Roberto Ravaglia is an owner of the ROAL Motorsport and former racing driver who achieved the most in touring car racing. In a fact, he is one of the most successful drivers in the history of touring car races, having driven primarily BMWs and claiming seven championship titles in four major championships.
He won European Touring Car Championship in 1986 and 1988, World Touring Car Championship in 1987, DTM in 1989 and Italian Touring Car Championship in 1990, 1991 and 1993.
In endurance races, he won Spa 24 Hours three times (1985, 1988, 1994) and Nurburgring 24 Hours two times (1989, 1995). At Le Mans 24 Hours, he reached a podium by finishing third in 1997.
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.
Roberto Ravaglia in a BMW 318iS at Spa
Retiring from racing after podium at Le Mans
The season 1996 was the last for Ravaglia in touring car racing and he spent it the British Touring Car Championship, driving a BMW 320i for BMW Team Schnitzer. He won one race and finished sixth in the points.
In 1997, he joined Schnitzer in the FIA GT Championship, racing with BMW-powered McLaren F1 GTR. He won at Silverstone and finished 8th in the points of GT1 class. In June 1997, he made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing third overall and second in GT1 class in the #43 McLaren F1 GTR. His co-drivers were Eric Helary and Peter Kox. At the end of 1997, Ravaglia retired from racing.
Ravaglia's #43 McLaren F1 GTR at 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours
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 in 1987, 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.
"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 in the first attempt, with Peter Kox as a driver. Another title came in 2005 when Alex Zanardi triumhed in the Italian championship.