Giovanni Lavaggi

Giovanni Lavaggi (born 18 February 1958) is an Italian racing driver.

Giovanni Lavaggi
Born (1958-02-18) 18 February 1958 (age 62)
Augusta, Italy
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityItaly Italian
Active years19951996
TeamsPacific, Minardi
Entries10 (7 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1995 German Grand Prix
Last entry1996 Japanese Grand Prix

Despite Lavaggi being a nobleman by background, he couldn’t count on personal financial resources; therefore he started racing only at the age of 26. Nevertheless, he managed to reach the top class of motorsport, racing in Formula One in ‘95 and ‘96. First approach to F1 was in 1992 when, being a mechanical engineer, he was official test driver for March F1 team. In 1995, he drove for Lotus-Pacific only for 4 races in which he was forced to retire due to gearbox problems. In the second part of 1996 racing season, he joined Minardi Team for 6 races. His best result was a 10th place at Hungaroring, which was the second best result of the year for Minardi team. With the current point scoring system, that result could have earned him 1 point in the F1 world championship.

Racing careerEdit

Lavaggi's racing career started in 1984, inspired by Henry Morrogh who judged him the best student he ever had at his racing school. That year he was official driver of the constructor Ermolli in “Formula Panda” Italian championship where he classified second, winning more races than any other driver. Having not enough sponsors to afford a whole championship in Formula 3, he did just a few races in the F3 Italian championship before turning to “Groupe C” sports cars, in order to gain international experience. In this category, soon he became a driver of Porsche Kremer Team, obtaining great results: he was the 1993 Interserie Champion winning 6 races on a total of 12 and being other 4 times on the podium. He also won the 1995 iconic Daytona 24 Hours where he did most of the job, driving 9 hours in a team of 4 drivers. He scored as well two wins in the FIA Sportscar Championship, including the prestigious 1000Km of Monza, where he drove five hours on six; furthermore he was 5 more times on the podium and he took 2 pole positions. His first race in F1 was in 1995. He was a rookie, but, at the same time, being 35 years old, he was the oldest driver in the field; therefore, he had to fight against the scepticism of the F1 media. Nevertheless, even with no previous experience and no tests (his teams had not enough money to perform private tests) he was always close to the performance of his teammates. His last experience in F1 was the 1996 Bologna Motorshow. Racing with a Minardi against two Benettons (driven by Jarno Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella), two Ligiers (Olivier Panis and Shinji Nakano) and the other Minardi (Tarso Marques), he reached the second place, losing the final against Fisichella by a nose.

After F1 experience, Lavaggi founded his own team “Scuderia Lavaggi” and in 2006 he became a constructor designing and building his own Le Mans Prototype, the Lavaggi LS1. With his car, he raced in the Le Mans Series until 2009 and he scored a pole position at 2008 Vallelunga 6h. Lavaggi is the only example of a driver-constructor in the modern era of motorsport at high-level.

He was nicknamed "Johnny Carwash" (an approximate translation of his name from Italian to English, John Washes) by people in the paddock; US talk show host David Letterman helped bring the nickname to popular attention.[citation needed]

FamilyEdit

Lavaggi noble family moved from Genova to Sicily (Palermo) in 1420 and then from Palermo to Augusta in 1711. A cousin of Giovanni’s grandfather, also called Giovanni Lavaggi, was a war hero. He was a pilot of the Italian air force and he died because of the sabotage of his airplane, while bringing to Asmara the Italian minister of public works Luigi Razzi, who also was killed in the crash. In the cities of Catania and Augusta, Via Giovanni Lavaggi (Giovanni Lavaggi Road) is named after him.

Racing recordEdit

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1989   Porsche Kremer Racing   Kunimitsu Takahashi
  Bruno Giacomelli
Porsche 962C C1 303 DNF DNF
1990   Team Davey   Max Cohen-Olivar
  Tim Lee-Davey
Porsche 962C C1 306 19th 19th
1992   Porsche Kremer Racing   Manuel Reuter
  John Nielsen
Porsche 962CK6 C3 334 7th 2nd
1993   Porsche Kremer Racing   Jürgen Lässig
  Wayne Taylor
Porsche 962CK6 C2 328 12th 7th
2000   Repsol Racing Engineering   Tomás Saldaña
  Jesús Diez Villaroel
Porsche 911 GT3-R GT 78 DNF DNF

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
1991 Crypton Engineering VAL
DNQ
PAU
DNQ
JER
DNQ
MUG
DNQ
PER
Ret
NC 0
Roni Team HOC
DNQ
BRH
DNQ
SPA
DNQ
BUG
DNQ
NOG
12

American Open-Wheel racing resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest race lap)

PPG Indycar SeriesEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1994 Euromotorsports Lola T9300 Ilmor C SRF PHX LBH INDY MIL DET
DNQ
POR 38th 0
Leader Cards Racing CLE
30
TOR MCH MDO NHA VAN ROA
15
NAZ LAG
DNQ

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Points
1995 Pacific Grand Prix Ltd Pacific PR02 Ford V8 BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR EUR PAC JPN AUS NC 0
1996 Minardi Team Minardi M195B Ford V8 AUS BRA ARG EUR SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER
DNQ
HUN
10
BEL
DNQ
ITA
Ret
POR
15
JPN
DNQ
NC 0

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit