Domenico Schiattarella, nicknamed Mimmo, is an Italian former racing driver who recorded six starts in the Formula One World Championship in 1994 and 1995, driving for Simtek Ford. He was also active in the North American open-wheel and sports car competitions, ending a career in 2016 in the Italian GT Championship. He recorded two starts at Le Mans 24h, finishing best in the sixth place overall in 1999.
Italian F2000 champion early in a career
Born in November 1967 in Milan, Domenico Schiattarella started his racing career at the age 14, participating in karting competitions. In 1987, he stepped into the Italian Formula 2000, winning the title in his first season. Then, he continued a career in the Italian Formula 3 Championship in 1988, driving a Dallara-Alfa Romeo for Vismara Corse team.
After scoring no wins or podiums in his rookie season, he joined Piemme Corse in 1989 to drive a Dallara-Volkswagen. He was on a podium once, finishing eighth in the points. He also travelled to Macau to participate in the famous F3 Grand Prix race, finishing in the fifth place.
Formula 3 Italian vice-champion in 1991
In 1990, he was back to a cockpit of Dallara-Alfa Romeo F3 car, driving for Forti Corse and reaching two podiums in the Italian championship, finishing ninth in the points. His best F3 season followed in 1991 when he was driving a Ralt-Alfa Romeo for Jolly Club. He was a race winner two times, finishing second in the championship, behind Giambattista Busi.
Schiattarella slowed down his racing activities in 1992, participating occasionally in the Italian and South American F3 races. Then, in 1993, he participated in several races of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in the US.
Indy Car and Formula One debut in 1994
The milestone season in Schiattarella's career was 1994. That year, he made a debut in two world's premier open-wheel competitions – Indy Car World Series and Formula 1 World Championship. In the North American championship, he joined Project Indy team to drive the #64 Lola-Ford in two races, at Toronto (26th) and Mid-Ohio (16th). He was also listed for Vancouver's event but withdrew before the race.
Schiattarella made his Formula 1 debut in October 1994 in the European Grand Prix at Jerez, driving the #32 Simtek S941-Ford for MTV Simtek team. He was classified 19th, the last among running drivers, ending a race five laps behind race winner Michael Schumacher (Benetton). Four weeks later, Schiattatella rejoined Simtek in the Australian Grand Prix at Adelaide. He retired due to gearbox issues after 21 laps.
In October 1994, Schiattarella also has a successful debut in GT racing, finishing on a podium at Vallelunga 6 Hours non-championship race. He was sharing the #5 Ferrari 348 GTC-LM with Fabio Mancini and Massimo Monti. He returned to the same race a year later, in a Ferrari F355 GT, not finishing the race.
Four more Formula 1 starts with Simtek in 1995
In 1995, Schiattarella recorded four more starts in Formula One and two attempts in the Indy Car World Series. In Formula 1, he was driving the #11 Simtek S951 for MTV Simtek Ford in the first four events of the season (Brazil, Argentina, San Marino, Spain). He retired in Brazil and then finished ninth in Argentina. He recorded one more DNF at Imola and then finished 15th in Spain. Simtek left the championship after five rounds and Schiattarella was without a ride.
He then rejoined Project Indy in the #64 car in the last two rounds of the Indy Car World Series, at Vancouver (18th) and Las Vegas (21st).
Victory at Vallelunga 6 Hours in 1996
In 1996, Schiattarella left open-wheel racing and joined Peter Stürtz and his team in two rounds of the IMSA World Sports Car Championship, driving a Stürtz-BMW prototype. He retired at Lime Rock Park and didn't start at Daytona 3 Hours after an accident before the race.
In 1997, Schiattarella joined British team GBF in the FIA GT Championship, driving the #23 Lotus Elise GT1 in seven races. His co-driver was Luca Badoer. They recorded six DNFs, reaching the finish line only at Donington in 12th place.
One-off return to the North American open-wheel racing in 1998
Schiattarella was out of full-time racing in 1998, recording only a one-off return to the North American open-wheel racing (CART FedEx Championship Series) with the same team he was racing for before, but now under the name Project CART.
He was driving the #15 Reynard 98i-Mercedes in the third round at the streets of Long Beach. He finished in the sixteenth place among twenty-nine drivers.
Sixth place in Le Mans 24h debut
In 1999, Schiattarella stayed in the US, participating on a part-time schedule in the inaugural season of the American Le Mans Series. He was driving the #0 Riley & Scott MkIII-Judd for Team Rafanelli. He won in a debut at Road Atlanta, sharing a car with Eric van de Poele. Later in the season, his co-driver was Erik Comas in four races and then again Eric van de Poele in two races.
In June 1999, Schiattarella made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving the #13 Courage C52-Nissan for Courage Competition. His partners were two other Italian former F1 drivers Alex Caffi and Andrea Montermini. They finished in the sixth place.
Double programme in the US in 2000
In 2000, Schiattarella stayed with Team Rafanelli in the American Le Mans Series, switching to Lola-Judd prototype. With that car, they also appeared at Le Mans, not finishing the race. In the ALMS, he was on a podium once, finishing 13th in the final standings of Prototype class.
That year, Schiattarella had a double programme in the North American sports car racing, also competing full season in the Grand American Rolex Series. He was driving the #12 Ferrari 333 SP for Risi Competizione, taking four podiums and finishing in the fourth place. His partner for most of the season was Ralf Kelleners, except at Road America where he and Eric van de Poele finished second.
Three seasons in a Ferrari 550 Maranello
In 2001, Schiattarella stayed with Team Rafanelli but moved his career to Europe, driving the #5 Ferrari 550 Maranello in five rounds of the FIA GT Championship. His best result was the fourth place at Magny-Cours, with Emanuele Naspetti as his co-driver.
In 2002, Schiattarella continued to race in a Ferrari 550 Maranello, joining Team Olive Garden in the GTS class of the American Le Mans Series. He was on a podium three times, finishing ninth in the points. His full-time co-driver was Emanuele Naspetti. They stayed together in the green #0 Ferrari in the 2003 ALMS season, reaching two podiums to finish 10th in the GTS class standings.
Accepting new racing challenges
In the following years, Schiattarella raced occasionally in the Italian Ferrari Challenge, then switching to the Italian GT Championship in 2007. In 2010, he accepted a new challenge by competing in one round of the Italian-based Superstars Series. Between 2010 and 2014, he recorded twelve starts in the Superstars/EuroV8 Series, driving a BMW M3 or Chevrolet Lumina, but without notable results.
In 2015, Schiattarella tried something completely different, participating in one round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, driving a Chevrolet at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. After racing in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in three rounds of the 2014 Italian GT Championship, Schiattarella recorded his last races also in a Porsche, driving for Ebimotors in one round of the 2016 Italian GT Championship.
In 2016, after leaving racing as a driver, Schiattarella continued to work as a team manager in newly formed X-One Racing, which he co-founded together with the Swiss entrepreneur Benjamin J.Fischer.
Photos: X-One Racing,