Dialma Zinelli wins the Aerodynamicist of 2008 award UPDATE Added photo of Dialma Zinelli below right.
11/26/08 In a ceremony at the Oxford Town Hall on Thursday night 20th November, Dialma Zinelli was awarded the prestigious World Motorsport Symposium award for Racecar Aerodynamicist of 2008, which has now been renamed the Dino Toso award in honor of the much loved Head of Aerodynamics of Renault F1, and winner of the inaugural award in 2005, who very sadly passed away earlier this year. This moment was heightened by the fact that it was awarded to Zinelli by Nathalie Toso the wife of the late Dino Toso.
Zinelli joined Dallara in after graduating from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1989 with a degree in aeronautical engineering and is now the Head of Aerodynamics in charge of a team of 45 engineers and technicians utilizing 2 on site wind tunnels, a CFD department, Rapid Prototyping and model shop. He has worked on Dallara’s in house projects for Formula One, IndyCar, Gp2. F3, World Series by Renault as well as consultancy programs for clients including Ferrari, Honda, Toyota, Audi, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and KTM.
The influence of Zinelli’s work has helped Dallara to win 10 IndyCar championships in the last 12 years, including 8 Indy 500’s since joining the series in 1997 and world-wide domination of the F3 market since 1993 plus numerous wins and championships in other categories.
"I am truly honored to have received the Dino Toso award from Nathalie Toso. I try and put the maximum possible effort in my work, I don't do this for fame but I am really grateful for the prize. If I am here today it is thanks to the company I work for that is for me like a family and particularly thanks to its foundering. Dallara who has also grown me professionally. It not only means everything to me but also to everyone at Dallara Automobili. Dino was an inspiration to us all and to have received an award in his memory is truly humbling.”
This year Zinelli along with Wind Tunnel manager Andrea Vecchi has over seen the completion and commissioning of a State of the Art new 60% scale wind tunnel facility which was officially opened on May 17th 2008. The new wind tunnel complex, which is located adjacent to the existing Dallara factory in Varano de Melegari is the result of considerable investment both human and financial over the past 2 years and is already working to capacity on some exciting new consultancy programs.
Such has been the growing demand for Dallara’s services in aerodynamic research that it was decided some 2 years ago that a new facility should be built to meet this requirement. The new tunnel is one of the finest and most exacting in the world and great care has been taken in its construction and specification to ensure that it delivers the highest quality of data.
The facility not only houses a tunnel, test section and control room but also has a two storey facilities block with 5 model shops, meeting rooms, 900sq.m of office space and amenities. It is a self contained working environment allowing Dallara to provide consultancy clients a secure and confidential space in which to organize their aerodynamic research.
Dallara’s CEO Mr. Andrea Pontremoli said “ Dallara is in an exciting phase of its development and is continuing to expand into the consultancy engineering sector. With new facilities like this wind tunnel it is our desire to become not only more competitive with our own cars but to be able to offer increased technical benefits to our clients.”
To also add to Zinelli’s work load he also over saw the development of Dallara’s new Daytona Prototype Grand Am car which debuted this year at Homestead Florida with a front row start and then went on to win it’s first race from pole position at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California in August.
The Grand Am project which was the focus of intensive R&D and aerodynamic studies came about because of the a strong desire for the company to be involved in an open, challenging series where constructors have technical freedom and an opportunity to demonstrate their competitiveness every weekend against rival constructors, something that is becoming rarer in this era of single make championships.