Gabriele Tarquini Gabriele Tarquini, 1987 Tarquini

Full Name: Gabriele Tarquini
Nationality: Italian
Born: 2 March 1962, Giulianova (ITA)

First GP: 1987 San Marino Grand Prix
Last GP: 1995 European Grand Prix

Entries: 78 Grands Prix: 38 Non-starts: 40
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 6th Best Grid: 11th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 1 Retirements: 25

1984 World Karting Champion
1985 Formula 3000, San Remo Racing, 10 races, 1 podium, 14 points, 6th overall
1986 Formula 3000, Coloni Racing, 10 races, 7 points, 10th overall
1987 Formula 3000, FIRST Racing, 11 races, 2 podiums, 12 points, 8th overall
  Formula 1, Osella Alfa Romeo FA1G, 1 race, 0 points, Not Classified
1988 Formula 1, Coloni Ford FC188/FC188B, 16 entries, 8 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1989 Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH23B/JH24, 15 entries, 6 races, 1 point, 26th overall
1990 Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH24/JH25, 16 entries, 4 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1991 Formula 1, AGS Cosworth JH25/JH25B/JH27, 13 entries, 3 races, 0 points, Not Classified
  Formula 1, Forndmetal Ford F1, 3 entries, 2 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1992 Formula 1, Forndmetal Ford GR01/GR02, 13 races, 0 points, Not Classified
1993 Italian Touring Car Championship, Alfa Romeo, 3rd overall
1994 BTCC, Alfa Romeo 155TS, 8 wins, 14 podiums, 298 points, 1st overall
1995 BTCC, Alfa Romeo 155TS, 33 points, 16th overall
  Formula 1, Tyrrell Yamaha 023, 1 race, 0 points, Not Classified
1997 BTCC, Honda Accord, 1 win, 6 podiums, 130 points, 6th overall
2000 BTCC Touring Class, Honda Accord, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 149 points, 6th overall
2003 European Touring Car Championship, Alfa Romeo Racing Team, 1st overall
2005 FIA WTCC, Alfa Romeo 156, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 55 points, 7th overall
2006 FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TFSI, 1 win, 2 podiums, 57 points, 5th overall
2007 FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TFSI/TDI, 1 win, 3 podiums, 62 points, 8th overall
2008 FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TDI, 3 wins, 6 podiums, 88 points, 2nd overall
2009 FIA WTCC, SEAT Sport León TDI, 3 wins, 11 podiums, 127 points, 1st overall
2010 FIA WTCC, SR Sport León TDI, 5 wins, 10 podiums, 276 points, 2nd overall
2011 FIA WTCC, Lukoil SUNRED León TDI/1.6T, 1 win, 6 podiums, 204 points, 5th overall

Gabriele Tarquini

Born on the outskirts of the Italian town of Pescara, Gabriele created waves in 1985 when he rocketed into Formula 3000 and immediately assumed the role of a championship frontrunner. Incredibly, he was the reigning karting world champion and he had just a few Formula 3 outings to his name.

After finishing sixth overall in the standings, Gabriele switched to the new Coloni team for the 1986 season, but he could only net a pair of podium finishes as the outfit struggled to find its feet.

He remained in Formula 3000 for one more season with the FIRST squad and again he was a ‘nearly man’ when it came to achieving the ultimate accolades, but he did make his Grand Prix debut with courtesy of a one-off appearance with Osella at the San Marino Grand Prix.

His full-time F1 call-up came the following year with Enzo Coloni’s eponymous F1 team, which was attempting its first full-time tilt at F1. It was a trying season, and he racked up eight failures to qualify over the course of the season.

He was a last-minute call-up to the AGS team for the 1989 season after lead driver Philippe Streiff was paralysed in a testing accident at Brazil, and Gabriele quickly impressed when he picked up a priceless point with sixth place at the Mexican Grand Prix.

But that was to be the highlight of his F1 career, and despite his eternally cheerful disposition, he could do little to save the team from its eventual extinction in 1991 – although the team helped him out by releasing him to the Fondmetal team just before it collapsed.

Despite the advent of Ford HB engines and a very good Sergio Rinland designed chassis, Tarquini’s 1992 season was hampered by Fondmetal’s lack of funding. His hopes of achieving better results were killed off with the team’s insistence that he conserve his car at all costs. Sadly, the team would collapse before the end of the season.

Aside from an undistinguished one-off race drive with Tyrrell in 1995, his F1 career was effectively finished, and so he headed to the world of touring car racing, a field where he has finally blossomed.

After finishing third overall in his maiden season in the Italian Touring Car Championship with Alfa Romeo in 1993, Gabriele won the British Touring Car Championship crown in fine style with the Italian carmaker.

He briefly switched to David Richards’ Honda operation in the late 1990s, before returning to Alfa Romeo and winning the European Touring Car Championship title in 2003.

After following the carmaker into the re-formed World Touring Car Championship in 2005, Gabriele switched to the SEAT team in 2006. In 2008, he narrowly finished as runner-up to team-mate Yvan Muller, but went one better in 2009 to become, aged 47, the oldest driver to be crowned World Champion in an FIA-sanctioned championship.

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