Fabio Babini is an Italian racing driver who achieved the most in the sports car racing, scoring numerous victories and championship titles since his debut in GT racing in 1996. His greatest success is a GT class victory at 24 hours of Le Mans in 2001. He was on Le Mans podium two more times, in 2008 and 2009.
Babini was also Lamborghini Super Trofeo champion two times (2009 and 2011), European Le Mans Series GTC champion in 2013, Italian GT Champion in 2013 and most recently, the Michelin Le Mans Cup champion in 2017.
Early career in the Formula 3
Born in November 1969 in Faenza near Bologna, Fabio started his racing career in the Italian Formula 3 in 1990, driving a Reynard-Alfa Romeo for BVM Racing. In 1994, Reynard hired him as a test driver but in 1995, Babini turned his career into sports car racing, making a debut in the Italian GT Championship with Porsche 911 Carrera RSR.
Between 1997 and 1999, he was combining drives in the Russian Formula 3 and GT races, even making a debut in the FIA GT Championship with Ebimotors team.
Class victory at Daytona 24 Hours in 2000
In 2000, Babini completely left single-seater racing and focused his interest on GT racing. In February 2000, he had a successful debut at Daytona 24 Hours, driving the #56 Porsche 996 GT3-R for Haberthur Racing alongside Luca Drudi, Fabio Rosa and Gabrio Rosa. The all-Italian crew scored GTU class victory in the greatest American endurance race.
In the same year, Babini also made a Le Mans 24h debut with Haberthur Racing, not finishing the race in the #81 Porsche 996 GT3-R. Over the season, he was driving Porsche for MAC Racing in the French GT Championship.
GT class victory at 2001 Le Mans 24 Hours
In 2001, Babini achieved his greatest result of a career – class victory at 24 hours of Le Mans. He, Gabrio Rosa and Luca Drudi won the race in the #83 Porsche 911 GT3-RS for German team Seikel Motorsport. Earlier that year, he was driving for Seikel at Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h, finishing third in the GT class at Daytona and sixth at Sebring.
Over the season, Babini's main competition was the FIA GT Championship with Art Engineering. He scored one N-GT class victory, at Zolder, finishing 8th in the final standings. He also won the non-championship Vallelunga 6 Hours in a Ferrari 360 Modena of JMB Giesse Team Ferrari.
FIA GT season with Paul Belmondo's Chrysler Viper
In 2002, Babini joined Paul Belmondo Racing to drive the #12 Chrysler Viper GTS-R in the FIA GT Championship, sharing a car with Marc Duez. They won a race at Silverstone and added three more podiums, finishing 10th in the final standings and fifth among teams.
Outside FIA GT Championship, Babini made two guest appearances in the American Le Mans Series. At Sebring 12 Hours, he was third in the GT class in the #60 PK Sport Porsche 996 GT3-RS. At Petit Le Mans, he was driving Chrysler Viper for American Viperacing team, not finishing the race.
2003 – a season with JMB Racing's Ferrari
In 2003, Babini changed a manufacturer again, joining the French team JMB Racing to drive a Ferrari in the FIA GT Championship but also at Sebring 12 Hours, where he finished fourth in the GT class with Ferrari 360 Modena. In the FIA GT Championship, Babini was sharing the #9 Ferrari 550 Maranello with Philipp Peter. They won a race at Estoril in a new 575 Maranello, finishing 12th in drivers' standings and fourth among teams at the end of the season.
Podium at 2004 Spa 24 Hours
In 2004, Babini stayed in a Ferrari 575 Maranello but moved to the Italian GPC Giesse Squadra Corse. Philipp Peter moved together with Babini. Without wins, scoring three podiums, Babini finished 7th in the final FIA GT Championship standings. They were on a podium at Spa 24 Hours too, finishing second.
Outside FIA GT Championship, Babini participated at Petit Le Mans in September, driving a Dodge Viper GTS-R for Carsport America, sharing a car with Jean-Philippe Belloc and Tom Weickardt. They were 19th overall and third in the GTS class.
Combining Ferrari and Maserati in 2005
In 2005, Babini was driving Maserati MC12 GT1, participating in three races of the American Le Mans Series and spending a full season with Vitaphone Racing in the FIA GT Championship. Sharing the #10 Maserati with Thomas Biagi, he won an FIA GT race at Oschersleben to finish sixth in the final standings. The team took the championship title.
Babini also continued to race with Ferraris, driving for GPC Sport and BMS Scuderia Italia in the Le Mans Series.
Two seasons with Aston Martin
In 2006, Babini joined BMS Scuderia Italia in the FIA GT Championship, spending a full season in the #23 Aston Martin DBR9. His co-drivers in most races were Fabrizio Gollin or Christian Pescatori. Scoring three podiums, Babini ended a season ninth in the points.
Outside FIA GT Championship, he participated with Konrad Motorsport at Sebring 12 Hours, driving a Saleen S7-R. He failed to finish the race. Babini returned to Le Mans after three years, sharing an Aston Martin with Fabrizio Gollin and Christian Pescatori. They retired after just three laps.
Babini stayed with Aston Martin Racing BMS team in 2007, sharing a car with Jamie Davies. He finished 8th in the FIA GT Championship final standings. At Le Mans 24 Hours, Babini, Davies and Matteo Malucelli finished 11th overall and 6th in the GT1 class.
Two Le Mans class podiums in a Ferrari
In 2008, Babini returned to a cockpit of Ferrari, driving the #62 Ferrari F430 GTC for Scuderia Ecosse in the GT2 class of the FIA GT Championship. Scoring one podium, he and Jamie Davies finished 12th in the points. Babini was on a podium also at Le Mans 24 Hours, where he was sharing the #97 BMS Ferrari F430 GTC with Paolo Ruberti and Matteo Malucelli. They finished second in the GT2 class, behind Risi Competizione's Ferrari.
A year later, in June 2009, Babini, Ruberti and Malucelli repeated a result at Le Mans, finishing again second in the GT2 class and losing again to Risi Competizione. It was Babini's last participation in the world's greatest race.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo champion in 2009 and 2011
In 2008, while driving Ferrari in the FIA GT Championship, Babini recorded three starts in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series with Coyote-Pontiac prototype, driving for Cheever Racing. He retired in all three races, at Daytona, Watkins Glen and Miller Motorsports Park.
In 2009, Babini's main competition was the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and he won the championship in his first season. He was a race winner seven times in Petri Corse's Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4.
He stayed in Lamborghini's one-make series for two more seasons, winning two races in 2010 and eleven races in 2011, when he was a champion again.
Diverse racing schedule
Of other championships, Babini participated in two races of the 2010 Le Mans Series, driving Lola-Judd LMP2 prototype for the Italian Racing Box team. In 2011, he made a debut in the International GT Open, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 R for Autorlando Sport in the GTS class. He and Gianluca Roda were race winners three times and Babini finished fourth in the final standings.
In 2012, Babini had a part-time schedule in the Italian GT Championship with Autocarrozzeria Imperiale, driving a Lamborghini Gallardo Cup.
Two championship titles in 2013
In 2013, Babini joined SMP Racing in the European Le Mans Series, scoring four wins in four races in the GTC class, dominantly winning the championship title. His partners in the #69 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 were Kirill Ladygin and Victor Shaitar.
In the same season, he was also successful in the Italian GT Championship, scoring four wins in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup for GDL Racing and taking the GT Cup championship title, together with Riccardo Bianco.
One more championship title in 2017
In the following years, Babini had diverse schedule of races, participating in the Italian GT Championship with Autorlando's Porsche 997 GT3 R, Imperiale's Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 or Ebimotors' Lamborghini Huracan GT3, in the Blancpain Endurance Series with Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Grasser Racing Team or Attempto Racing, in the International GT Open with Ebimotors' Huracan, in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Konrad Motorsport's Huracan and many more.
In 2017, he managed to add one more championship title to his CV. He participated in the Michelin Le Mans Cup with Ebimotors team, sharing the #46 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with Emanuele Busnelli. They won two races and won the title in the GT3 class. In 2017, he also participated with Ebimotors Huracan at Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h but without notable results.
In 2018, Ebimotors switched to Porsche and Babini raced in the #80 Porsche 911 RSR in the European Le Mans Series, scoring one victory and finishing seventh in GTE class. He was also driving Porsche at Le Mans, sharing a car with Christina Nielsen and Erik Maris, finishing sixth in GTE Am class.
Trying rally cars at Monza Rally Show
Besides his GT racing commitments, Babini participated two times in the annual Monza Rally Show. In 2009, he was driving a Subaru Impreza S12 WRC. Six years later, he returned to Monza Rally Show in a Peugeot 208 T16 R5.
In 2016, he also recorded a participation at Santa Domenica Rally Show in Croatia, driving a buggy together with his friend Giovanni Trincosi.