Would you consider being a test driver the best job in the world? Well, to many motorsports enthusiasts, it definitely is! However, it is not as simple as it sounds. A test driver needs years of experience and practice to get them there. Positions like these are very limited so hard work, passion and determination plays a vital role in getting them the job.
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The late Bob Wallace was the Chief Test Driver for Lamborghini, which also had him performing duties as road development engineer. In year 1965, he assisted in the production for Lamborghini Miura and later on participated in the development of the 400GT, Islero, Jarama, the Countach and the LP500 prototype. In his own initiative, he created three high-performance versions of Lamborghini road cars, and one particular version, known as “Urraco Bob” was the only car to participate in an actual race at the Misano Circuit. However, being a test driver also involves accidents. During the development of the V8, he wrecked five engines, which the development team weren’t very happy about. Today, he is known as one of the world’s famous test driver and an icon to many.
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Taking over Wallace’s place was Valentino Balboni. His role model at that time was also Bob Wallace himself. For 40 years, he was the Chief test driver for Lamborghini. According to Valentino, the job alone is not a business but more of a passion. All his life is dedicated to Lamborghini and even after retiring, he can’t stay away from the company. Valentino started from the bottom when he didn’t even had a driving license, but that did not stop him from testing customer’s repaired cars. He was a technician and soon, the company saw something in him, which led him to work alongside his role model, Bob Wallace. After two years of that, he gotten his license, enabling him to test drive cars alone on public roads. Today, he is well respected in the industry and is known worldwide as “Mister Lamborghini”. He still lives up to his passion after he retired.
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Currently, Giorgio Sanna is the test driver for Lamborghini, replacing Valentino Balboni. He is responsible for the performance of the Gallardo and Aventador super sports car. According to Giorgio, the job is the best job in the world because they don’t work in the present, they work in the future. He started racing when he was only 12 years old, so being in the Motorsports scene is nothing new. In 2015, he was announced as the Head of Motorsport and was involved in the Research and Development department. During his time, it was the development of the Gallardo and Murcielago, which both are now icons in the motorsports world. In an interview with www.thesecretsoftheirsuccess.com> , he said, “Success, I think is to be proud and happy in what you do every day.”
And there you go, 3 iconic test drivers for Lamborghini throughout the years!