Marco Bonanomi is an Italian racing driver who achieved the most in sports car racing. He competed with different teams in various international sports car competitions in recent years but he scored his greatest success in the national competition, winning the Italian GT Championship in 2011 with Audi Sport Italia. He participated four times at 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing best in the third place in 2012 in a factory-entered Audi R18 ultra.
Born in March 1985 in Lecco, Marco Bonanomi started his car racing career in 2001, entering few rounds of the Formula Renault Eurocup and Italian Formula Renault. He stayed one more season in the Formula Renault, moving then to Formula 3 in 2003.
He spent three seasons in Formula 3, racing first in the Italian championship in 2003 and then in the Formula 3 Euro Series for two seasons, not scoring any notable result.
Bonanomi scored his greatest success in the single-seater racing in 2006, finishing as a vice-champion in the Euroseries 3000, driving for Fisichella Motor Sport (FMS International). He was a race winner six times, losing a title to his teammate Giacomo Ricci.
In 2006, Bonanomi also made a debut in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Tech 1 Racing, moving to the series next year as a full-time driver for RC Motorsport. Without wins or podiums, he finished 12th in the points. In 2008, he finished 11th in the FR 3.5 Series with Team Comtec, scoring just one podium.
Besides racing in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Bonanomi also entered GP2 Asia Series in 2008 and 2009, scoring one victory over two seasons. In 2009, he returned to the Euroseries 3000, first driving for Bull Racing and then for FMS International.
He was a race winner four times, finishing tied in the points on the top of the standings with Will Bratt. The British driver was a champion because he had more second-place finishes.
In 2010, Bonanomi made a transition to sports car racing, joining the Audi Sport Italia in the Italian GT Championship. He was driving the #53 Audi R8 LMS, sharing a car with Filipe Albuquerque. They won two races, at Vallelunga and Imola, finishing second in the final standings of GT3 class.
Next year, Bonanomi moved to the #33 Audi R8 LMS, sharing a car with Andrea Sonvico (five rounds), Gianluca Giraudi (one round) and Filipe Albuquerque (one round). Bonanomi was a race winner four times, winning the championship title.
In 2011, Bonanomi tested Audi LMP1 prototype with Audi factory team but he gets an opportunity to race with that car in two rounds of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, at Spa 6 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. Sharing the #4 Audi R18 ultra with Oliver Jarvis, he finished third at Spa. At Le Mans, Mike Rockenfeller joined them as the third driver and they finished in the third place.
For the rest of the season, Bonanomi was driving the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain Endurance Series. His best result was the second place at Monza. At Spa 24 Hours, he didn't finish the race.
Bonanomi was out of racing in 2013, testing with Audi and returning to FIA WEC and Le Mans in 2014. He joined Audi Sport Team Joest to drive the#3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Spa (6th) and Circuit de la Sarthe (DNF). Outside FIA WEC, he drove Audi R8 LMS Grand-Am for Fall-Line Motorsports at Watkins Glen 6 Hours and Porsche 997 GT3 R for Pro GT by Almeras at Spa 24 Hours.
In 2015, Bonanomi was again a part of Audi factory team at Spa and Le Mans rounds of the FA WEC, finishing fourth at Spa and seventh at Le Mans. In other competitions, he spent a season with ISR team in the Blancpain GT Series, driving the #75 Audi R8 LMS both in the Endurance and Sprint Cup. He was sharing a car with Filip Salaquarda and Frederic Vervisch, not scoring wins or podiums.
In 2016, Bonanomi's main competition was the ADAC GT Masters. He was sharing the #44 Aust Motorsport Audi R8 LMS with Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, earning no points in six rounds.
In the same year, Bonanomi also raced with Audi in the selected rounds of the Australian GT Championship and Blancpain GT Series.
In 2017, Bonanomi recorded one start in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Ligier JS P217 prototype, driving for PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports at Circuit of the Americas. His co-driver was Jose Gutierrez. Bonanomi was also driving Ligier LMP3 prototype for Craft Bamboo Racing in two races of the FRD LMP3 Series.
In June 2017, Bonanomi returned to Circuit de la Sarthe, driving the #4 Enso CLM P1/01 for ByKolles Racing Team. He was sharing a car with Dominik Kraihamer and Oliver Webb, not finishing the race. He joined the team in one more FIA WEC race, finishing 14th at Nurburgring 6 Hours.
Parallel to his GT racing commitments, Bonanomi was spending his free time in rallying, participating four times in the Monza Rally Show between 2012 and 2017. In his first appearance in 2012, he was driving a Citroen C4 WRC, finishing fourth. In 2014, he returned in a Ford Focus RS WRC.
In 2016, he finished third in a Citroen DS3 WRC, sharing a podium with Valentino Rossi and Dani Sordo. At 2017 Monza Rally Show, Bonanomi was third again in a Citroen DS3 WRC, behind Valentinos Rossi and pair Andreas Mikkelsen/Thierry Neuville.
Photos: Marco Bonanomi,