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  Alba AR8 Buick
 

  Article Image gallery (22) AR8-001 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1986 - 1988
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Giorgio Stirano for Alba
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 13, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionNewly formed Italian racing car manufacturer Alba entered sports car racing in 1983 with the AR2. This was a significant machine as it was the first ever sports prototype built around a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. Established by former Osella engineer Giorgio Stirano, the small Alba company achieved this remarkable feat thanks to significant funding from privateer racer Martino Finotto. During the next few years, several more Albas were produced and some were even sold to privateers in North America.

One of these was the Alba AR8 built in 1986 for the American Kalagian-Ardisana team. This was a further development of the original, no-expense spared design. Accordingly, it was built around a carbon fibre monocoque chassis and used titanium parts throughout. To allow for a clean airflow through the ground-effect tunnels suspension was in-board, using pull-rods at the front and push-rods at the rear. Due to race in the IMSA GTP class, it was fitted with a twin-turbo Buick V6. Even though this was production-based engine, it was good for around 700 bhp.

The Buick-engined Alba made its delayed debut at the May, 1987 Laguna Seca IMSA race. It was entered for Calvin Fish, who qualified 19th on the grid. Although he did not finish due to driver fatigue, Fish was classified 24th. The AR8 was fielded three more times in 1987 by the Kalagian Racing team. For each race, a different driver was behind the wheel of the Italian sports prototype. This did not affect the results as the Buick-Alba did not manage to reach the finish once.

After just four outings with the Buick-engined Alba, key members of the team, Jim Mullen and John Kalagian had a fall-out. As a result, the one-off Alba was not raced again.

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  Article Image gallery (22) AR8-001 Specifications