Roberto Ravaglia is a former Italian racing driver born in Venice on 26th of May 1957. He currently owns the ROAL Motorsport team which operates with Chevrolet in the World Touring Car Championship. He is one of the most successful drivers in the history of touring car races, having driven primarily the BMW, and claiming the winning title in seven championships in four different competitions.
Video - DTM champions duel - Roberto Ravaglia (1989) and Bruno Spengler (2012)
Natural born winner
Ravaglia won his first trophies in karting races, where he became the Italian champion twice. In 1984, he made his debut in European Touring Car Championship, and two years later, he won his first title. In 1987 and 1988, the Italian defended the titles in ETCC, and after that, he moved on to DTM where he grabbed the title in 1989. In the same year, the successful Italian driver also won 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
Roberto Ravaglia in his BMW M3 E30
Years of domination in the Italian Touring Cars Championship
The Italian Touring Cars Championship was Ravaglia’s next challenge and he managed to continue his streak of success, winning the titles in 1990, 1991 and 1993. RobertoRavaglia was also successful in the 24 Hours of Spa, where he won three times (1985, 1988, 1994), driving together with well-known names like Gerhard Berger, Marc Surer, Thierry Tassin, Dieter Quester and Altfrid Heger. One can say that the 1996 was one of his most unsuccessful years, despite the 6th place overall in the British Touring Car Championship. In the following year, he decided to end his driving career.
Roberto Ravaglia in BMW 318iS at Spa
Racing is all about emotions
One of the most striking moments of Ravaglia's career, aside from his numerous successes, was the accident he had in Australia, during the inaugural WTCC season. After crashing his BMW M3 during qualifying, he injured his ribs heavily, making it hard for him to breathe. The Italian managed to finish the session, but was so exhausted and dehydrated, that he collapsed and was sent to the tracks medical centre.
Eric Helary/Peter Kox/Roberto Ravaglia McLaren-BMW F1 GTR, at 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours
"Motor Racing is all about emotions and I will never forget the range of them I felt at Hockenheim in 1992. It was the last racing weekend for the BMW M3 and after six years of developing and racing the car, it felt like I was saying goodbye to a great old friend“, said Ravaglia.
Roberto Ravaglia, the owner of ROAL Motorsport
Still involved in motorsports
After retiring from races in 2001, together with Aldo Fre, Ravaglia formed his own team called Ravaglia Motorsport, which was later renamed to ROAL Motorsport in 2006. With the support of BMW, the team participated in ETCC and won Super-production class championship in the first attempt. ROAL Motorsport is also competing in WTCC and trying to find their way to the top of the series.