|Full Name||Carlo Franchi|
|Born||1 January 1938, Milan|
|1977||European Sportscar Championship (Class 2)||Osella||8||0||0||5||0||73||1st|
|FORMULA 1 CAREER|
|First Grand Prix||Last Grand Prix|
|1978 Italian Grand Prix||1978 Italian Grand Prix|
|1978||Surtees||TS20||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||0||0||0||0||0||0||NC|
|1979||Aurora British F1||Agostini Williams FW06||4||0||0||0||0||2||19th|
|1980||Aurora British F1||Agostini Williams FW06||2||0||0||0||0||3||14th|
|1983||European Endurance||Sivama Grifome Lancia LC1||2||0||0||0||0||7||45th|
Born as Carlo Franchi in the Italian city of Milan, this extremely obscure driver made his one and only World Championship appearance at the ill-fated 1978 Italian Grand Prix, driving a Surtees TS20 with sponsorship from the Durex condom group.
With the Surtees team on its last legs and in desperate need of cash to see out the season, ‘Gimax’ – whose pseudonym came from putting his two children’s names, Gigi and Massimo (Max), together – opened his chequebook and shelled out the lire necessary to give him a run on home soil at Monza.
Surtees perhaps had other ideas, and amid rumours that his car had been over-fuelled, ‘Gimax’ was just twenty-eighth fastest in qualifying, thereby ensuring that he didn’t make the grid and add more mileage to the car.
Tragically, the race itself would be marred by the horrific first-corner accident involving to Ronnie Peterson, who would later succumb to his injuries.
Aside from the fact that he wore a very bad toupee, very little more is known of ‘Gimax’, although it is believed never raced under his actual name, and his son would also race with the same pseudonym.
After retiring from racing in 1984, ‘Gimax’ remained a visitor to various motorsport events. He recovered from a heart attack in 2002, but subsequently suffered a massive stroke that has left him confined to a wheelchair.
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