Giuseppe 'Beppe' Gabbiani
- January 02, 1957
- Not Active
Giuseppe 'Beppe' Gabbiani is an Italian former racing driver who recorded seventeen participations but just three starts in the Formula One World Championship.
In the sports car racing, he participated five times at Le Mans 24 Hours. Gabbiani's greatest success in a career was the third place in the 1983 European Formula Two Championship when he won four races.
Starting a career in Formula 3 in 1977, entering F2 in 1978
Born in January 1957 in Piacenza, Gabbiani started his racing career in karting competitions before progressing to Formula 3 in 1977. He was driving a Chevron-Toyota for Trivellato Racing Team in different championships, including European, Italian and British F3 championships. He scored one victory in each competition, finishing best in the fourth place in the European classification.
In 1978, Gabbiani was driving Ferrari-powered Chevron B42 for Trivellato Racing in the European Formula Two Championship, making eight starts and finishing best in the fifth place at Vallelunga.
North American Formula One debut with Team Surtees
Gabbiani made his Formula One debut in October, replacing Vittorio Brambilla in the #19 Surtees T20-Cosworth at the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. Twenty-six drivers participated in the race, Gabbiani was the only one who didn't manage to qualify for the race.
A week later, in the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, the situation was similar. Gabbiani was one of six drivers who didn't have a chance to start the race.
Three podiums in the 1979 Formula Two season
In 1979, Gabbiani continued to race in the Formula Two, joining Polifac BMW Junior Team to drive a March 792-BMW. He finished second at Mugello and later scored two more podiums at Hockenheimring and Misano, finishing fifth in the points.
In the 1980 season, Gabbiani competed with two different teams (Minardi and Maurer Motorsport) in the Formula Two but without notable results. He also made four starts in the BMW M1 Procar series.
Three starts and twelve DNQs in the 1981 F1 season
In 1981, Gabbiani left Formula 2 to make one more attempt in the Formula One. He joined Italian team Osella Squadra Corse to drive an Osella FA1B-Cosworth. He made his first Grand Prix start in the season-opening United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach, not finishing the race because of an accident.
His second race start was at the San Marino Grand Prix where he had an accident again and then at Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder when an engine blew up. After that, Gabbiani recorded ten consecutive DNQs until the end of the season, ending his F1 career without finishing any of races he started.
Le Mans debut with Martini Racing Lancia
Besides competing in Formula One in 1981, Gabbiani also joined Martini Racing to race with Lancia Beta Montecarlo in the World Championship and at Le Mans 24 Hours. He made a debut in a Lancia at Daytona 24 Hours, sharing a car with Michele Alboreto and Piercarlo Ghinzani. They didn't finish the race.
Later in the season, he recorded DNF at Monza and seventh place at Silverstone before making his Le Mans 24h debut in June. At Le Mans, Gabbiani was sharing the #67 Lancia with Emanuele Pirro and Riccardo Patrese. They retired after 47 laps because of an accident. Gabbiani's last start in a Lancia was at Watkins Glen 6 Hours.
Return to Formula 2 in 1982, four wins in 1983
In 1982, Gabbiani rejoined Maurer Motorsport in the Formula Two, scoring four podiums in a Maurer MM82-BMW to finish fifth in the points.
For the 1983 Formula 2 season, Gabbiani joined Onyx Racing to drive a March 832-BMW. It turned to be his most successful season in a career. He was a race winner four times in first five races, at Silverstone, Thruxton, Nürburgring and Vallelunga. Later in a season, he missed wins or podiums, dropping to the third place in the final standings behind Jonathan Palmer and Mike Thackwell.
It was Gabbiani's last season in the Formula 2, next year he made a one-off return with Onyx Racing at Pergusa, focusing his career on the sports car racing.
Le Mans return with Lancia in 1984
Gabbiani rejoined Martini Racing to drive Lancia LC2 in a couple of races in 1983 and then moved to Jolly Club to participate with Lancia LC2 in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Sharing a car with Pierluigi Martini, he retired at Monza and finished seventh at Silverstone.
In June 1984, Gabbiani returned to Le Mans in the #6 Lancia LC2, sharing a car with Pierluigi Martini and Xavier Lapeyre. They stopped after 117 laps.
1986 – a season with Japanese Dome team
Gabbiani was out or racing in 1985 and then returned to a cockpit of a race car in 1986, joining Japanese team Dome to drive a Dome-Toyota prototype in the Japanese Sports-Prototype Championship and World Sports-Prototype Championship. His best result was 4th place at Fuji 1000 Km, where he was sharing a car with Eje Elgh.
At Le Mans, Gabbiani and Eje Elgh were sharing the #38 Dome 86C with Toshio Suzuki. After 296 laps, they were out of official classification.
Occasional racing attempts between 1987 and 2002
In the following years, Gabbiani had no full-time arrangements. He made two starts in the F3000 Championship in 1987 and then tried some touring car racing in Italy with Ford RS500, Volkswagen Golf or Alfa Romeo 155 TS.
In 1990, he participated in selected rounds of the World Sports-Prototype Championship with Courage Competition's Cougar C24S-Porsche and GP Motorsport's Spice SE90C-Cosworth. In 1998, Gabbiani joined Centenari Racing to drive Centenari M1-Alfa Romeo prototype in the International Sports Racing Series. In 1999, he joined CiBiEmme Engineering to drive a BMW 320i at Spa 24 Hours, finishing in the sixth place.
Return to Le Mans with Racing for Holland
In 2002, Gabbiani joined Racing for Holland project in the FIA Sportscar Championship, driving a Dome S101-Judd in two races. He and Felipe Ortiz finished second at Dijon. In 2003, Gabbiani spent a full season with the team in the FIA Sportscar Championship, finishing third in the final classification.
In June 2003, he also made a return to Le Mans 24 Hours, driving the #16 Racing for Holland Dome S101. He was sharing a car with Felipe Ortiz and Tristan Gommendy. They were close to finishing the race but retired after 316 laps because of an accident.
One more last start at Le Mans in 2006
In the following years, Gabbiani had occasional commitments with different teams in different competitions, driving Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT for DAMS in the 2004 FIA GT Championship, Racing for Holland's Dome S101 in the 2005 Le Mans Series or Creation Autosportif's Creation CA06/h LMP1 prototype in the 2006 Le Mans Series.
Scoring three podiums in the #9 Creation, Gabbiani finished third in the 2006 Le Mans Series standings. He was driving that car in his last Le Mans attempt, sharing it with Felipe Ortiz and Jamie Campbell-Walter, retiring after 240 laps.
Ending a career with touring car races in a BMW
Gabbiani closed his career in 2011 after spending few years in Italian touring car competitions with different types of a BMW M3. He was most successful in 2009, scoring three wins to finish sixth in the Italian Touring Endurance Championship in a BMW M3 E92.