Lot Number
255
language

2001 Dallara SP1 Le Mans Prototype

Sold For $297,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 15 - 16 AUGUST 2014


Chassis No.
DO-004
  • Two 5th overall finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Recently restored and only three hours of use since
  • Presented in stunning 2004 Le Mans livery

700+ bhp, 4.0-liter 40-valve DOHC V-10 engine, six-speed sequential transmission, carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque, four-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension, and four-wheel hydraulically operated carbon disc brakes. Wheelbase: 110.2 in.

For the 2001 racing season, Dallara designed a whole new car to compete in the LMP900 class, as an alternative to factory-backed machines. During the design process, Chrysler approached Dallara and struck an agreement, which stated that Chrysler would use the new SP1 prototype as a platform to return to Le Mans with the sole intention of winning. The first three cars produced were originally fitted with 6.0-liter Mopar V-8 engines. Oreca was chosen to run the cars, hence the “DO” chassis designation, for Dallara-Oreca.

After just one season, Chrysler pulled out, deciding that the project was no longer fruitful. Left hanging, Oreca team owner, Hugues de Chaunac, decided to continue on with the project as a privateer. The team set up an exclusive development program with English engine builder Judd, replacing the Mopar V-8 with a 4.0-liter Judd GV4 V-10 powerplant.

During the 2002 season, chassis DO-004 was used for the Le Mans test and race event, where the team qualified 7th, with Olivier Beretta, Pedro Lamy, and Eric Comas at the wheel. After completing 359 laps of Le Sarthe at an average speed of 203.967 km/h, the car finished an impressive 5th overall and 1st for privateers, behind the three thunderous Audis and single Bentley factory Works entries.

The car was not used for the remainder of the season and sat dormant for all of 2003. In early 2004, chassis DO-004 was sold to Martin Short, the owner and manager of Rollcentre Racing in the UK. The team entered three events that year, Sebring in March, the Monza 1000 KM in May, and Le Mans in June. The team also used this chassis during the Le Mans test in April.

The opening race in Sebring was a great success, as the car qualified 6th and went on to finish 5th overall after a storming drive. Following Sebring, the car ran at the Le Mans test, where the team set a credible 11th fastest time. Drivers Martin Short, Joao Barbosa, and Rob Barff were all pleased with the car and looked forward to returning in June with a strong performance. Monza was the setting for another fantastic weekend for DO-004, and after 168 laps, the team recorded another excellent 5th overall finish.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans was the final race for the car in 2004, and the weekend started well, with the team setting once again the 11th fastest time in practice. During qualifying, the team managed to gain more ground and qualified 9th on the grid. The Dallara fared well during the opening stages and quickly progressed up the field. By the second hour, it was running in 5th place overall, gaining another place during the sixth hour. The car then ran without issue until 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, when Martin Short was forced to retire with a suspension issue.

As part of an agreement with Nissan Motorsports, Rollcentre changed the engine from a Judd to a Nissan VQ V-6 that was based on a JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Championship) for the 2005 season. Another change made for the 2005 season was the fitment of a paddle-shift gear selection system The car entered six events that year, Sebring, Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, Nürburgring, and the Istanbul 1000 KM. The change of engine turned out to not be as fruitful as the team had hoped, and a 15th place finish at the final event at Istanbul was the highlight of a tough season.

The car has since received a complete restoration, where it was returned to the stunning livery it featured at the 2004 running of Le Mans. It has also been refitted with a 4.0-liter Judd GV V-10 engine. As this car has only been used for three hours since it was rebuilt, it presents a very rare opportunity to purchase a true Le Mans racer that is in excellent condition and has an extensive racing history.



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