Typically, race cars – especially formula single-seaters – are designed and built for a specific series. Nobody knows that better than Dallara. The Italian motorsports engineering firm designed and fabricates the chassis for GP2, the World Series by Renault, practically the entire Formula 3 grid and the Indy Racing League, to say nothing of its occasional dabbling in Formula 1, sportscar and Grand Am racing. But now they've decided to shake things up a bit by building the Formulino.
Italian for "little formula", the idea behind the Formulino project is to give aspiring racing drivers a point of entry into the world of formula racing with a straightforward and affordable Dallara racer, similar to the ones they'd be driving in the big leagues, only smaller. Three different levels of Formulino spec are available – Base, Plus and Pro – each with different suspension and aero packages. The chassis is a carbon monocoque, outfitted with a Hewland FTR gearbox capable of handling a range of engine options up to 260 horsepower. Prices start at 38,500 euros (about $51,600 USD) for the Base model (not far off from the Formula Vee car we drove) and range up to 65k euros ($87k) for the full-on Pro model, a chassis that already approaches F3 spec. Follow the jump for the press release, and don't forget to check out the high-resolution images in the gallery below.