Matteo Malucelli is an Italian racing driver who achieved the most in sports car racing, becoming the Italian GT champion in 2005, finishing second in the 2008 FIA GT2 Championship and taking three class podiums at 24 hours of Le Mans.
Early switch from single-seaters to sports cars
Born in October 1984 in Forli, Malucelli started his racing career in karting competitions at the age 10. At the age 16, he made a move to car racing, entering the 2001 Italian Formula Renault 2.0 championship. In two Formula Renault seasons, he scored no wins or podiums.
He was waiting to be 18 to enter the Ferrari Challenge in 2003, driving a Ferrari 360 Modena. He scored three wins and finished third in the final points.
FIA GT Championship debut in 2004
In 2004, Malucelli made a debut both in the Italian GT Championship and FIA GT Championship. He was driving a Ferrari 575 Maranello GTC for JMB Racing. In four races of the national championship, he scored two wins and three podiums, sharing a car with Lorenzo Case.
In the FIA GT Championship, he participated in Donington round with Bert Longin and Lorenzo Case as co-drivers. In September, he joined JMB Racing's another crew at Oschersleben, co-driving a Ferrari with Stephane Daoudi and Antoine Gosse.
2005 - Italian GT title and Le Mans debut with BMS Scuderia Italia
For the 2005 Italian GT Championship season, Malucelli joined BMS Scuderia Italia to drive the #23 Ferrari 550 Maranello alongside Miguel Ramos. The Italian-Portuguese pair scored five wins and dominantly won the GT1 championship title.
Driving Aston Martin and Porsche for BMS Scuderia Italia
In 2006, the BMS Scuderia Italia switched to Aston Martin DBRS9. Malucelli was driving a car in the International GT Open and FIA GT Championship. His best result was the third place in the FIA GT race at Hungaroring, where he was sharing a car with Fabio Babini.
In 2007, Malucelli stayed with the same team, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT2 class of the FIA GT Championship. He and Emmanuel Collard finished third in the final GT2 classification. Their only class victory was at Spa 24 Hours.
Two class podiums at Le Mans with Ferrari
Next year, BMS Scuderia Italia returned to Ferrari and Malucelli gained his greatest international success. Driving the #97 Ferrari F430 GT3, he reached GT2 class podium at Le Mans, together with Fabio Babini and Paolo Ruberti. In the same year, Malucelli also finished second in the GT2 class of the FIA GT Championship. His only class victory was again at Spa 24 Hours.
In June 2009, Malucelli was again at Le Mans podium, sharing the #97 Ferrari with Paolo Ruberti and Fabio Babini. In the FIA GT Championship, he finished seventh in the GT2 class.
A season in the Superstars International Series
For 2010 season, Malucelli made a move to Superstars International Series, contesting in two rounds as a replacement for Johnny Herbert in the #5 Chevrolet Lumina CR8 for Motorzone Race Car team. He even won one race at Vallelunga.
Malucelli returned to sports car racing in 2011, driving a Ferrari F430 Challenge for Scuderia Baldini in the Italian GT Championship and Aston Martin DBRS9 for Villois Racing in one round of the International GT Open.
Third place in the 2012 International GT Open
He joined Villois racing for the full season in the 2012 International GT Open, sharing the #12 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with Alvaro Barba Lopez. They scored four wins to finish third in the championship points.
In Italy, Malucelli was driving a Porsche 911 GT3 for Antonelli Motorsport both in the Italian GT Championship and Porsche Carrera Cup Italy. He was fifth in the Carrera Cup with two wins.
2013 - a season in the American Le Mans Series
In 2013, Malucelli's main competition was the American Le Mans Series. He spent a season with Risi Competizione, driving the #62 Ferrari 458 Italia GTC in the GT class. His full-time partner was Olivier Beretta.
In a debut at Sebring 12 Hours, Malucelli, Beretta and Gianmaria Bruni finished second in the GT class. Later in the season, they were GT class winners in Virginia, finishing 8th in the final standings.
One class victory in the 2013 FIA WEC
Outside ALMS, Malucelli had guest appearances with different teams in different competitions. At 6 hours of Spa, a part of the FIA WEC, he scored GTE Am class victory with 8 Star Motorsports' Ferrari, sharing a car with Rui Aguas and Enzo Potolicchio.
At 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours, Malucelli was sharing the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTC with Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella. They were sixth in the GTE Pro class. At Spa 24 Hours, Malucelli joined Team Ukraine in a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, not finishing the race.
Horrific accident at Daytona 24 Hours debut in 2014
In January 2014, Malucelli made a debut at Daytona 24 Hours, a part of IMSA United SportsCar Championship. He was driving Ferrari for Risi Competizione, not finishing the race after a horrific accident in which Memo Gidley crashed with his prototype into Malucelli's car. In March, Malucelli rejoined Risi Competizione at Sebring but they recorded one more DNF because of an accident.
Later in a season, Malucelli was driving Ferrari in the Italian GT Championship for Team Malucelli, scoring a podium at Vallelunga. In 2015, he continued to drive Ferrari in a national championship, scoring two wins for Scuderia Baldini. He was also successful in the 24H Series, scoring one victory with Scuderia Praha.
Class podium with Ferrari at 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours
In 2016, Malucelli competed mostly with Scuderia Praha in the 24H Series or Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup but also joined Risi Competizione at 24 hours of Le Mans. Driving the #82 Ferrari 488 GTE, Malucelli, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander finished second in the GTE Pro class, behind Ford GT.
In 2017, Malucelli was again at the wheel of Ferrari for Scuderia Baldini in the Italian GT Championship, sharing a car with Edward Cheever. He was also driving for Scuderia Praha in the 24H Series and for Rinaldi Racing in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.