- October 02, 1940
- Not Active
Giovanni 'Nanni' Galli is an Italian former racing driver who was active in the 1960s and 1970s, recording 20 participations in the Formula One Grand Prix races between 1970 and 1973.
Earlier in a career, he was touring car and sports car racer, scoring some notable results. The highlight was the fourth place overall and a class victory at 1968 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Starting a career in the WSC races
Giovanni Giuseppe Gilberto "Nanni" Galli was born in Bologna, Italy, in October 1940. His racing career started in 1962 when he entered one race of the World Sportscar Championship in a Fiat-Abarth 700. It was the Coppa Maifredi at Circuito del Garda, where he finished in the tenth place.
Next year, Galli participated for the first time at the famous Targa Florio race, which was also a part of the World Sportscar Championship. He was driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato, not finishing the race.
First WSC podium at Mugello
In the following years, Galli continued to participate occasionally in the WSC with different cars, mostly in Italy but also at foreign race tracks (Nurburgring). The first big success came in July 1966 when he finished third in the WSC race at Mugello, sharing the #16 Autodelta Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA with Ignazio Giunti.
In the same year, he scored one podium in the European Touring Car Challenge, finishing second at Zandvoort in an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA.
Traveling to America in 1967
In 1967, Galli traveled to America to make a debut at Sebring 12 Hours. He was driving the #66 Alfa Romeo T33 for Autodelta, sharing a car with Roberto Bussinello. They didn't finish the race.
After returning to Europe, he won the ETCC race at Aspern, driving a Giulia Sprint GTA. In April, he had the first outing in a Ferrari, driving a Ferrari 275 GTB at 1000 km of Monza. In 1967, Galli also participated in one Formula 2 race, driving a Brabham-Alfa Romeo in the season's finale at Vallelunga.
1968 - podium at Targa Florio, class win at Le Mans
Galli continued to drive for Alfa Romeo in 1968, scoring his best result at Targa Florio race, which was a part of the World Sportscar Championship. He and Ignazio Giunti finished second in the #186 Alfa Romeo T33/2, behind Vic Elford and Umberto Maglioli in a Porsche 907.
One more good result followed at Nurburgring 1000km, where they finished fifth. The last race of that year's championship was the Le Mans 24 Hours and Galli finally made his debut at Circuit de la Sarthe. He and Giunti finished fourth overall in the #39 Alfa Romeo T33/2, winning the P2.0 class.
1969 – Le Mans with Matra, Formula 2 with Tecno
In 1969, Galli recorded DNFs with Alfa Romeo in the World Sportscar Championship races at Sebring, Targa Florio and Nurburgring. For Le Mans race, he joined Robin Widdows in the #35 Matra MS630/650, finishing seventh overall and fourth in the P3.0 class.
In 1969, Galli also participated in the Formula 2 European Championship with Tecno Racing Team, driving a Tecno 68-Cosworth. He took part in six races, finishing seventh in the final standings.
Unsuccessful Formula 1 debut at 1970 Italian Grand Prix
In 1970, Galli was sharing an Alfa Romeo T33/3 with Rolf Stommelen, finishing 9th at Sebring 12 Hours and 7th at Monza 1000 kilometers. At Targa Florio, his partner was Umberto Maglioli. They retired after an accident. At Le Mans, Galli and Stommelen retired after 213 laps and they were disqualified because of a push start.
In September 1970, Galli debuted in Formula One, participating in the Italian Grand Prix with Bruce McLaren Motor Racing. It was a disappointing debut as he failed to qualify for the race in the #36 McLaren M7D-Alfa Romeo.
Three world championship podiums in 1971
Galli started the season 1971 in Argentina, finishing third in an Alfa Romeo T33/3 at Buenos Aires 1000 km race. His co-driver was Rolf Stommelen. Two months later, they were on a podium again at Sebring 12 Hours, finishing second and taking the P3.0 class victory.
One more podium result followed later in a year at Zeltweg, where Galli and Stommelen were third. All three races were the part of the International Championship for Makes. Alfa Romeo finished in the second place, behind Porsche.
Seven Formula 1 starts with March
Galli returned to a cockpit of Formula 1 car in May 1971, driving a March-Alfa Romeo for STP March team at Monaco Grand Prix. He failed to qualify for the race. He was more successful in the next race, the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, where he started a race but retired after an accident after seven laps.
For the rest of the season, March was combining Alfa and Cosworth engines. Galli started in six races, finishing four times. His best result was 11th place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, three laps behind race winner Jackie Stewart.
Podium at 1972 Targa Florio
In 1972, Galli continued to drive for Alfa Romeo in the World Championship for Makes. He and Andrea de Adamich finished fifth at Daytona 6 Hours in an Alfa Romeo T33/3. At Brands Hatch, his partner was Helmut Marko, they finished sixth.
In May, Galli and Marko finished second at Targa Florio, behind Arturo Merzario and Sandro Munari in a Ferrari 312 PB. In June, Galli retired at Le Mans, where he was sharing a car with Rolf Stommelen.
Formula One start with Ferrari at the 1972 French Grand Prix
In the 1972 Formula 1 season, Galli had the first appearance in the fifth round at Spa, driving a Tecno PA123 for Martini Racing Team. He retired after an accident. And then, the highlight of his F1 career came in July, when he was invited to drive for Scuderia Ferrari in the French Grand Prix at Charade Circuit. He finished in 13th place in the #30 Ferrari 312 B2.
Until the rest of the season, Galli had three more starts with Martini Racing Team, at Brands Hatch, Österreichring and Monza. He retired in all three races. He achieved the best result in the non-championship race at Vallelunga, finishing third in the Grand Prix della Republica.
Galli spent last F1 season with Frank Williams
The season 1973 was the last in Galli's career and he spent it with Frank Williams Racing. Galli participated in five Grand Prix races in a Cosworth-powered Iso-Marlboro cars. After retiring at Argentina Grand Prix, Galli scored career-best result at Brazilian Grand Prix, where he finished in the ninth place.
He started in three more European races (Spain, Belgium, Monaco), parting ways with the team in the mid-season. After leaving Formula 1, Galli participated in two more races of the 1974 World Championship for Makes, driving an Abarth-Osella PA2 at Monza and Imola, and then ended his career at the age 34.