Former Grand Prix drivers Alessandro Pesenti-Rossi and Miguel Ángel Guerra are celebrating their respective birthdays today!
Born in 1942 in the Italian town of Bergarmo, the wiry Pesenti-Rossi was considered a driver of some potential when he was forging himself a racing career in the national Formula 3 championship, narrowly missing out on the 1975 crown.
The occasional success translated into a jump to Formula 2 with a Beta-backed March, and he peaked with an aggregated second place at Mugello.
He took the rather overambitious step of moving into Formula 1, renting a Tyrrell 007 for four races in 1976. He qualified for three of them in the Scuderia Gulf Rondini entry, peaking with a best finish of 11th (albeit three laps adrift) at the Osterreichring.
His backers decided that a return to Formula 2 would be a better investment of their money, but he disappeared from the scene in 1978.
Turning 58 today, Argentine-born Miguel Ángel Guerra has the distinction – along with Marco Apicella – of having a Grand Prix racing career that didn’t even last a complete lap in anger.
A three-time champion in the Argentine Formula 2 Championship, Guerra contested three seasons of European Formula 2 competition with the likes of Chevron, March and Minardi. He then stepped up to Formula 1 with the little-fancied Osella outfit in 1981.
He failed to make the grid at each of the three opening rounds at Long Beach, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, but he finally made the cut on his fourth attempt, at Imola, where he started 22nd.
But barely a third of a lap into his F1 racing debut, he was pushed off the track by Eliseo Salazar and into the wall. He broke his wrist and ankle, and was never seen on the F1 circuit again.
Guerra would recover from his unlucky smash to return to Formula 2 competition at the end of the 1981 season, although he was far from competitive. He would later go on to compete in touring cars, winning the Argentine TC2000 title in 1989.
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