Pirro Emanuele Pirro, 1990 German Grand Prix Pirro

Full Name: Emanuele Pirro
Nationality: Italian
Born: 12 January 1962, Rome (ITA)

First GP: 1989 French Grand Prix
Last GP: 1991 Australian Grand Prix

Entries: 40 Grands Prix: 37 Non-starts: 7
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 5th Best Grid: 7th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 3 Retirements: 20

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
1984 European Formula 2 Championship, Onyx March BMW, 11 races, 1 podium, 6th overall
1985 International Formula 3000, Onyx Racing, 11 races, 2 wins, 4 podiums, 3rd overall
1986 International Formula 3000, Onyx Racing, 11 races, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 2nd overall
1988 Formula 1, McLaren Honda V12 MP4/8, Test Driver
1989 Formula 1, Benetton Ford V8 B188/B189, 10 races, 2 points, 23rd overall
1990 Formula 1, Scuderia Italia Dallara Cosworth V8 190, 14 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1991 Formula 1, Scuderia Italia Dallara Judd V10 191, 16 entries, 3 DNQ, 1 point, 18th overall
  Macau Guia Touring Car Race, BMW M3 Evolution, 1st overall
1992 Macau Guia Touring Car Race, BMW M3 Evolution, 1st overall
1993 Italian Touring Car Championship, Audi 80 Quattro, 1st overall
1994 Italian Touring Car Championship, Audi A4 Quattro, 1st overall
1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest R8R, 3rd overall with Frank Biela and Didier Theys
2000 American Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R8, 12 races, 3 wins, 7 podiums, 3rd overall
  12 Hours of Sebring, Audi Sport Nth America R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Tim Kristensen
Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Tim Kristensen
2001 American Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R8, 10 races, 3 wins, 9 podiums, 1st overall
  Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Tim Kristensen
  Petit Le Mans, Audi Sport Nth America R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela
2002 American Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R8, 10 races, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 3rd overall
  Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Tim Kristensen
2003 Le Mans 24 Hours, Champion Racing Audi R8, 3rd overall with JJ Lehto and Stefan Johansson
2004 Le Mans 24 Hours, ADT Champion Racing Audi R8, 3rd overall with JJ Lehto and Marco Werner
2005 American Le Mans Series, ADT Champion Racing Audi R8, 10 races, 4 wins, 1st overall
  Le Mans 24 Hours, ADT Champion Audi R8, 3rd overall with Frank Biela and Allan McNish
  Petit Le Mans, ADT Champion Racing Audi R8, 1st overall with Frank Biela
2006 American Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 6 races, 2 wins, 4 podiums, 5th overall
  Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest R10, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Marco Werner
2007 American Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 10 races, 3 wins, 8 podiums, 4th overall
  12 Hours of Sebring, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 1st overall with Frank Biela & Marco Werner
  Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 1st overall with Frank Biela and Marco Werner
2008 America Le Mans Series, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 10 races, 1 win, 6 podiums, 3rd overall
Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Nth America R10 , 6th overall with Frank Biela and Marco Werner
  Petit Le Mans, Audi Sport Nth America R10, 1st overall with Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello

Emanuele Pirro


A regular visitor to the Vallelunga circuit as a child, Emanuele Pirro had his first kart outing at the age of 11 and was immediately hooked. He won several national titles before graduating to Formula Fiat Abarth in 1980, winning the title at his first attempt.

He moved into the European F3 series, but before that, he’d already managed a class win at the Daytona 24 Hours in a Martini Lancia Beta.

After three years in Formula 3 (while continuing to dabble with endurance racing), Pirro moved to Formula 2 in 1984 before it rebranded into Formula 3000 in 1985, where he finished third overall and won a test with Brabham.

Unable to land an F1 drive for 1986, he took a multi-disciplined approach, racing everything from Japanese F3000 to sports cars and in the World Touring Car Championship, and by 1988 he had been appointed as McLaren’s test driver.

Impressed by his work developing the all-conquering MP4/4, Benetton hired him for 1989 as its test driver, and Pirro also took the opportunity to win the Nurburgring 24 Hours with BMW before he was brought in to replace Johnny Herbert in the F1 seat, peaking with fifth at the rain-soaked Australian Grand Prix.

Scuderia Italia hired him full-time for the 1990 season, but the car was not competitive and he failed to grace the points that year. A further year with the team yielded mixed results – the highlight being sixth at Monaco, although he was slated for his appalling manners being lapped – and he quit F1 at the end of the year to concentrate on touring cars, first with BMW and then Audi.

Appointed by Audi to contest the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, he finished third in 1999 before peeling off a hat-trick of wins in the dominant R8 LMP900 partnering Tom Kristensen and Frank Biela, also winning the 2001 ALMS title.

Two more Le Mans wins would follow – he became the first driver to win the race in a diesel-powered car in 2006.

Still involved with Audi’s Le Mans project (although in a more managerial capacity today), Pirro has served as an FIA guest steward at several Grands Prix in recent years.

CLICK HERE to return to our driver profiles.

Share