Career Summary:

Giulio Cabianca

  • February 19, 1923
  • June 15, 1961
  • Italy
  • Not Active
  • 87
  • 26
  • 42
  • 2
  • 29.89%
  • 48.28%

Giulio Cabianca (1923-1961) was an Italian racing driver who was active from the late 1940s to 1961, recording four participations in the Formula One World Championship and many more races in the sports car competitions.

He lost a life in a bizarre accident at Modena Autodrome in June 1961, during a test of a Cooper-Ferrari F1 car. He was unable to stop due to a stuck throttle and he went out of the track, killing himself and three more men on the street near the track.

Giulio Cabianca

Giulio Cabianca

Starting a career shortly after the World War II

Born in February 1923 in Verona, Cabianca started his racing career shortly after the World War II, in 1947, driving different Fiat cars in road races such were Coppa delle Dolomiti, Coppa della Toscana, Mille Miglia or Targa Florio. In 1949, he won several national races in Osca MT4 1100.

Numerous victories in an Osca MT4

In 1951, he reached a podium at Mille Miglia in an Osca MT4, finishing 12th overall and third in S1.1 class. He was sharing a car Luigi Zanelli. A few weeks later, they were class winners at Coppa della Toscana.

After that, Cabianca became a regular class winner with Osca MT4, triumphing at Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti, Giro delle Calabria, Circuito de Senigallia and finally, in May 1952, at Mille Miglia. He recorded more wins at Giro dell'Umbria and Circuito di Caserta or repeated wins at Coppa Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti and Circuito de Senigallia.

Giulio Cabianca Osca MT4

Giulio Cabianca scored many wins in an Osca MT4

DNF at 1952 Carrera Panamericana

In November 1952, Cabianca traveled to Mexico to participate at Carrera Panamericana. He was driving a Lancia Aurelia B20, not finishing the race.

Next year, at Giro di Sicilia, Cabianca made a debut in a Ferrari 250 MM. Later in 1953, he was driving that car at Mille Miglia (9th) and Targa Florio (6th).

11th place at Le Mans debut in 1955

In 1954, he was driving Osca MT4 again, scoring few podiums but without wins. In June 1955, Cabianca made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours. It was the race marked by the greatest tragedy in a history of motorsport.

Cabianca and his co-driver Roberto Scorbatti ended the race in the #40 Osca MT4 1500, finishing 11th overall and fourth in S1.5 class. Four months later, Cabianca and Piero Carini scored a class victory at Targa Florio. In April 1956, one more class victory followed at Mille Miglia.

Giulio Cabianca at 1957Mille Miglia

Giulio Cabianca at 1957Mille Miglia

Formula One debut in 1958

Cabianca continued to collect wins and podiums with different Osca cars in the Italian races. In April 1958, he won Napoli Grand Prix in Osca F2 car and after that, he was ready for his Formula 1 World Championship debut. He came to Monte-Carlo in May but his attempt to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix in an Osca F2 car failed.

However, Cabianca made a Formula One debut a few months later, in September 1958, in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He was driving Jo Bonnier's #22 Maserati 250F, retiring after 51 laps with a broken engine.

Giulio Cabianca in the #28 Maserati 250F at 1959 Italian Grand Prix

Giulio Cabianca in the #28 Maserati 250F at 1959 Italian Grand Prix

1959 – one more start in F1, DNF at Le Mans

In 1959, Cabianca repeated a victory at Napoli Grand Prix in an Osca F2 car. In Formula 1, he made one start with Maserati 250F, driving for Ottorino Volonterio at Italian Grand Prix. He finished in 15th place, eight laps behind race winner Stirling Moss.

In June 1959, Cabianca returned to Circuit de la Sarthe, driving Eugenio Castellotti's #23 Ferrari  Dino 196S at Le Mans 24 Hours. His co-driver was Giorgio Scarlatti. They were among the fastest drivers in practice but their race lasted just six hours. Later that year, Cabianca drove that car again at Messina Grand Prix, finishing second.

Giulio Cabianca in a Cooper T51-Ferrari

Giulio Cabianca in a Cooper T51-Ferrari

Fourth place at Monza as a highlight of F1 career

In 1960, Cabianca was a member of Ferrari's crew which finished fourth at Targa Florio, together with Willy Mairesse and Ludovico Scarfiotti in a Ferrari Dino 246 S.

Parallel to his sports car racing commitments, Cabianca made his last F1 start in 1960. He was driving the #2 Cooper T51-Ferrari for Scuderia Castelotti in the Italian Grand Prix. He finished the race in the fourth place, behind three Ferrari drivers Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and Willy Mairesse.

Losing a life in a bizarre accident

In 1961, after a couple of sports car races in Lancia cars, Cabianca attended Modena Autodrome in June to participate in a test of Castelotti's Cooper-Ferrari F1 car. During a test, he suffered a stuck throttle and was unable to stop the car, driving it through the opened door out of Autodrome. He hit a spectator near the track but it was even worst on the street.

Crossing the Via Emilia, Cabianca crashed into a bicycle, motorcycle, mini-van, three parked cars and finally hit the wall of a workshop. Cabianca killed three men instantly (bicycle rider, motorcycle rider and van driver) while he died a few hours later in a hospital.