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Old 28th September 2004, 17:26   #1
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One of the three above mentioned companies has a car on every kid's top three car list. Sounds strange but true. But then again, those cars wouldn't have been there if their performance didn't defy all laws of physics, sanity and drool factors

While the engineers, designers and management execs do the tough job of deciding the car, its nature, its balance etc, a one-man show occurs at an other end where an individual drives the cars to the limit of perfection. These guys are the chassis developers, the suspension developers, ride and handling developers and engine feedback developers all roled into one. *The Chief Test Driver

Dario Benuzzi is one of the best known primarily because he drives for Ferrari, every 9 out of 10 kids dream car company to work with. But he is pretty much of a recluse, barely ever in the limelight. He quietly lets his driving do the talk. Like right here:
http://img70.exs.cx/img70/57/Ferrari-DarioBenuzzi.jpg

A video of the man in action*on this u

Dario Benuzzi drives a 360 CS

Valentino Balboni and his drive with JC has already become very famous. If you do remember, he took him out twice, once in a Lambo SE30 ( if i am right) and the Murcielago in JCs 4 series videos. Very cool and calm in his approach, he has a very pleasing sense of humour. And to top it all, he is the kind of guy who you will find driving down the roads of Italy like any other normal guy. What is not normal though is he's been found driving Murcis up and down the Pagani factory. Proving a point Mr. Balboni?

Here's the man in conversation with people and cars:




(Pssst... Mr. Balboni caught in a Murci right outside the Pagani factory)
A video of the man in action . URL:
Valentino taking JC out in a Murci

Walter Rohrl. Nurburgring. Bliss. As Ported would go on and on about him, i'll reserve it for him to elaborate on the guy. Meanwhile the man in a Cayenne and his book





Sorry no vid of the man in action available. I hope Ported can help with this.

Revv



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Old 28th September 2004, 18:17   #2
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Awesome stuff Revv!! And that Lambo guy sure has a strange sense of humour. I have seen a lot of Dario but rarely seen him open his mouth. And the Porsche guy...thats news to me.

Imagine doing all of this...and getting paid for it.

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Old 28th September 2004, 20:31   #3
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Valentino Balboni is awesome!!!!!
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Old 28th September 2004, 21:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GTO @ Sep. 28 2004,16:47)]And the Porsche guy...thats news to me.
Walter Rohrl or WR is one of the foremost drivers in the world of rallying. During the 1980s he drove an Audi Quattro and did quite well on the WRC circuit. What's more, he even drove the quattro to Pikes Peak and won it!

Into the 90s and he joined Porsche. His presence has led to the development of the 996 range and the new philosophy of terrific grip levels. The Cayenne and Carrera GT also carry his expertise which have ended up becoming the benchmarks in their respective segments. How does a 7:28 by the man in a Carrera GT on the nurburgring sound to you? Fast indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Imagine doing all of this...and getting paid for it.
You bet pal! Driving around Modena or Maranello or Sant Agata or the ring in a sports car all day long can be momentous to say the least, but as a job... wow!

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Old 28th September 2004, 21:17   #5
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Another guy to watch out in this scene is Gavan Kershaw, the ride and handling expert at Lotus. Everyone, from the people at CAR magazine, to Top Gear and even Hormazd Sorabjee hold this man in awe!



His video in action can be found here

JC and Gavan in a Lotus Elise

Also he takes part in the British round of the Lotus championships

Lotus championships

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Old 28th September 2004, 21:45   #6
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Balboni rocks........and these cars are stupendously fast paced.
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Old 6th April 2009, 17:59   #7
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Add Loris Bicocchi to this list ... below article from Autoblog.

Test driver Loris Bicocchi establishes driving school at Nardo
[left]Test driver Loris Bicocchi establishes driving school at Nardo

by Noah Joseph on Apr 2nd 2009 at 8:58AM


Established supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini have their own test drivers on permanent retainer, and have legions more on call should the need arise. But who does an upstart exotic automaker call when it needs to set up its new machinery? Loris Bicocchi. He's largely responsible for the dynamic performance on such exotica as the Koenigsegg, Pagani Zonda and Bugatti EB110 and Veyron. He's been doing it for decades, but now that he's turning 50, Bicocchi has come to the realization that he can't do it all himself forever, so he's opening up his own high-performance driving school targeted specifically at training the factory test drivers of tomorrow.

The advanced driving school is being established at the Nardo test track in Italy, and encompasses a three-day program, from theory to behind-the-wheel tutelage. Participants in the program stand to benefit from Bicocchi's vast experience, but also his unique perspective. According to the veteran hot shoe, the test driver should be involved with the development of a performance automobile right from the drawing board up to final set-up. Who are we to disagree? Visit LORIS BICOCCHI | SUPERCAR ENGINEER, INSTRUCTEURS DE PILOTAGE, METTEUR AU POINT | Cours de Conduite, Cours de Pilotage, Cours metter au point, Corsi guida, Corsi pilotaggio, Corsi collaudatore for more info.

[Source: Drivers Republic]

Legendary test driver Loris Bicocchi opens Academy for budding test drivers




Legendary test driver Loris Bicocchi opens Academy
31 March 2009
RATE:

'Mr Supercar' Loris Bicocchi - the man responsible for the chassis set-up on cars like the Bugatti EB110 and Veyron, Koenigsegg CC series and Pagani Zonda - is starting a Test Driver Academy.
It appears that Loris has been reflecting on his remarkable career and perhaps this test course will allow him to discover and pass the torch to a new test driver: 'I have now reached 50, an important age. An age where one is supposed to reflect on one’s life... I must confess that I have not done this; truth be told, I have spent my life in top gear.'

While Loris says that it’s unrealistic to pass on his three decades of experience on a the concentrated three-day course, he hopes that his Academy will provide drivers with a solid platform on which to build their test driving careers.

Bicocchi believes in far more involvement from the test driver than one might expect: 'I believe that a real Test Driver is involved from Day 1, from the first sketches on the drawing board, someone who is physically involved in building prototypes, who makes suggestions throughout the building process, who is there when the engine is turned over for the first time.'

This attitude is reflected in the course elements, which is run at the Nardo test facility in Italy: Day one is spent in the classroom discussing how a new car is planned. It covers tyres, chassis, suspension, engine and gearbox, the set-up process and a theory lesson on test-driving methods. This is followed by a brief sortie on the track, which Loris describes as the 'first contact with the cars on the dynamic platform and ramp handling operations with the target of becoming familiar with the steering wheel, pedals, gearbox, brakes and the track.'

Day two is spent entirely on the track learning how to evaluate the car’s behaviour in relation to the set-up of camber, toe, springs, dampers, anti-roll bars, tyre pressures and so on.

If you’re interested (which you almost certainly are) you can get prices and dates from Loris via his email: academy@lorisbicocchi.com



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Last edited by Rehaan : 7th April 2009 at 11:37. Reason: Please see note in post.
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