Paul Dalla Lana on WEC retirement: “It’s been one hell of a ride!”
Seventeen FIA WEC wins from 69 starts, 22 pole positions and one LMGTE Am title!
That’s not a bad haul for a genuine gentleman driver. But Paul Dalla Lana is no ordinary competitor when it comes to a WEC career that spanned 10 years.
The Canadian announced his retirement from racing recently, bringing to a close the most successful LMGTE Am story in WEC’s history.
A stalwart of Aston Martin Racing, Dalla Lana made his debut at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in 2013. Ironically it was in the Pro class as he took a brilliant third place alongside Pedro Lamy and Frederic Makowiecki.
The LMGTE Am journey began at the start of 2014 and Dalla Lana instantly made his mark by winning races at COTA, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, ending that first full campaign with Lamy and Chritoffer Nygaard as runners-up.
Matthias Lauda was drafted in to the No. 98 Aston Martin for 2015 to replace Nygaard and so began a successful four seasons for the trio which saw them take the 2017 WEC LMGTE Am title after scooping four class wins at Spa, COTA, Shanghai and Bahrain. Dalla Lana, Lamy and Lauda are still the series' winningest trio with 13 wins.
The Canadian scored two further wins after that title success, winning at Spa in 2018, a track he excelled at with a remarkable four wins, and also at Sebring in 2022 when he shared the spoils with Nicki Thiim and David Pittard.
Dalla Lana remains the only Canadian race winner, and its only champion. But just statistics and records are only part of the story. Meaning much more to the man himself is the human relationships and memories he and the team created along the way.
“It has become increasingly challenging to find enough time to prepare and compete at the highest level; and to fight for a world championship you must be able to give your all,” he said on announcing his retirement earlier this week.
“I’ve been lucky enough to race alongside some great drivers and great friends and compete against the very best in sportscar racing. I’ve been there as WEC has grown in stature and I’ve been able to drive the mighty V12, V8 and now the turbo charged V8 Vantages at places like Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans. It’s been one hell of [a] ride and I’m very grateful to have been able to take it all on board in Aston Martin. Thanks to all the incredible fans that have come out to watch us over the years, and I’d like to wish Aston Martin luck in the future.”
On behalf of the FIA WEC, we’d like to thank Paul for all his contributions to our championship over the years – he will be sorely missed in the paddock.