Paul Dalla Lana
Paul Dalla Lana is a Canadian gentleman racer who started his racing career in 2009, gaining some notable success in the sports car racing since then. Most recently, he won GTE Am class in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship with Aston Martin Racing. He joined AMR in the FIA WEC in 2013.
Prior to that, he competed in North American sports car championships, winning GS class in the 2011 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Turner Motorsport's BMW M3.
Successful businessman started to race in 2000
Born in February 1966 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Paul Dalla Lana developed a career as a businessman, founding the NorthWest Healthcare Properties, a company specialized in real estate investment in the health sector.
In 2000, he started a racing career as a gentleman driver, reaching professional competitions in 2009 when he entered the Canadian Touring Car Championship and Grand-Am Koni Challenge, driving BMW 328 in both championships.
Grand-Am Rolex Series debut in 2010
In 2010, Dalla Lana continued to compete in the CTCC and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge but also made a debut in the North American premier sports car competition, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. He was driving the #94 BMW M6 for Turner Motorsport, recording six starts and one podium in GT class.
In January 2010, in his Daytona 24 Hours debut, he finished 8th in GT class, sharing a car with Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Joey Hand. Later in the season, he joined Auberlen and Hand in few more races, scoring the second place at Daytona 250 Miles as the best result.
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge champion in 2011
In 2011, Dalla Lana stayed with Turner Motorsport and participated in two championships. He and Bill Auberlen took the championship title in GS class of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, scoring one victory and five podiums in the #96 BMW M3.
In the Grand-Am Rolex Series, Dalla Lana scored two GT class wins in the #94 BMW M3, at Homestead-Miami and Barber Motorsports Park, sharing a car with Bill Auberlen. At the end of the season, Dalla Lana was seventh in the points.
At the end of the year, BMW named Dalla Lana as world's most successful privateer BMW racer, giving him the BMW Sports Trophy.
Two more seasons with Turner Motorsport
Dalla Lana repeated a double programme with Turner Motorsport for two more seasons. In 2012, he scored two Rolex Series GT class wins in the #94 BMW M3, finishing third in the points. His partner was Bill Auberlen again. In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, he was far from the top without wins or podiums.
In 2013, he was a race winner three times in the Rolex Series in the #94 BMW M3 but finished only seventh in the final classification of GT class. In the CTSCC, he won one race to finish ninth in the points.
Joining Aston Martin Racing in 2013
Besides his double programme with Turner Motorsport in 2013, Dalla Lana expanded his racing activities to five rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship and one round of the American Le Mans Series with Aston Martin Racing. He made a debut in the #007 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE at Sebring 12 Hours, sharing a car with Pedro Lamy and Billy Johnson and finishing ninth in GT class.
In the FIA WEC GTE Pro, he was driving the #99 Aston Martin Vantage in two rounds and the #98 car in three rounds. In his Le Mans 24 Hours debut, Dalla Lana was sharing the #98 Aston Martin with Pedro Lamy and Bill Auberlen, not finishing the race.
Driving two cars at 2014 Daytona 24 Hours
In 2014, Dalla Lana started a season at Daytona 24 Hours, participating in the race with two teams. He was driving the #94 BMW Z4 GT3 for Turner Motorsport, finishing 7th in GTD class, and the #97 Aston Martin Vantage for AMR, finishing 8th in GTLM class.
Later in the season, he joined Turner Motorsport in two more IMSA SportsCar Championship rounds but his main duty was to drive the #98 Aston Martin Vantage in the GTE Am class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. His teammates were Pedro Lamy and Christoffer Nygaard. At Le Mans 24h, they finished sixth in class. They won three races in the championship, finishing in the second place behind teammates in the #95 car.
Eight FIA WEC wins in two seasons but without a title
In the 2015 FIA WEC season, Dalla Lana was sharing the #98 Aston Martin Vantage with Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda in GTE Am class. They were race winners three times (Silverstone, Spa, Bahrain) and added three more podiums but Dalla Lana's crash at Le Mans cost them a lot and they finished just third in the final points.
In the 2016 FIA WEC season, the situation was even weirder because they won five of nine races (Spa, Nurburgring, Austin, Fuji, Shanghai) but finished again third in the points because they recorded three DNFs, including a retirement at Le Mans.
Finally the world champion in 2017
In 2017, Dalla Lana and his teammates finally managed to convert victories into the championship title. He continued to share the #98 Aston Martin Vantage with Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda, scoring four GTE Am class wins (Spa, Austin, Shanghai, Bahrain) and finishing in the first place far away from the second-placed crew. A consistency was a key as they managed to finish all races. At Le Mans 24 Hours, they were 8th in GTE Am class.
Outside FIA WEC, Dalla Lana was driving Aston Martin at Daytona 24 Hours three times (2015, 2016, 2017) but also the cars of some other manufacturers. At 2018 Daytona 24h, he drove Ferrari 488 GT3 for Spirit of Race. At Bathurst 12 Hour, he was driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in 2017 and then again in 2018.