Marc Gené i Guerrero, what is the full name of this Spanish racing driver, is probably best known as a Formula 1 driver, but his best result was a victory at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009.
He was born on 29th of March 1974 in Sabadell, Catalonia. His first success in racing was in 1987 when he finished as a runner-up in the Catalan kart Championship. That was a springboard for the title he won in 1988. The same year, he also won the title in the Spanish kart Championship.
Excellent results and quick progress in open wheel racing
In the following year, his progress continued at the international stage as he competed in European and World kart championship. In 1990, he became the youngest Spanish kart Championship Senior class title winner, confirming that he was ready for a further progress.
Video - Gené onboard Ferrari F10 at Rudskogen, Norway
When he was 18, Gene debuted in the Spanish Formula Ford Championship. He clinched one race victory and finished fifth overall. His progress through the ranks was fast, so in 1993, Marc became the vice-champion in European Formula Ford Championship while in 1994, he was named Rookie of the Year in the British Formula 3 Championship.
Before moving to Formula 1, he was successful in the lower ranks of open wheel racing. In 1996, the Spaniard took the title in the FISA Superformula championship while two years later, he became the champion of Opel Fortuna by Nissan series after he won six races.
Formula 1 debut with Minardi
In 1999, Marc finally got a chance in F1, as a driver of Minardi team. He managed to score points in the difficult season with an underperforming car. Gene finished 6th in the European Grand Prix at Nurburgring, scoring the first points for Minardi in four years. The following year was even worse for both Minardi and driver as he failed to win a single point, with 8th place in Australia and Austria as his best results.
Marc on his F1 debut with Minardi in 1996
Test driver in Williams and Ferrari
He left Minardi in 2001 and decided to sign a contract with Williams, but only as a test driver. After two years with the team, he got a chance to compete in the Italian Grand Prix, replacing Ralf Schumacher, and he did well. Gene was fifth but that wasn’t enough to secure him a regular driving. He had to wait until 2004 when he replaced Ralf Schumacher again at the French and British Grand Prix races.
Marc sitting on Ferrari F2005
For the season of 2005, Spanish signed a contract with Ferrari, again only as a test driver. The Spaniard spent five years with Scuderia without getting a chance to compete. After being released from his testing duties, Gene stayed connected with Ferrari as a development driver and an ambassador.
Driving a Ferrari in Formula 1 pre-season test in Barcelona, 2009
The first Spaniard to win 24 Hours of Le Mans
In the meantime, Gene enjoyed proper racing in the sportscar category. Peugeot hired him in 2007 for the Le Mans Series. In his first season with the team, Spaniard did pretty well, winning three races and finishing fourth overall. He went a step further in the following year, finishing third overall. In 2008, he was second at 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
Celebrating victory at Le Mans
Driving the same car in 2009 and sharing the seat with David Brabham and Alexander Wurz, Gene won the one of the most prestigious races in the world what is still the biggest achievement in his career. He is also the first driver from Spain who won 24 Hours of Le Mans.
As an Audi Sport Team Joest
Before the start of the 2012 season, Marc moved to the famous Audi Sport Team Joest to compete in the selected races of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The same year, he was the winner of the 6 Hours of Spa, then he was 3rd at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013 and was 2nd at Le Mans in 2014.
Economist, linguist, intellectual
In 2010, Marc started to work as z TV pundit, commenting Formula 1 races for Spanish television while in 2013 he became an expert analyst for the Italian Sky Sports television.
Since 2015, the Spaniard has been contracted with Nissan but due to his Ferrari commitments, he is still waiting for a debut in the World Endurance Championship.
Marc as a Ferrari ambassador
Marc is a father of two kids, Siena and Patrick. Apart from racing and other sports, he loves to read books and he is also very interested in languages. He speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, German, French and Italian. Gene also has a degree in Economics and was once an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.