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Beppe Gabbiani

Full Name:
Giuseppe Gabbiani
2nd January 1957 (Age 63)
Piacenza, Emilia Romagna
Most recent race (in database):

Born into a wealthy family, Beppe Gabbiani’s first season in motor racing was impressive indeed but he was ultimately unable to succeed at the very top. Always competitive – and sometimes overly so – in a karting career that began when 14 years old, Gabbiani graduated directly to Formula 3.

With experience of just one F3 race at Silverstone in 1976, the long-haired Italian won his European Championship debut at Paul Ricard with a Trivellato Chevron B38-Toyota. Further podium finishes were rewarded with fourth in the standings during that rookie year.

Formula 1 with Surtees

Team and driver progressed to Formula 2 in 1978 with a Chevron-Ferrari but fifth at Vallelunga was his only result of note. Despite that Gabbiani, aided by sponsorship, replaced injured Surtees driver Vittorio Brambilla for the final two Grand Prix races of the season but failed to qualify.

Still learning his trade, he returned to F2 with a works March-BMW in 1979 and finished second at Mugello and Misano on the way to fifth in the championship but it was a year marred by too many accidents. His next Formula 1 appearance was at Imola’s non-championship race that year when driving a second Shadow DN9B-Ford. Engine failure prevented him from starting.

Return to Formula 1 with Osella

However, he had lost his way and 1980 was a difficult season racing with Minardi and then Maurer in F2. Undeterred, Gabbiani joined Osella for the 1981 F1 season but the tiny Turin team was not competitive and he only qualified three times – retiring on each occasion.

So it was F2 and Maurer again in 1982 but Gabbiani was eclipsed by Stefan Bellof’s meteoric arrival and his single-seater days appeared over. However, he joined the works-supported Onyx Race Engineering in 1983 and his March 832-BMW won four early-season F2 races before rivals Ralt-Honda took control. Gabbiani slipped to third by the end of the year but it had been his most impressive motor racing season.

He made one more F2 start during its final season a year later but a couple of disappointing 1987 Formula 3000 races in First Racing’s March 87B-Cosworth were his final single-seater appearances. He continued to compete in sports cars and saloons and still races today. The hair may be shorter now but racing runs deep in Beppe Gabbiani’s psyche.