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Name: Modena Team

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"Lamborghini Engineering entered Formula 1 in 1989 with a V12 engine designed by Mauro Forghieri. This was supplied to the Larrousse team. The following year as the engine became more competitive the company decided that it wanted to have it own chassis as well. A project was initiated with a Mexican businessman Fernando Gonzalez raising the money for what was to be called the GLAS team. The car, designed by Forghieri and Mario Tolentino began testing in the summer of 1990 but there was a setback when Gonzalez disappeared with $20m. The project was taken over by Carlo Patrucco, a former head of the Fila clothing company.

 

Initial testing of a prototype car was carried out by Mauro Baldi but the team then signed up Nicola Larini and Eric van de Poele with Marco Apicella nominated as the team's test driver.

 

The team was headed by former Minardi team manager Jaime Manca Graziedei with Tolentino and former Grand Prix driver Dave Morgan engineering the two Lamborghini 291 chassis. Some backing was found but the project remained underfunded and struggled to pre-qualify. Larini finished seventh in the opening race in Phoenix. In San Marino van de Poele made his only start for the team and was running fourth until his car failed in the closing laps.

 

Lack of money meant that the promising project closed down at the end of the year and Lamborghini returned to the role of engine supplier.

 

GRAND PRIX ENGINES: LAMBORGHINI ENGINEERING SPA

 

 

Name: Lamborghini Engineering SpA

 

In 1987 Lamborghini was bought by the Chrysler Corporation as part of its international expansion plans. Chrysler President Lee Iacocca decided that the Italian firm should enter Formula 1. Former Ferrari team manager Daniele Audetto was hired to run a new company called Lamborghini Engineering in Bologna and Mauro Forghieri was appointed technical director to oversee the design and construction of a V12 Formula 1 engine for the new 3.5-liter Formula 1 regulations in 1989.

 

Early in 1988 Lamborghini Engineering announced that it would supply the engines to the Larrousse-Calmels team. The 1989 season was not an easy one but there was a gradual improvement and Philippe Alliot scored a point in Spain in October, soon after Team Lotus did a deal to use the engines in 1990.

 

At the same time Lamborghini agreed a deal to supply an engine and chassis to Mexican businessman Fernando Gonzalez Luna in 1991. A few months later, as the car was nearing completion, Luna disappeared with the money. The project was sold to industrialist Carlo Patrucco and became known as the Modena Team.

 

The 1990 season with Larrousse and Lotus was promising with Larrousse's Eric Bernard and Aguri Suzuki picking up points throughout the year, Suzuki gave Lamborghini its first podium finish in Japan and the team finished sixth in the World Championship. Lotus scored only three points.

 

The Ligier team took over Larrousse's supply in 1991 and Modena Team replaced Lotus but neither team scored points although Eric van de Poele was running fourth at Imola when his car broke. For a short period Forghieri was technical director of Modena Team but then returned to Lamborghini Engineering to work on the development of a 60-valve version of the engine.

 

With Ligier switching to Renault engines in 1992 and Modena Team closing down, Lamborghini supplied Larrousse and Minardi in 1992. That year a new management took over Chrysler and, with Lamborghini reducing its production, it could not longer afford to fund the F1 program. Chrysler chairman Bob Eaton decided that the engines would be rebadged Chrysler and that the firm would mount a bigger F1 attack in 1994. In the course of 1993 - with only Larrousse still running the engines - Eaton had talks with McLaren's Ron Dennis and McLaren built a test car for Chrysler. In the autumn Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen both tested a white McLaren-Lamborghini test car but at the last minute, however, Dennis decided to enter into McLaren's ill-fated alliance with Peugeot which left Chrysler with no choice but to pull out of F1 as Larrousse had run out of money and could no longer afford the engines.

 

In November 1993 Chrysler sold Lamborghini to an Indonesian Group called Megatech. The Formula 1 program was canceled."

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