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Lanzante Motorsport

23x15px Lanzante Motorsport
Team principal(s) Paul Lanzante
Dean Lanzante
Former series BPR Global GT Series
British GT Championship
International Sports Racing Series
Britcar
Drivers'
Championships
1 (1996 British GT GT1)

Lanzante Limited is a British automotive company specializing in service and restoration of classic cars, while also participating in auto racing in both modern and historic guises under the Lanzante Motorsport title. Founded by Paul Lanzante in the 1970s, the company is now led by his son Dean Lanzante out of their workshops in Petersfield, Hampshire, England. Lanzante Motorsport won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans with a McLaren F1 GTR for McLaren Automotive, leading to Lanzante becoming a service center for road and race McLarens.[1]

Motorsport history

Following years of participation in historic motorsport, Lanzante moved to modern racing by entering the BPR Global GT Series in 1995 with a Porsche 911 Turbo competing in the GT3 category with drivers Paul Burdell, Wido Rössler, and Soames Langton. In the same year, the McLaren F1 GTR was debuting in BPR, as well as entering the 24 Hours of Le Mans. McLaren's developmental car was loaned to an entry backed by sponsors Kokusai Kaihatsu UK, while Lanzante was chosen to organize and run the team. Drivers for the effort were JJ Lehto, Masanori Sekiya, and Yannick Dalmas. Lanzante's McLaren was the fastest from the manufacturer in qualifying, and inherited the race lead after other McLarens suffered woes. The Kokusai Kaihatsu McLaren went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans by a one lap margin,[2] making the McLaren the first car and Lanzante the first team to win on debut at Le Mans. Following Lanzante's Le Mans victory, their McLaren was returned and the team remained with Porsche throughout the rest of 1995.

In 1996 Lanzante purchased their own McLaren GTR for use in the British GT Championship, as well as a Porsche 911 GT2 for BPR. The Porsche was also entered for Le Mans, but an invitation to partake in the race was not granted.[3] Langton and Burdell remained in the Porsche, joined by Stanley Dickens and earned several podiums over the season, but Soames Langton suffered life-threatening injuries at the Nogaro round when the Lanzante Porsche crashed. In British GT the team's McLaren was driven by Ian Flux and James Ulrich, and won a race at Donington Park. Although Flux and Ulrich lost the overall championship title to the drivers from Marcos, they did secure the title in the GT1 category.

Lanzante did not return to modern motorsport again until 2003 when the company developed a Lotus Elise for British GT, with Dean Lanzante taking over driving duties. The Elise was later developed for the Britcar series, with Formula 1 designer Adrian Newey sharing driving duties.

References

  1. ^ "McLaren F1 - The Specialist: Dean Lanzante". classicandperformancecar.com. Octane. October 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  2. ^ "McLaren F1 - Le Mans authority: Brian Laban". classicandperformancecar.com. Octane. October 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  3. ^ "Motor racing Lanzante Motorsport have had entry refused for this year's Le Mans". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 1996-03-22. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 

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