in the late 90s or going to America. So I went to America, I did IndyCar and never really came back. It was really good fun. But it’s equally amazing to see this racing car here (the Huracán GT3, editor’s note).
GS: Whenever you want to test the car, the doors are open.