- March 21, 1921
- November 28, 1990
- Not Active
Paco Godia (1921-1990), also known as Chico Godia, was a Spanish racing driver who was active from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. He recorded 13 starts in the Formula One World Championship between 1951 and 1958. He was also active in sports car racing, recording a couple of starts at 24 Hours of Le Mans among other races, finishing best in the fourth place overall.
Born in March 1921 in Barcelona, Francesco Godia Sales recorded first participations in major races in 1949. In May, he participated in the Grand Prix du Roussillon at Perpignan Circuit, finishing ninth in a Delage 3000 which he was sharing with Henri Louveau.
The next month, Paco Godia and Louis Gerard raced at 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #14 Delage D6-3L, finishing in the fourth place overall, twenty-three laps behind race winners.
Godia returned to Grand Prix racing in 1951, making a debut in the Formula One World Championship. He was driving the #44 Maserati 4CLT for Scuderia Milano in the Spanish Grand Prix at Pedralbes Circuit.
It was the last race of the season. Juan Manuel Fangio took the victory and the championship title with Alfa Romeo. Godia finished in the tenth place, ten laps behind the race winner.
Godia was out of racing for three years, returning in 1954 both in sports car races and Formula 1. In the F1 Championship, he made just one start, participating again in the Spanish Grand Prix. He was driving the #16 Maserati 250F for a factory team, finishing in the sixth place.
In sports car races, he recorded a couple of starts in a Jaguar XK120 in national events. He finished second at Coppa Montjuic. In 1955, he raced in national sports car events only with different cars (Triumph TR2, Pegaso BT or Ferrari 750 Monza).
In 1956, Godia spent the almost entire F1 season with Officine Alfieri Maserati, driving a Maserati 250F in five events of the Formula 1 World Championship. He retired at Spa-Francorchamps and then he was close to the points in the French Grand Prix (7th) and British Grand Prix (8th).
Finally, in August at Nürburgring, he scored maiden F1 Championship points by finishing fourth in the German Grand Prix, behind J.M. Fangio (Ferrari), Stirling Moss (Maserati) and Jean Behra (Maserati). In the next race, in September at Monza, Godia was fourth again, one lap behind race winner Stirling Moss.
In 195,6, Godia also had a busy schedule of sports car races, driving an Alfa Romeo Zagato in Grand Prix event in Madrid and Maserati 300S in international events. The highlight of the season was his victory at Coupe de Salon at Circuit de Linas-Montlhery near Paris.
In the 1957 Formula One season, Paco Godia was racing with his own Maserati 250F, making three starts in championship Grand Prix events (Nurburgring, Pescara, Monza). He retired two times and finished ninth in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He also attended some non-championship Grand Prix events, finishing best in the sixth place at Moroccan Grand Prix.
In 1958, Godia continued to race with private Maserati 250F in the F1 Championship, finishing one race, the Argentinean Grand Prix in the eighth place. He failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix and recorded DNFs in Belgium and France. The highlight of the season was the third place in the non-championship Syracuse Grand Prix.
Parallel to his F1 commitments, Godia continued his sports car racing career. In May 1957, he finished fifth at Nürburgring 1000 Km in a Maserati 300S, sharing a car with Stirling Moss, Juan-Manuel Fangio and Horace Gould. In October 1957, Godia won Coupes du Salon in a Maserati.
In 1958, Godia returned to Circuit de la Sarthe, participating in his second Le Mans 24h race. He was sharing the #1 Maserati 300S with Joakim Bonnier, not finishing the race. A transmission on their car expired after 15 hours.
Godia's F1 career ended in 1958 but he was active in sports car racing for more than ten years, racing occasionally in Spain and abroad until 1969. In April 1959, he was second at Trofeo Nuvolari at Montjuic circuit in a Porsche RS. Three years later, in July 1962, he won that race in an Aston Martin DB4 GT.
In May 1965, Godia was again successful at Montjuic circuit, winning the Trofeo Juan Jover in an AC Cobra. Godia proved that he was a master of the Montjuic circuit with two more wins in endurance events. He won Barcelona 6 Hours in 1968, sharing a Ford GT40 with Brian Muir, and then Barcelona 12 Hours in 1969, sharing a Porsche 908 with Juan Fernandez.