Eliseo Salazar

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Eliseo Salazar
Eliseo Salazar (1982).jpg
Salazar in 1982
Nationality Chile Chilean
Born Eliseo Salazar Valenzuela
(1954-11-14) 14 November 1954 (age 62)
Santiago, Chile
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series career
Current team TRG Motorsports
Years active 1998, 1999, 2012
Car no. 64
Starts 3
Wins 0
Poles 0
Previous series

Rally Mobil
American Le Mans Series
Indy Racing League
CART IndyCar World Series
IMSA Exxon WSC Championship
World Sportscar Championship
International Formula 3000
Formula One World Championship
British F1 Championship
Scott Brayton Trophy
Autosport Sportsman of the Year
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 19811983
Teams March, Ensign, ATS, RAM
Entries 37 (24 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 3
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1981 United States Grand Prix West
Last entry 1983 Belgian Grand Prix
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish 93rd (1997)
First race 1997 Parts America 150 (Watkins Glen)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of 1 February 2012.

Eliseo Salazar Valenzuela (born 14 November 1954 in Santiago, Chile) is a Chilean racing driver. He participated in 37 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix (debuting on 15 March 1981) scoring a total of three championship points. Salazar currently participates in the Chilean national rally championship.


Formula One (1981–1983)[edit]

After racing in the British F1 Championship in 1980 with a Williams FW07, and winning in Silverstone, he moved to Formula One in 1981, with March. He switched midseason to Ensign, and finished 6th in the Dutch Grand Prix. In 1982 he drove for ATS, and finished 5th in the San Marino Grand Prix, a race where only 7 teams entered due to the FISA-FOCA war. His most noted career moment in Formula One came when he collided with the overtaking race leader Nelson Piquet in the 1982 German Grand Prix. After both drivers got out of their stricken cars, the angry Piquet started to punch and kick Salazar. Salazar did not respond to the assault due to the friendship with the Brazilian driver, who helped him in his first European experiences as a driver. Months later Piquet apologised to Salazar over the phone, after being told by a BMW mechanic that the engine in his car was about to expire anyway, and that Salazar avoided BMW the embarrassment of an engine failure at their home race. (BMW officials were in attendance).[1] In 1983 he entered six races with RAM Racing, but the car was very slow and he only managed to qualify twice. He finished 14th in Jacarepaguá and retired in Long Beach with gearbox failure.

After the Chilean economic crisis in the early years of the 80's, Salazar had to leave F1, and competed with little success at the Formula 3000 championship and the South American Formula Three Championship in some races. He began to race rally in Chile, becoming the champion of the 1985 hill-climbing season in Chile in a Toyota Corolla XT.

Sport Prototype (1988–1990)[edit]

In late '80s, Salazar drove some races in the FIA World Sport Prototype Championship. His best result was 1st place at the C-1 class in the '88 Fuji 1000 km in Japan with a Spice SE88C Ford car of the BP Spice Engineering. Thanks to his contacts with Tom Walkinshaw, he joined the Jaguar Silk-Cut factory team, to dispute the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the 1989 race, the Chilean, with Alain and Michel Ferté, achieved the 8th place with the Jaguar XJR-9; but his best result would be winning the 1990 event of the historic race in a Jaguar XJR-12, but after driving several hours in the No. 3 car, he was forced to leave his seat to the British driver Martin Brundle, who received the chequered flag, and Salazar was forced to move to the No. 4 car, which retired at 20 hours with mechanical problems (Brundle's original car, the No. 1, was pulled out at 14 hours for electrical problems). For that particular fact, he was named the 1990 Sportsman of the Year by the prestigious British magazine Autosport.

Career in USA (1994–2002)[edit]

After years with no competition, working as a co-host in the TV show "Video Loco" (America's Funniest Videos' Chilean version, broadcast in Canal 13), Salazar received an opportunity to join the Ferrari-Momo factory team for the 1994 IMSA Sport Prototype championship in the WSC (World Sport Car) series, with the Italian Gianpiero Moretti. He raced at the Exxon World Sports Car Championship in 1994 and 1995 with several races won and podiums with the Ferrari 333 SP. Those results were good enough to pull him to the Indy Car World Series.

He signed a contract with the Dick Simon Racing in 1995 to race in the CART Indy Car World Series, with a strong debut at the Indy 500. With a Lola-Cosworth, he started 33rd and finished 4th in the Cristal-Copec-Mobil 1 No.7.

When the IRL and CART split in 1996, Salazar chose to compete in the new series. He became a regular top driver at Indy 500 with four Top 10 results. His best result at Indianapolis was in 2000, when he started and finished on 3rd place, at the wheel of a G-Force-Oldsmobile Aurora for A. J. Foyt Enterprises.

In 1997, Salazar earned his first and only victory in IRL racing, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racing for Team Scandia. That year, he also made his only start at a NASCAR sanctioned race, finishing 17th on the Watkins Glen International road course, in the Craftsman Truck Series.

2000 and 2001 were the best years in the IRL for Salazar, finishing 4th and 5th in those championships, with five top 5 results in 2000. In 2002, he suffered a serious accident testing at Indianapolis, and was forced miss several races. After much consideration Salazar decided to retire from Indy Car racing and focus on Sports Cars.

Salazar later joined the American Le Mans Series, where he raced in a Porsche 911 GT3 and a Ferrari 360.

Present and future (2004–)[edit]

Salazar then returned to Chile where, in 2004, he joined the official Hyundai rally team in the Rally Mobil, the national rally championship. His car was an N3-class Hyundai Coupe GK 2.0L.

In November 2005, Salazar competed in the inaugural race of the Grand Prix Masters, as a late replacement for Alan Jones. In 2006 he raced in both GPM races in Qatar and England.

In 2007, Salazar moved to the N4-class of the Rally Mobil, the Chilean Rally Championship, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, and was 5th in his first year at the N4-Class with a car of the ING Team.

His last international project is to race the Lisboa-Dakar rally, with the objective of being the first driver to have raced in the Monaco Grand Prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally. In February he signed a pre-contract with Jean-Louis Schlesser to drive one of his buggies at the 2008 Dakar Rally, but he could not get a deal with a sponsor and that year's running of the Dakar Rally was cancelled anyway.

In 2008, Salazar raced in the Rally Mobil with his own team, formed by 3 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX in the N4-Class.

He made his debut in the Dakar Rally in 2009 with a McRae Prototype, finishing in 88th place. He will compete in the 2010 edition as part of the Team Dakar USA, in a third Hummer H3, in addition to the ones raced by owner Robby Gordon and Frenchman Eric Vigouroux.

In 2013, Salazar introduced autocross (aka "solo racing") to Chile, with the first event being held 6 April 2013 at Estadio Monumental in Santiago. In September 2013, he participated in the Sports Car Club of America Solo National Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, driving a C Prepared Ford Mustang.[2]

Personal life[edit]

On 15 May 2001, Salazar welcomed his son Eliseo Salazar The younger Salazar attended his first Indy 500 at the age of 8 days old.

Motorsports career results[edit]

Formula One World Championship[edit]


24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1982 Japan Dome Co. Ltd. United Kingdom Chris Craft Dome RC82-Ford Cosworth C 85 DNF DNF
1983 Japan Dome Racing United Kingdom Chris Craft
United Kingdom Nick Mason
Dome RC82-Ford Cosworth C 75 DNF DNF
1988 United Kingdom Spice Engineering Italy Almo Coppelli
Denmark Thorkild Thyrring
Spice SE88C-Ford Cosworth C2 281 DNF DNF
1989 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
France Alain Ferté
France Michel Ferté
Jaguar XJR-9LM C1 368 8th 7th
1990 United Kingdom Silk Cut Jaguar
United Kingdom Tom Walkinshaw Racing
United States Davy Jones
France Michel Ferté
Jaguar XJR-12 C1 282 DNF DNF
1997 United Kingdom Pacific Racing Ltd. Finland Harri Toivonen
Spain Jesús Pareja
BRM P301-Nissan LMP 6 DNF DNF

International Formula 3000[edit]

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

American Open-Wheel Racing[edit]


PPG Indycar Series[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

IndyCar Series[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
1995 Lola Cosworth 24 4 Dick Simon Racing
1996 Lola Cosworth 3 6 Team Scandia
1997 Dallara Oldsmobile 9 24 Team Scandia
1998 Riley & Scott Oldsmobile DNQ Riley & Scott
1999 G-Force Oldsmobile 18 33 Nienhouse Racing
2000 G-Force Oldsmobile 3 3 A. J. Foyt Enterprises
2001 Dallara Chevrolet 28 7 A. J. Foyt Enterprises

World Rally Championship[edit]


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Roberto Guerrero
Scott Brayton Award
Succeeded by
Eddie Cheever