In the early 2000’s, The Nations Cup Championship held in Australia was a personal favourite of mine to watch. The Championship featured exotic road cars including the Porsche 911 996 GT3, Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge and Dodge Viper ACR. Talented Tasmanian Paul Stokell was my favourite driver of the time and he drove a Lamborghini Diablo SVR throughout the 2000 and 2001 series.
It was great to see the car doing a demonstration run with other Lamborghini’s both past and present at the Australian Grand Prix in 2018.
Stokell’s Lamborghini Diablo SVR was a lightweight version of the Diablo SV. The standard front headlights were removed and replaced with cooling ducts, Perspex windows were installed and aerodynamics was greatly improved. Two ducts run from the top of the roof to the radiator while lower side scoops direct fresh air into the rear wheel arches. There’s also a rear diffuser, front spoiler and an adjustable dual element rear wing. The composite carbon fibre structure kept weight to only 1385kg. The interior of the race car featured Sparco race seats and harnesses.
Lamborghini’s timeless naturally aspirated V12 was mounted in the middle and sent drive to the rear wheels. The engine had a capacity of 5.7 Litres, generating an impressive 362kW of power at 7000rpm and 580Nm of torque at 5200rpm. Custom fabricated mufflers were fitted to help the car comply with the GT-P regulation noise limit.
Performance was stunning with the big Lambo accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. At the top of fifth gear, the car also touched 270km/h at the end of Conrod Straight, not far behind V8 Supercar speeds of the time. Not such a bad achievement for a car with significantly less power.
The SVR sat on 18 inch OZ Racing alloys. Pirelli P Zero tyres were used; front tyres were 240mm wide and rear tyres were 325mm wide. Slotted Brembo discs were 355mm diameter at the front and 335mm diameter at the rear.
Stokell enjoyed the cars turn-in and power but brake fade used to prevent quick laps towards the end of a session. He placed fourth overall in 2000 and second overall in 2001. A highlight was a round win at Bathurst in 2000 against the might of Jim Richards and Peter Fitzgerald in Porsche 911 GT3’s. Stokell went onto win the championship in 2003 and 2004 in a Diablo GTR.