BMS Scuderia Italia
”We have no secrets”

dailysportscar.comHaving achieved an almost unprecedented level of success in the FIA GT Championship, BMS Scuderia Italia has moved across to the LMES for 2005 – and the results keep on coming. Le Mans was a difficult week for the team though. Team Manager Tiziano Minuti (right), with translation, where necessary, by Team Coordinator Marco Streparava, was kind enough to find half an hour or so at Monza, to explain how this fascinating team works – and where they will be heading in the future.

The Team
“Yes, I am the Team Manager,” explained Tiziano Minuti. “Above me I have only the owner of the team, Giuseppe Lucchini.”

So please explain how this team functions Tiziano, and how you have managed to be so successful.

“We have a ‘recipe’ – which includes a very good feeling within the team. We have tranquillity among ourselves. We never, or very rarely, have big differences (of opinion) between ourselves: we are old friends, and we behave like a family.”

“It is very important that everyone in the team is aiming in the same direction,” adds Marco Streparava. “We have a very young team here, and we are investing in young people.

“Tiziano is the most experienced man in the team, while Technical Director Marco Gadola, is actually a professor of engineering, at Brescia University. Through Gadola, we can start to work with young engineers, people with great potential.”

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“This gives us an advantage,” continues Tiziano Minuti, “because we can try out young engineers for between a month and three months, and if they are good enough, we have new, young talent to work for us.

dailysportscar.com“The character of the people who work for us is important,” explains Marco Streparava (left). “You have to be flexible to work as part of a racing team, you have to discuss things. Tiziano and I sometimes disagree, but it is soon forgotten.

“This is a stressful world – sometimes we have to shout at each other!”

Ah, there’s still a real Italian flavour about this team then.

“Yes, but Tiziano and I are the Italian side! The engineers are much calmer than we are! They’re perhaps more English. Marco Gadola, in charge of the engineers, is the most ‘English’ person in the team, so he sets the standard for the younger engineers working for him.”

Of course we normally only see a race team at work at the track, “but 70% of our success is because of the preparation and work we do at the factory,” adds Tiziano Minuti. “And we have no secrets here.”

The LMES
So why is the team racing in the LMES this year, Tiziano?

dailysportscar.com“The decision was the result of meetings between Guiseppe Lucchini, Marco Gadola and myself,” explains the Team Manager.

“We had several motives for choosing to race in the LMES.

“The first was the arrival of the Maseratis in the FIA GT Championship. We saw what Maserati could do in the last three rounds of the FIA Championship last year, and really we were not sure of the Maseratis’ potential this year. We knew that the cars would race with professional drivers, but a private team like BMS cannot use just professional drivers. We have to find a balance between fast drivers and drivers with budgets.

“So it would be impossible to race with the same opportunity as the Maseratis. But in the LMES, here we have the chance to prove the reliability and strength of the Prodrive-built Ferrari 550s.

“We wanted to stay with the Care Racing cars because we have a very good relationship with Frederic Dor, and we believed that we could profit by extending the relationship.

“But I have to admit that we explored the possibility of finding a deal with Maserati, but we couldn’t come to an agreement.

“It’s not easy racing in the LMES. It’s tough, the other Ferrari 550s have very good drivers, such as Enge for MenX and Bouchut for Russian Age. But we have very good drivers too – for example Pescatori and Gollin. And we have the younger drivers alongside them. It isn’t easy to take on the other teams, especially the ones also racing Ferraris, and right now, we don’t yet know the full potential of the Pirelli tyres."

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Relationship with Pirelli
”We are the official team partner of Pirelli, and we are the official test team for Pirelli, both this year and next year,” continues Tiziano Minuti. “As you know, we will race two Aston Martins next year, and so we will race on Pirelli tyres – because Pirelli and ourselves have the same goals.

“We both want to remain at the highest level, at the maximum. Pirelli is a very professional and dedicated company, and together we will operate at the top level.

“Although we had a very good relationship with Michelin, we were only ever customers.”

Aston Martin
”For the next three years, we will be the works team in the FIA GT Championship, running the two Aston Martins, on Pirelli tyres.”

FIA GT 2006
So why is BMS Scuderia Italia switching back to the FIA Championship next year, Tiziano?

“First of all, Aston Martin Racing believes that the FIA is the most visible championship. They were looking for a professional team to race their cars.

“Pirelli is convinced that the FIA GT is very important. Therefore all Pirelli’s efforts will be concentrated on BMS, to develop the tyres for that championship next year.

“For us, a victory for an Aston Martin running on Pirelli tyres is more important than a victory on Michelins.

“Of course, (it helps that) the fundamental differences between an Aston Martin DBR9 and a Ferrari 550 are not so great: they are both front-engined, with a transmission at the back, so this year we can say that we are developing tyres for a front-engined GT car (in readiness for next year).”

Le Mans
BMS returned to Le Mans this year, but it wasn’t a memorable race for the team. One car crashed out of the race at around 10pm between Mulsanne Corner and Indianapolis after collecting a puncture, while the other crashed some 30 minutes later a little further along the same piece of track, after an unheard of problem with its steering.

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What are your thoughts about this year’s Le Mans, Tiziano?

“This year, it was a very tough race, very difficult. It is always difficult at Le Mans, and that is because of the high speeds, and because it depends so much on the physical performance of the drivers. The comfort of the drivers is very important when it is so hot, and it was very good experience for our team – but we are sad that it ended the way it did, of course.”

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With post-Le Mans repairs completed, the team was back to its winning ways at Monza, with victory going to the Pescatori / Bartyan / Seiler Ferrari 550. BMS Scuderia Italia may not have the outright fastest combination this year, but it is still getting the results. Will anything change in 2006?

Chassis Numbers
As a post script (and with thanks to Fiona Miller), here are the chassis numbers of the two BMS Ferrari 550s, and the remaining 550s within the Care Racing stable.

Car 1 ZFFRZR49B000107617 MenX
Car 2 ZFFRZR49B000108418 BMS
Car 3 ZFFRZR49B000113136 Cirtek
Car 4 ZFFRZR49B000112886 BMS
Car 5 ZFFRZR49B000108612 Larbre
Car 6 ZFFRZR49B000108462 not available
Car 7 ZFFRZR49B000105849 Hitotsuyama
Car 8 ZFFRZR49B000117110 Larbre
Car 9 ZFFRZR49B000108391 BMS (#51 @ Le Mans)
Car 10 ZFFRZR49B000114946 BMS (#52 @ Le Mans)

 

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