The Italian rally driver Gigi Galli is one of the world's most beloved racers among rally fans although he has never scored any victory in the World Rally Championship, in which he has competed between 1998 and 2008. During that period, Galli participated in 66 WRC events and reached two podiums.
Rally fans admire Galli because of his attractive driving style. In recent years, Galli is mostly cheering up his fans in the various historic and show events. He also had a few participations in the World Rallycross Championship with his own team, but without notable success.
Gianluigi Gigi Galli
Rallying debut for Galli in 1994
Gianluigi Galli was born on January 13, in Livigno, Italy. After debuting with Peugeot 309 GTI in the national events in 1994, he made his first international debut in the 1995 European Fiat Cinquecento Rally Challenge.
In 1997, he joined Jolly Club to drive Ford Escort RS Cosworth in the European Rally Championship. He reached the finish in only one event and finished 9th at Ypres Rally in Belgium.
For many years, Galli was among world's best drivers of Group N Mitsubishis
WRC debut and class win at 1998 Rallye Sanremo
In 1998, Galli was driving different Mitsubishi Lancer/Carisma models in the European and Italian events, scoring several wins and podiums in the N4 class. In October 1998, Galli debuted in the World Rally Championship, driving the Mitsubishi Carisma GT Evo V at Rallye Sanremo. He finished 19th overall and was the best among Production Class drivers.
In 1999, Galli continued to drive Group N Mitsubishi Carisma in the Production World Rally Championship. He participated in six events, repeating a class victory at Rallye Sanremo and finishing 7th in the final classification.
In 2000, Galli scored one podium (Monte-Carlo) and one victory (Sanremo) in the Production class of the World Rally Championship, finishing seventh in the points at the end of the season. He was driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI. He finished ninth in the Italian championship and first among Class N competitors.
Galli at 2002 Rallye Monte Carlo
Switching to Punto S1600 in 2002
After two WRC unsuccessful attempts in 2001 with Mitsubishi, he scored DNF results in Monte-Carlo and Finland. Galli then switched to Fiat Punto S1600 in 2002. With that car, he was among the Junior WRC competitors, participating in five events and finishing ninth in the points.
Galli returned to Mitsubishi in 2003, joining Ralliart Italia. He participated in just three WRC events and he focused on the ERC and Italian events. He scored two wins in the Italian championship and he finished sixth in the points.
Debut in the WRC car at 2004 Rallye Monte Carlo
Debut in the World Rally Car at 2004 Rallye Monte Carlo
At 2004 Rallye Monte Carlo, the opening event of the WRC season, Galli finally stepped into his first World Rally Car, together with navigator Guido D'Amore. He was driving factory-entered Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 04. He retired after an accident at Special stage 5.
He was driving Lancer WRC in three more events (Mexico, Turkey, Spain), finishing in 7th place at Rally Catalunya. By the end of the season, Galli continued to drive Group N Mitsubishi and was the fastest N4 driver in Finland and Sardinia.
Gigi Galli at 2005 Rally Australia
Mitsubishi's factory driver in 2005
For the 2005 WRC season, Galli was promoted to Mitsubishi's factory team, alongside Harri Rovanpera and Gilles Panizzi. Galli participated in 13 events with Lancer WRC 05, scoring points six times. His best result was the fifth place at ADAC Rallye Deutschland and Rally Australia. He finished 11th in the championship standings.
Galli started the season of 2006 with his private Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05. He retired at Rallye Monte Carlo and finished fourth at Rally Sweden.
Gigi Galli with fans in 2006
Maiden WRC podium as a privateer in the Peugeot 307 WRC
After two events with Mitsubishi, Galli switched to Peugeot 307 WRC, driving a car for the first time at Tour de Corse. In the next event, the 2006 Rally Argentina, Galli scored his maiden WRC podium, finishing third behind Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg. Galli's co-driver was Giovanni Bernacchini.
He scored one more good result with Peugeot and he finished fifth at Rally Finland. At the end of the season, Galli was 11th in the points.
In 2007, Galli continued to drive as a privateer, for the Italian team Aimont Racing and later he switched to Citroen Xsara WRC. He participated in three WRC events, scoring points in Norway and Portugal.
Third place at 2008 Rally Sweden
Second WRC podium with Stobart's Ford Focus WRC
For the 2008 WRC season, Galli had a semi-factory ride in the Stobart VK M-Sport Rally Team. He was driving the #7 Ford Focus RS WRC.
WRC retirement after an accident at 2008 Rallye Deutschland
Galli was a regular point-scorer in the first part of the season, collecting points in Argentina, Jordan and Italy. After that, he had four DNFs. At 2008 ADAC Rallye Deutschland, he had a nasty accident and suffered a broken left femur. It was the end of his season but also the end of his WRC career.
Since then, Galli participated only in historic events and rally shows, such as Memorial Bettega, Rallylegend or Monza Rally Show.
Galli's #25 Kia Rio RX Supercar in the 2016 World Rallycross Championship
Occasional participations in the World Rallycross Championship
In September 2014, Galli entered the World Rallycross Championship, participating in the Italian round at Franciacorta Circuit with OlsbergsMSE's Ford Fiesta. He was 11th after four qualifying heats and then finished third in his Semifinal group.
During the 2015 World RX season, Galli formed his own team GGRX and prepared a rallycross version of Kia Rio. The car had its debut in the Italian round, where Galli finished last (22nd) among the competitors. He returned with the same car next year in October, participating in the Latvian and German rounds of the 2016 championship. He was again in the back of the field.