Autosport (UK)

Great car: Dal­lara T12

The fi­nal gen­er­a­tion of For­mula Re­nault 3.5 is ar­guably the great­est rac­ing car in the his­tory of ju­nior mo­tor­sport. Mar­cus Sim­mons talks to Fortec team boss Jamie Dye

- Sports · Cars · Dallara · Renault Co · Austria · Iceland · Damian Wayne · Fortec Motorsport · Robin Frijns · Oliver Rowland

The Dal­lara T12 was the third gen­er­a­tion of For­mula Re­nault 3.5 racer, in­tro­duced in 2012 and con­tin­u­ing un­til the cat­e­gory’s demise at the end of last year. Pow­ered by a Gib­son-built en­gine, it fea­tured enhanced aero that some of its young drivers rated as bet­ter than the For­mula 1 cars they were test­ing. The chas­sis here is the one run by Fortec Mo­tor­sport and raced by Al­fonso Celis to third po­si­tion in the 2017 stand­ings, and has an il­lus­tri­ous his­tory that makes it the most suc­cess­ful FR3.5 racer in the se­ries’ 13-year his­tory. Driven to the ti­tle by Robin Fri­jns when new in 2012, it also passed through the hands of Stof­fel Van­doorne (run­ner-up in ’13), Oliver Row­land (fourth in ’14 and cham­pion in ’15) and Louis Dele­traz (run­ner-up in ’16), notch­ing up 20 race wins.

“Ev­ery­one wanted that pack­age, that engi­neer and that car, and who­ever signed up first got it,” laughs Fortec man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jamie Dye. “But there was noth­ing wrong with our other car. The car gave an equal plat­form for all the teams, and to a cer­tain de­gree a driver could win with any team. Hav­ing the man­u­fac­turer sup­port from Re­nault was re­ally good, and los­ing that was the key to it fall­ing on its bum.”

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