26 March 2013
Francisco Mota celebrates Lamborghini's milestone with a look at the only racing models produced in 1/43 scale. ...
Ferruccio never believed in motor sport, he considered it an “expensive adventure” and never allowed a racing department. But when Chrysler took hold of Lamborghini, it was decided to enter motor sport, and by the top end. In the end of 1987, F1 team Lola/Larrouse asked famous engineer Mauro Forghieri to design an F1 engine. He convinced Lamborghini to join him and a 3.5 V12 was produced and used in the 1989 F1 season.
The team didn't have enough money and the results weren’t good. But the Lamborghini V12 grew a reputation and Lotus also used it during 1990, with much better GP results, including a third place. Minichamps reproduced Lola/Larousse LC90 which Aguri Suzuki took to another third place, in the 1990 Japan GP. Minichamps did a replica of this, full of excellent details that are a joy to behold.
The year after, a Mexican investor convinced Lamborghini to design its own F1 chassis but, suddenly he disappeared. Some money was raised from local Italian investors and Modena F1 Team still ran the 1991 season. With decreasing interest from Chrysler, the project stopped at season’s end but V12s from Lamborghini kept being used by Larrouse and Minardi the next two years. Even McLaren tested it, by request of Ayrton Senna, but ended up choosing Peugeot.
On the GT side, in 1996 a single-make trophy was organised, but it was simply a way to sell more Diablos in SVR and GTR versions. Much later, Lamborghini had some Le Mans experience with a Murcielago and today it successfully runs Gallardos in GT3 class. Minichamps has a great looking example, as raced in 2007’s 24 hours of Nürburgring. It’s the only resin cast model in this collection and features all the minute detail visible in this racing version.
THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE MAY ISSUE OF DIECAST COLLECTOR, AVAILABLE TO BUY FROM 2ND APRIL. EITHER PICK YOUR COPY UP IN STORES OR ORDER ONLINE.