Career Summary:

Carlo Facetti

  • June 27, 1935
  • 82
  • Italy
  • Not Active
  • 261
  • 60
  • 95
  • 20
  • 1
  • 22.99%
  • 36.40%

Carlo Facetti is a former Italian racing driver who achieved the most in touring car and sports car racing. He reached a peak in 1979, winning the European Touring Car Championship in a BMW 3.0 CSL. At 24 hours of Le Mans, he started eight times, scoring class podiums three times. He was also on a podium few times at Daytona 24 hours and Sebring 12 hours.

Facetti also recorded one unsuccessful attempt in the Formula 1, participating in the 1974 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He was driving Brabham BT42-Cosworth for the Scuderia Finotto. After failing to qualify for the race, he never returned to Formula 1.

Carlo Facetti in 2016

Carlo Facetti in 2016

Carlo's driving teacher was Alberto Ascari

Carlo Giovanni Facetti was born on June 26, 1935, in Cormano, Lombardy. He learned to drive at the age of 11, with a help from Alberto Ascari, a friend of his father, Piero Facetti, who was a mechanic and a racer. Carlo's brother's Giuliano and Rosadelle would also become racing drivers.

Carlo started racing in 1953, paired with Elio Zagato at the Giro di Calabria, using a specially prepared Fiat 8V 1100, for which Zagato made a body and Facetti tuned the engine. For entire his career, Facetti was known as an exceptional mechanic, who was working in a workshop during a week and then participated in the races over the weekend.

Podium at Sebring, victory at GT Trophy Monza

By 1960, he was building and racing Formula Junior cars with Lancia Appia engines. In 1961, he was participating mostly in GT races, driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato.

In March 1962, Facetti traveled to the USA to compete at Sebring 12 Hours. He and Massimo Leto di Priolo were driving the #60 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce for Scuderia Ambrosiana, finishing 12th overall and second in the GT1.3 class. A month later, Facetti won the GT Trophy at Monza in a Giulietta Sprint Zagato.

First touring car victory with Lancia

In 1963, Facetti participated in the inaugural European Touring Car Challenge, which later became the European Touring Car Championship. Facetti was driving Lancia Flaminia for a factory team, HF Squadra Corse. Sharing a car with Luigi Cabella, Facetti won the last round at Nepliget Park in Budapest, Hungary.

Variety of racing competitions in 1964

In 1964, Facetti was combining different racing competitions. He participated in the Formula Junior Temporada series in Argentina, where he met Juan Manuel Fangio and they became good friends. After returning to Europe, he was racing in the Formula 3.

At Targa Florio, he was driving Ferrari 250 GTO, not finishing a race. He and Giancarlo Galimberti were successful at 24 hours of Spa, finishing in the third place with Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint. In 1964, Facetti also participated at Rally Monte-Carlo, driving a Lancia Fulvia.

In 1965, Facetti finished second in the Campionato Italiano, driving a Brabham BT16-Ford for the Scuderia Sant'Ambroeus.

In the following years, Facetti contested all across the Europe in different competitions with different manufacturers. He drove mostly Italian cars, such were Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, Ferrari 250 LM, Lancia Fulvia HF or Ferrari Dino 206 S, but competed also with Porsche 906 (1967) and Porsche 910 (1968).

Podium with Alfa Romeo in Le Mans debut

In September 1968, Facetti debuted at 24 hours of Le Mans, together with Spartaco Dini in the #38 Alfa Romeo T33/2 of Autodelta team, which was the racing department of Alfa Romeo. In his Le Mans debut, Facetti immediately reached a podium. They finished fifth overall and second in the P 2.0 class, behind another Autodelta's car.

Ernesto Brambilla, Andrea de Adamich an Carlo Facetti in 1969

Ernesto Brambilla, Andrea de Adamich an Carlo Facetti in 1969

Driving for Autodelta in the ETCC and endurance races

In 1969, Facetti started to race for Autodelta in the European Touring Car Challenge, driving an Alfa Romeo 1300 GTA Junior. He finished in the 8th place in Division 2 classification. His other commitments were in the International Championship for Makes. He was the class winner at Nurburgring 1000km race with Alfa Romeo T33/2.

Facetti returned to Le Mans in 1970, again driving an Alfa Romeo T33/2. This time, he didn't reach the finish line. In another endurance race, the 24 hours of Spa, he finished third for two years in a row, in 1970 and 1971, both times with Alfa Romeo 2000 GTA.

Carlo Facetti in 1973

Carlo Facetti in 1973

Racing with Autodelta until 1974

Facetti raced with Autodelta until 1974. In his last year with the team, he partnered Andrea de Adamich in the World Championship races, driving an Alfa Romeo T33/TT/2. They were third at Monza, Nurburgring and Imola. The best result was second place at Österreichring.

The team skipped 24h Le Mans so Facetti was driving BMW 3.0 CSL for BMW Jolly Club, not finishing the race. At the end of the season, Autodelta had finished fourth in the championship. Facetti earned enough points to become the Italian champion. Despite such a good result, he decided to leave Autodelta.

Carlo Facetti at the 1974 Italian Grand Prix

Carlo Facetti at the 1974 Italian Grand Prix

Failing to qualify for the 1974 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix

In September 1974, Facetti attempted to qualify for the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He was driving the #31 Brabham BT42-Cosworth for Scuderia Finotto, as a replacement for Helmuth Koinigg. Despite his best efforts, Facetti wasn't fast enough to qualify the car. Some other drivers who failed to qualify for that race were Chris Amon, Derek Bell, Jose Dolhem or Leo Kinnunen.

Cesare Fiorio invited Facetti to drive for Lancia

After leaving Autodelta, Facetti accepted an invitation of Cesare Fiorio to join Lancia. He was hired to work as a development driver for new Lancia Stratos HF. He raced with that car in selected races of the European GT Championship but also drove for Jolly Club in the World Championship for Makes. In the European Touring Car Championship, Facetti was driving Ford Escort RS 1600 for Jolly Club.

In 1976, Lancia developed the Group 5 Stratos HF Turbo to challenge Porsche and BMW in the World Championship for Makes. Unfortunately, the car wasn't reliable enough. The collaboration between Facetti and Lancia was over at the end of 1976.

Daytona podium with Porsche in 1977

The season 1977 started with Facetti's participation at Daytona 24 hours and his career-best result in that race. He finished in the second place overall together with Martino Finotto and Romeo Camathias in Jolly Club's Porsche 935. They were two laps behind the race winners in the Ecurie Escargot's Porsche 911 Carrera RSR.

Facetti's BMW 3.0 CSL in 1977

Facetti's BMW 3.0 CSL in 1977

Victorious return to the ETCC with BMW 3.0 CSL

In 1977, Facetti also returned to the European Touring Car Championship, becoming one of the championship contenders. He was driving a BMW 3.0 CSL for Luigi Racing. Sharing a car with Martino Finotto and Umberto Grano, Facetti was a race winner in the season-opening 4 hours of Monza. The next win for Facetti and Finotto followed at Pergusa and then at Brno Grand Prix. Fourth win came in October at Estoril but that wasn't enough for the title. Facetti was second in the points, BMW-Alpina driver Dieter Quester won the championship.

In 1978, Finotto and Facetti repeated a victory at Monza. They were winners two more times, at Salzburgring and Brno. Facetti finished fourth in the championship.

Carlo Facetti, 1979, BMW 3.0 CSL

Championship winning BMW 3.0 CSL in 1979

Facetti won the 1979 European Touring Car Champion

In 1979, the third year of racing with BMW 3.0 CSL, Carlo Facetti and Martino Finotto finally reached the top. They became the ETCC champions ahead of two more BMW crews. They were scoring podiums at Vallelunga, Mugello and Brno but had to wait for the first win until the 8th round at Nurburgring. After that, they won four more races at Zandvoort, Salzburgring, Silverstone and Zolder to dominantly take the championship title.

World championship seasons with Jolly Club

Having an ETCC title in his pocket, Facetti left the championship to focus on sports car racing, together with his longstanding partner Martino Finotto. Their Jolly Club team entered the World Championship for Makes with Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo, finishing 10th at Daytona, 4th at Brands Hatch and 4th at Mugello. At 24h Le Mans, they were 19th overall and 2nd in the Group 5 classification.

Facetti's #53 Lancia at 1980 Le Mans 24h

Facetti's #53 Lancia at 1980 Le Mans 24h

Facetti built fast but unreliable Ferrari 308 GTB

In 1981, Finotto and Facetti improved their result at Daytona, finishing in the fifth place with Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo. The third driver in that race was Emanuele Pirro. Later in the season, they were using a Ferrari 308 GTB, developed in their own facilities at Achilli Motors. The car was fast but unreliable, not finishing either one race.

Third Le Mans podium for Facetti in 1981

At 1981 Le Mans race, Facetti competed in Martini Racing's Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo, sharing a car with Eddie Cheever and Michele Alboreto. They finished 8th overall and second in Group 5, what was Facetti's third Le Mans podium.

For the 1982 world championship season, Facetti and Finotto decided to replace Ferrari with more conventional Osella PA9-BMW, but they were equally unsuccessful as they failed to finish a race in the car that season.

Facetti raced two times with Alba AR2 at Le Mans 24h

Facetti raced two times with Alba AR2 at Le Mans 24h

Group C Junior winners in 1983

The season 1983 saw the introduction of a new category into World Sportscars, the Group C Junior class. Finotto commissioned Stirano to build a car to these new regulations, while Facetti designed and built a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The car was named Giannini-Alba AR2. Regularly scoring class wins, they won the Group C Junior Cup.

In 1984 World Endurance Championship, they scored no wins but still assisted Alba to win the Group C2 Prototype FIA Cup. The third season with Alba wasn't successful, so the team turned his attention to the IMSA Camel Lights category for 1986.

Last full season in the IMSA Championship

For the 1986 IMSA Championship, Finotto and Facetti decided to use Ferrari engines in the Alba AR6 prototype, joining forces with Gaston Andrey Racing and hiring fellow Italian Ruggero Melgrati to race with them. They were the class winners at West Palm Beach and Road America.

It was Facetti's last full-time season in a career. He returned to a cockpit of an Alba AR6 one more time, in the non-championship Kyalami 500 km race in November 1988. He and Finotto won the race in the Lights class. Facetti's last race in a career was the Italian GT Championship event at Mugello in July 1995, where he finished fourth in a Ferrari F355.

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