The Lavaggi mystery – my opinion


© Planetlemans – Marcel ten Caat // The Lavaggi last year at Spa

It was quite surprising not to see the Lavaggi LS1 in the official 50-car LMS entry list a few days ago. Planetlemans had an extensive interview last year with the Italian engineer/constructor/driver where he described his engine woes and the strength of his chassis. Given the nature of this project we had certainly expected the LS1 to be on the LMS grid in 2008, not to find it among the chosen ones was a suprise but… had Lavaggi applied for an entry to begin with?

Unable to get in contact with Lavaggi or the team we had to resort to our vast contact network and we found out that indeed, an application had been sent by the Monaco-based team to the LMS organization before the closing date for a season entry. This aspect clarified, we immediately started thinking of a potential reason for rejection: “easy: the engine” was our logical deduction.

A few phone calls later and still unable to get Lavaggi on the line we did however find out that the disastrous Ford block was no more and instead an AER would be on the back of the LS1 in 2008. So, why a Lavaggi-AER with a complete, timely submitted form does not make it to the seasonal LMS grid?

In all honesty I still cannot answer that question. I am aware (and satisfied) of budget, quantity and quality of the entrants in the LMS but an effort like Lavaggi is also certainly worth a chance to prove itself? True, Audi and Porsche are now in the list but haven’t we seen cars like the T2M Dome or the Noel del Bello Courage granted LMS (and even Le Mans!!) entries with performances way below par? The series is growing but a car that has shown solid pace (Spa 2007) is rejected while a few others have not even put one mile on a track?

You could say I am a romantic, stuck in the old times with the constructor-driver legend; I think my reasoning is pragmatic. With the new engine, the LS1 deserves a chance: Why not invite Lavaggi to Paul Ricard and measure the car’s pace for example? Make a judgement call only after that and not before. Like we say in South America “you know the horse on the track”, and this one should be given the chance to prove its worth.

To be continued (when we find Giovanni…)

16 Comments on The Lavaggi mystery – my opinion

  1. Well it’s no really the prettiest car in the grid is it? I mean that picture doesn’t do any favours in my mind.

    Swiss Spirit should have got an entry for sure. Lavaggi? Hmm, i’m not sure. Didn’t Giovanni say that it was the Le Mans Series or just the Le Mans race this year because of the lack of budget?

    The Le Mans race, it is fair to say, is more important to a team, so i think Lavaggi may be focusing it’s efforts on the 24 hours.

  2. I agree with James in saying that the Lavaggi tema is more than likely focusing solely on the 24. So they don’t have the budget to do a championship, big deal I say. Look, with the way the rules are being set up in Le mans/ Le Mans based series’, big time manufacturers go in P1 und GT1, privateers being forced to P2 und GT2, mostly due to financing. There is just no way most of these teams are gonna keep up with Peugeot, Audi, Porsche etc. Face it mates: it’s a new day, the old way of racing is pretty near dead, or at least irrelevant. The only place we will be seeing factory teams and privateer teams racing side by side is at the Daytona 24. And it’s been like this for years, just wake up and smell the coffee.

    I would love for someone to prove me wrong, and Gabriel you just may be the man to do it, because believe me, nothing is better than the underdog(privateers) beating the top dogs(factory teams). Will for sure be a grand racing year in 08, 1000 KM of Shanghai is the race I’m looking forward to becoming the next big thing in sports car racing.

  3. As far as I know (and my sources are very good) Lavaggi is NOT going for the 24, just the LMS. As soon as I am able to catch Giovanni I’ll confirm this in his own words. To be continued…

  4. I am really sorry for Giovanni and I can imagine what is going on now for him – it is a nightmare. To face it fair -and I think he would agree to that. The performance last year was not what the ACO/LMS is looking for, but which privateer is able to be #1 in his first year? I personaly thought that the organisers are always looking for a good mixture. So my opinion I can not understand why 4 same cars by a Le Mans manufacturer are accepted and also 2 spanish cars where nobody had ever seen them. I know it would be a big financial input again. But if I would be him I would make the car ready – with the AER and be ready for race by race entry due the experience showed that we never had the 50 cars on the grid at the same event. I think there are some cars which won t be ready for Barcelona and Monza as well. I wish him all the best!

  5. Sorry Kai, but if you haven’t see the Epsilon Euskadi, it’s because your not paying attention to the news. Very simple for me… take the GT’s out, i know that i probably am one of very few that thinks like that, but with such reborn interest in sportscars (prototypes) that his no more need for a at least 2 GT Classes… 1 would be more that enough…

    Priority should be the accepting all full season entries for the 2 LMP classes, and then, if space is available, put some good GTs (one class only) to close the list.

  6. Well, so far the only things we’ve seen from the Epsilon cars are the computer renders and the mock-up cockpit.

    They have not been out on the track yet…

  7. Hi Hugo, I stay on my opinion about the spanish cars but totaly agree with your prototype priority. My biggest concern is that the series don t run to a higher financial level due to factory imput. I want to make sure that I am happy to have all this cars in the field (incl Audi and Peugot and Porsche in LMP2) but we must be very carfull on the balance of cars, drivers, etc… Because as the past showed (next to Audi) factorys came and after the won or not (Toyota) they leave again.. But right now I fell happy with the balance and the decision by ACO/LMS next to maybe 1 or 2 decisions. But as always you can t satisfy everybody…

  8. Well at Mulsanne´s Corner we can have a nice view about the Epsilon Project development:

    Wind Tunnel Pic:


    About Lavaggi: you know many people hasn´t been invited (Dome, Lavaggi) or are just died projects ( Racing For Holland, Arena, Swiss Spirit, Pierre Bruneau, Noel Del Bello, Binnie Motorsport, T2M Motorsport), the Lavaggi project is xtremely rare, as many of those above, they lack of funds, sure the car would be great to see racing but they had lots of opportunities and made wrong decisions…

    They can still survive…ALMS, Asian Lemans Series…and even get a LM Invitation…as some others in their level had recently been (AutoCon Motorsports).

    So…if you want to deliver…you better try harder.

  9. I agree completely with what you said, buton’t be so hard with Euskadi… according to a Spanish newspaper ( they will do the shakedown in the end of February. C’mon… its another coupe, give the a chance! ;)

    If only Charouz had come with two Lola Aston… oh god!

  10. Well, if the number of entries per race cannot be exceed, why not just make some pre-qualifications alike in F1’s old 80’s days? That would allow anyone to try is best, show is efforts and prove is capacity. As Gabriel would say, let all horses show themselves on track… and not in the forms!
    Anyway, is a very strange silence…

  11. Hi, I think Lavaggi knows what he needs to do, but when you make on wrong choice than all cn go wrong. Nobody of us knows the internal background of every team, so we should be carfull on that due it is unserious. The only thing I know is that I (and I can be wrong) saw no Epsilon right now. I have no doubt that they will, but I will have big doubt that we will see 2 at Barcelona. I am open on a bet for this… ;-)
    It is a tough buisness no doubt and everybody who wants to go for that knows that. But special this case with Lavaggi is sad. And I hope he will go harder.

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