Dean Canto is an Australian racing driver mostly known as an endurance co-driver in the Supercars Championship and a two-time champion of the V8 Supercar development series in 2000 and 2005.
In the greatest Australian race, the Bathurst 1000, he participated nineteen times between 1999 and 2017, finishing best in the second place in 2012 together with David Reynolds. In the recent years, Canto is an endurance co-driver to Mark Winterbottom.
Parallel to his racing commitments, Canto is running performance driving school.
Born in September 1980 in Sydney, Dean Canto spent his teenage years in karting competitions, winning one national and two state championships.
In 1998, he graduated to car racing in the Australian GT Production Car Championship, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX. Outside championship, the highlight of the season was a victory at Sandown 1 Hour in a Maserati Ghibli which he was sharing with Alfredo Costanzo.
In 1999, Canto switched to the Australian Super Touring Car Championship, driving a Ford Mondeo and finishing seventh in the points. He raced with Ford Mondeo at Bob Jane T-Marts 500 at Mount Panorama Circuit, not finishing the race.
In November 1999, he made a debut at Bathurst 1000 Supercars race, sharing a Holden VS Commodore with Wayne Wakefield. They didn't finish the race.
In 2000, Dean Canto stepped into the Konica V8 Lites Series, a development series for the V8 Supercars Championship. It was the inaugural season of the series and he became the champion in the #45 Ford EL Falcon, driving for his own team. He was a race winner five times in fifteen races.
In the V8 Supercars Championship, he participated in four races, driving alone at Clipsal 500, together with Neal Bates at Queensland 500 (DNF) and together with Ian Moncrieff at Bathurst 1000 (DNF).
In 2001, he expanded his duties in the Shell Championship Series (V8 Supercars) to eight races with RPM International and Glenn Seton Racing. At Bathurst 1000, he and legendary Jim Richards finished fifth in the #6 Ford AU Falcon.
In 2002, Canto participated in seven V8 Supercars races with Brigss Motor Sport, as an endurance co-driver to Max Wilson or driving alone at Pukekohe and Sandown.
In 2003, Dean Canto spent his first full season in the V8 Supercars Championship, driving the #66 Ford BA Falcon for Briggs Motor Sport and for Triple Eight Race Engineering. His co-driver at Bathurst 1000 was Matthew White and they didn't finish the race.
In 2004, he stepped out from the championship, participating in two races only as a co-driver to Yvan Muller in the #888 Team Betta Electrical Ford Falcon. They retired in both races.
In 2005, Dean Canto reactivated himself in the V8 Supercar Series, driving the #71 Ford BA Falcon for Dick Johnson Racing. He won five of seven rounds, scoring ten race victories, to take his second championship title in the series.
In the major V8 Supercars Championship, he participated in eight races with Dick Johnson Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport. He and Glenn Seton finished ninth at Bathurst 1000 in DJR's #18 Ford BA Falcon.
Canto returned to the V8 Supercars Championship on a full-time schedule in 2006, driving the #34 Holden VZ Commodore for Garry Rogers Motorsport. In the third round, at Barbagallo Raceway, he scored his maiden V8 Supercars victory. At Bathurst 1000, he and Lee Holdsworth finished 17th. Canto also finished 17th in the championship.
He stayed one more season with GRM, driving the #34 Holden to 16th place at the end of the season. He was without wins or podiums. At Bathurst 1000, he and Lee Holdsworth didn't finish the race.
In 2008, Canto returned one more time to the V8 Supercars Series, sponsored by Fujitsu. Driving the #37 Ford BA Falcon for Howard Racing, he won six races and finished as a runner-up, losing a title to Steve Owen.
In the 2008 V8 Supercars Championship, Canto was an endurance co-driver to Ford Performance Racing's Luke Youlden, finishing seventh at Bathurst 1000. In 2009, Canto was out of full-time racing, participating only in endurance races with Luke Youlden.
In 2010, Dean Canto joined Rod Nash Racing as an endurance co-driver to Paul Dumbrell in the #55 Ford Falcon. He stayed with the team for six years, until 2015.
After sharing a car with Paul Dumbrell in 2010 and 2011, Canto joined David Reynolds in the #52 Ford in 2012. A new partnership resulted with Canto's career-best finish at Bathurst 1000. They were second, losing by three-tenths of a second to Triple Eight's Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell.
In 2013, Canto and Reynolds won Sunday's race in the Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise. It was his second and the last win so far in the V8 Supercars Championship.
While serving as an endurance co-driver for Rod Nash Racing, Canto occasionally raced in other competitions, such were Mini Challenge, V8 SuperTourers NZ, Australian GT Championship, Porsche Carrera Cup Australia or Stock Car Brasil.
In 2016, after six seasons in the #55 Ford, Canto stayed with Ford but changed a partner, joining the defending V8 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom in the #1 Ford FG X Falcon of Prodrive Racing Australia. They raced together in 2016 and 2017, recording two DNFs at Bathurst 1000. The partnership with Mark Winterbottom continues in 2018 in the team that was renamed to Tickford Racing.
Outside V8 Supercars Championship, Canto recorded some notable results in GT racing. In 2016, he spent most of the season in the Australian GT Championship in a Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX, then switched to Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in 2017 and reached a podium at Bathurst 12 Hour, finishing third in GT3 Am class.