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Jorge Daponte is a footnote of Formula 1’s history and his flamboyant dress sense also graced the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His Maserati was fourth (and last) in the 1951 Eva Perón Cup at Buenos Aires in his second-ever race.
He made his two unsuccessful forays overseas in 1953. First, he failed to qualify a Sacco & Wilson Johnson-Wayne for the Indianapolis 500 and his Chevrolet then retired from the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico.
Brief Formula 1 career
Daponte remained something of an unknown when his entry was accepted for the 1954 Argentine Grand Prix. Driving a Maserati A6GCM chassis fitted with a newer 250F engine, he qualified last and retired from the race. Two weeks later, Daponte was involved in a nasty crash during the Formule Libre Buenos Aires City GP. He lost control of the Maserati at the final corner and spun into the pitlane, hitting Swiss team owner Enrico Platé who died in hospital two days later.
Undeterred, Daponte was a distant fifth at Rouen, fourth at Pescara (both non-championship races) and 11th in the Italian GP. Daponte disappeared from international racing as quickly as he had arrived although he continued to race in large capacity single-seater specials in Argentina.
He died suddenly in unexplained circumstances when aged just 39.