Johnny Cecotto

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Johnny Cecotto
Nationality Venezuela Venezuelan
Born (1956-01-25) 25 January 1956 (age 58)
Caracas, Venezuela
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19751980
First race 1975 250cc French Grand Prix
Last race 1980 500cc German Grand Prix
First win 1975 250cc French Grand Prix
Last win 1980 350cc Nations Grand Prix
Team(s) Yamaha
Championships 1975 – 350cc
1978 – Formula 750
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
48 14 26 22 7
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 19831984
Teams Theodore, Toleman
Races 23 (18 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 1
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1983 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last race 1984 British Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1981, 1996, 1998
Teams Team Bigazzi SRL, Team BMW Motorsport
Best finish 8th (1996)
Class wins 0

Alberto "Johnny" Cecotto (born January 25, 1956 in Caracas, Venezuela) is a former Grand Prix motorcycle World Champion and Formula One driver.[1] The son of Italian immigrants, he is one of the few people to have competed in both motorcycle and Formula One Grands Prix. His son Johnny Cecotto, Jr. is also a professional racing driver.

Motorcycle racing history[edit]

Cecotto had won the Venezuelan road racing national championship in 1973 and 1974 before he rose to international prominence at the 1975 Daytona 200 motorcycle race with one of the more inspired rides in the history of the event.[2][3] Competing as an unknown rookie aboard an unmodified Yamaha TZ750 sponsored by Venemotos, Yamaha's Venezuelan importer, he qualified in pole position, but a last minute mechanical glitch forced race officials to relegate him to the last row on the starting grid. Cecotto showed impressive riding ability by passing almost the entire field while working his way up to third place by the end of the race.[2][3][4]

Johnny Cecotto at the Nürburgring in 1976

Following Daytona, Cecotto arrived in Europe to compete in the Grand Prix series, where he continued his meteoric rise at the season opening round in France by winning the 250cc and 350cc races in his first ever Grand Prix.[1] He went on to become the youngest World Champion ever at nineteen years of age when he defeated the defending champion, Giacomo Agostini, for the 1975 350cc World Championship.[1][5]

In 1976, Cecotto returned to Daytona, now with full support from the Yamaha factory racing team. This time, he was victorious, coming out on top after a race-long battle with American Champion Kenny Roberts.[6][7][8] In the 1976 Grand Prix season, he lost his 350cc crown in a tight battle with Harley-Davidson mounted Walter Villa.[1] At the beginning of the 1977 season, he was badly injured in a deadly four rider accident at the Austrian Grand Prix that claimed the life of Swiss rider Hans Stadelmann.[9] Cecotto never seemed to come to grips with the 500cc Yamaha, having had a series of crashes which hindered his progress.[5] Cecotto finished third in the 1978 500cc title chase and added the Formula 750 World Championship to his titles.[1][10] He suffered a badly broken kneecap at the 1979 Austrian Grand Prix at the Salzburgring and missed half the season. Cecotto soldiered on through the 1980 Grand Prix season but his numerous injuries curtailed his motorcycle racing career. After the 1980 season, he decided to quit motorcycling to pursue an auto racing career. He retired with twelve 500cc pole positions in 27 starts, giving him one of the highest pole position per start ratios in motorcycle Grand Prix history.

Automobile racing history[edit]

Cecotto made his four wheeled debut with Minardi in the 1980 Formula Two Championship. In the 1982 Formula Two season, driving for the March-BMW team, he won three races and finished the season tied for first place with his team-mate Corrado Fabi, but was relegated to runner up by the tie breaker system.[11] Nevertheless, his performance garnered enough attention that he was offered a seat in Formula One.

Cecotto at the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix, his last Formula One race.

In Formula One, Cecotto participated in 23 races, debuting on March 13, 1983 for the Theodore Racing team.[12] He had a promising start as he scored a sixth place in only his second race; however, the team suffered from lack of funding and he was forced to sit out the final two rounds.[12] For the 1984 season, he joined the Toleman racing team with Ayrton Senna as his team mate.[13] While qualifying for the British Grand Prix, he crashed heavily, breaking both of his legs which effectively ended his Formula One career. His sixth place at Long Beach stood as the best result for a Venezuelan driver until Pastor Maldonado's victory in the Spanish Grand Prix 29 years later.

After recovering from his injuries, Cecotto returned to competition in the flourishing Group A Touring Car category for the famed Schnitzer Motorsport BMW team, with his best finish being 2nd at the 1985 Spa 24 Hours with Dieter Quester and Markus Oestreich. He then traveled to Australia where he finished second in the 1985 James Hardie 1000 at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, driving a BMW 635 CSi, jointly winning the races "Rookie of the Year" award with his co-driver Roberto Ravaglia. During practice for the James Hardie, Cecotto professed surprise when told by former motorcycle racing rival Gregg Hansford, who was driving an Alfa Romeo GTV6 in the race, that they raced motorcycles at Mt Panorama as well as cars (Hansford was at the time the 350cc motorcycle lap record holder for the 6.172 km (3.835 mi) circuit).

In 1986 he joined the factory backed RAS Volvo team in the FIA Touring Car Championship driving a Volvo 240T. He drove a 240T to victory at the 1986 Guia Race held during the Macau Grand Prix.[14] After Volvo pulled out at the end of the 1986 season, Cecotto re-joined BMW and competed in the 1987 World Touring Car Championship driving a CiBiEmme BMW M3 alongside 1985 European Touring Car Champion Gianfranco Brancatelli. The pair won second round of the championship at Dijon-Prenois, before being the first WTCC registered car to finish the first Australian round, the 1987 James Hardie 1000. Although Cecotto and Brancatelli only finished in 7th place at Bathurst, as the first registered car to finish they were awarded first place points.[15][16] In 1989 he captured the Italian Touring Car Championship.[17][18]

From 1988 to 1992, Cecotto competed in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM, German Touring Car Championship).[19] Driving a Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3, he finished as runner up in the 1990 season.[20] In 1994 and 1998 he won the German Super Tourenwagen Cup Championship for BMW.[21][22][23] In 1995 he raced in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for BMW.[24] In 2001 and 2002, he switched to the Irmscher Opel Omega and won the German V8Star Series Championship two years running.[23][25][26]

Cecotto currently devotes most of his time to supporting the racing career of his son, Johnny Cecotto, Jr. He is currently commenting Formula One for Venezuelan state-owned television network Venezolana de Televisión.

Racing record[edit]

Motorcycle Grand Prix results[edit]

Source:[1]

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Points 15 12 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1

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

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Points Rank Wins
1975 250cc Yamaha FRA
1
ESP
NC
GER
NC
NAT
2
IOM
-
NED
NC
BEL
1
SWE
NC
FIN
2
CZE
NC
YUG
-
54 4th 2
350cc Yamaha FRA
1
ESP
2
AUT
NC
GER
1
NAT
1
IOM
-
NED
5
FIN
1
CZE
NC
YUG
-
78 1st 4
1976 350cc Yamaha FRA
2
AUT
1
NAT
1
YUG
NC
IOM
-
NED
8
FIN
NC
CZE
NC
GER
2
ESP
4
65 2nd 2
500cc Yamaha FRA
2
AUT
NC
NAT
NC
IOM
-
NED
DNS
BEL
-
SWE
-
FIN
-
CZE
-
GER
-
12 19th 0
1977 350cc Yamaha VEN
1
AUT
C
GER
INJ
NAT
INJ
ESP
INJ
FRA
INJ
YUG
INJ
NED
INJ
SWE
NC
FIN
NC
CZE
1
GBR
NC
30 9th 2
500cc Yamaha VEN
4
AUT
INJ
GER
INJ
NAT
INJ
FRA
INJ
NED
INJ
BEL
INJ
SWE
2
FIN
1
CZE
1
GBR
NC
50 4th 2
1978 500cc Yamaha VEN
NC
ESP
4
AUT
2
FRA
NC
NAT
NC
NED
1
BEL
NC
SWE
6
FIN
3
GBR
7
GER
2
66 3rd 1
1979 500cc Yamaha VEN
NC
AUT
NC
GER
INJ
NAT
INJ
ESP
INJ
YUG
INJ
NED
INJ
BEL
DNS
SWE
NC
FIN
7
GBR
NC
FRA
5
10 20th 0
1980 350cc Yamaha NAT
1
FRA
2
NED
20
GBR
NC
CZE
NC
GER
3
37 4th 1
500cc Yamaha NAT
4
ESP
6
FRA
9
NED
6
BEL
NC
FIN
-
GBR
5
GER
6
31 7th 0

Complete European Formula Two Championship results[edit]

Source:[11]
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos Pts
1980 Mike Earle Racing with March March 802 BMW THR
HOC
NÜR
VAL
PAU
SIL
Ret
ZOL
9
MUG
0
Minardi Team Minardi GM75 ZAN
15
PER
MIS
HOC
1981 Minardi Team Minardi Fly 281 BMW SIL
14
HOC
Ret
THR
4
NÜR
DNS
VAL
Ret
14th 6
Horag Hotz Racing March 802 MUG
13
March 812 PAU
7
PER
Ret
SPA
Ret
DON
6
MIS
6
MAN
6
1982 March Racing Ltd March 822 BMW SIL
Ret
HOC
4
THR
1
NÜR
3
MUG
2
VAL
Ret
PAU
1
SPA
2
HOC
6
DON
2
MAN
1
PER
3
MIS
15
2nd 56

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

Source:[12][13]
(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 WDC Points
1983 Theodore Racing Team Theodore N183 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 BRA
14
USW
6
FRA
11
SMR
Ret
MON
DNPQ
BEL
10
DET
Ret
CAN
Ret
GBR
DNQ
GER
11
AUT
DNQ
NED
DNQ
ITA
12
EUR
RSA
19th 1
1984 Toleman Group Motorsport Toleman TG183B Hart 415T 1.5 L4T BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
BEL
Ret
SMR
NC
NC 0
Toleman TG184 FRA
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
9
DET
Ret
DAL
Ret
GBR
DNQ
GER
AUT
NED
ITA
EUR
POR

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

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

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Pos Pts
1995 BMW Motorsport Team BMW 318i DON
1

5
DON
2

8
BRH
1

11
BRH
2

5
THR
1

Ret
THR
2

11
SIL
1

11
SIL
2

12
OUL
1

9
OUL
2

Ret
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

9
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
SIL
DNS
KNO
1

4
KNO
2

Ret
BRH
1

5
BRH
2

Ret
SNE
1

10
SNE
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

6
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

Ret
12th 49

Complete German Touring Championship results[edit]

Source:[19]
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
1988 AMG-Mercedes Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 ZOL
8
ZOL
DNF
HOC
13
HOC
DNF
NÜR
13
NÜR
12
BRN
33
BRN
-
BER
1
BER
1
DIE
15
DIE
DNF
NÜR
11
NÜR
9
NOR
3
NOR
4
WUN
7
WUN
6
SLZ
C
SLZ
C
HUN
1
HUN
1
HOC
3
HOC
DNF
6th 204
1989 Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3 ZOL
-
ZOL
-
HOC
3
HOC
1
NÜR
-
NÜR
-
MAI
2
MAI
8
BER
5
BER
22
NÜR
2
NÜR
2
NOR
7
NOR
6
HOC
1
HOC
4
DIE
DNF
DIE
-
NÜR
-
NÜR
-
HOC
3
HOC
4
7th 206
1990 Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3 ZOL
5
ZOL
DNF
HOC
4
HOC
1
NÜR
DNF
NÜR
4
BER
12
BER
5
MAI
1
MAI
1
WUN
3
WUN
4
NÜR
DNF
NÜR
3
NOR
5
NOR
14
DIE
2
DIE
3
NÜR
9
NÜR
DNF
HOC
11
HOC
4
2nd 177
1991 Schnitzer Motorsport BMW M3 ZOL
1
ZOL
1
HOC
9
HOC
DSQ
NÜR
2
NÜR
DNF
BER
6
BER
5
WUN
6
WUN
1
NOR
14
NOR
6
DIE
12
DIE
2
NÜR
10
NÜR
4
SIN
5
SIN
DNF
HOC
4
HOC
13
BRN
5
BRN
5
DON
3
DON
3
4th 147
1992 Team Fina Simtek BMW M3 ZOL
12
ZOL
DNF
NÜR
6
NÜR
DNF
WUN
5
WUN
DNF
BER
2
BER
6
HOC
9
HOC
8
NÜR
2
NÜR
2
NOR
7
NOR
7
BRN
1
BRN
1
DIE
5
DIE
5
SIN
4
SIN
12
NÜR
3
NÜR
4
HOC
7
HOC
2
4th 185
2002 OPC Euroteam Opel Astra V8 Coupé 2001 HOC
ZOL
DON
SAC
NOR
EUR
NÜR
A1R
ZAN
HOC
10

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1996 Italy Team Bigazzi
Germany Team BMW Motorsport
Brazil Nelson Piquet
United States Danny Sullivan
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 324 8th 6th
1998 Germany Team BMW Motorsport Italy Pierluigi Martini
Germany Joachim Winkelhock
BMW V12 LM LMP1 43 DNF DNF

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Rider Statistics - Johnny Cecotto". MotoGP.com. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b "http". //8w.forix.com. 1983-03-27. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  3. ^ a b ''Daytona Gold'', American Motorcyclist, March 1991, Vol. 45, No. 3, ISSN 0277-9358. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  4. ^ 1975 Daytona 200, American Motorcyclist, May 1975, Vol. 29, No. 5, ISSN 0277-9358. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  5. ^ a b 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  6. ^ "Daytona 200 winners at www.motorsportsetc.com". Motorsportsetc.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  7. ^ 1976 Daytona 200, American Motorcyclist, May 1976, Vol. 30, No. 5, ISSN 0277-9358. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  8. ^ Sam Moses (1976-03-15). "1976 Daytona 200 article, Sports Illustrated, March 15, 1976". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  9. ^ "Cyclist Killed In Prix Race". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. 2 May 1977. p. 2. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "MOTO-FORMULE 750". Racingmemo.free.fr. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  11. ^ a b "1982 Formula 2 season results at www.formula2.net". Formula2.net. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  12. ^ a b c "Formula 1™ - The Official F1™ Website". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  13. ^ a b "Formula 1™ - The Official F1™ Website". Formula1.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  14. ^ "Guia race winners at macau.grandprix.gov". Test.macau.grandprix.gov.mo. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  15. ^ scandrett. "1987 James Hardie 1000 results at www.therealmountpanorama.com". Therealmountpanorama.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  16. ^ Darren Galpin. "1987 World Touring Car Championship results at www.teamdan.com". Teamdan.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  17. ^ "Italian Superturismo Championship 1989: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 2010-12-09. 
  18. ^ "Italian touring car champions at www.motorsportsetc.com". Motorsportsetc.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  19. ^ a b "Johnny Cecotto DTM statistics 1984-2010". dtm.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  20. ^ "1990 DTM Drivers Standings". dtm.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  21. ^ "German Super Touring Car Championship 1994: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  22. ^ "German Super Touring Car Championship 1998: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  23. ^ a b "German touring car champions at www.motorsportsetc.com". Motorsportsetc.com. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  24. ^ "1995 British Touring Car Championship Entry List". btccpages.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  25. ^ "V8 STAR 2001: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  26. ^ "V8 STAR 2002: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Giacomo Agostini
350cc Motorcycle World Champion
1975
Succeeded by
Walter Villa
Preceded by
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Guia Race winner
1986
Succeeded by
Roberto Ravaglia
Preceded by
Gianfranco Brancatelli
Italian Touring Car Champion
1989
Succeeded by
Roberto Ravaglia