Gino Valenzano

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Luigi "Gino" Valenzano (April 24, 1920, Asti - May 28, 2011) was an Italian racing driver. He entered 39 races between 1947 and 1955 in Abarths, Maseratis and Lancias as a teammate of drivers like Robert Manzon and Froilán González.

Early life[edit]

As a young man. Valenzano was fascinated by airplanes and air travel, so he studied at the Academy of Caserta. However, he was called back to Turin after his father's sudden death. During World War II Gino and his brother Piero had to leave Turin because of their relation to Pietro Badoglio, so they lived in Rome for a while, until they were sold out to soldiers, who deported the brothers to Mauthausen. May 5, 1945 they were liberated by the Americans.[1][2][3][4]

Racing career[edit]

Valenzano started competing in hillclimbs in his own build single seater and received later a BMW-engined single seater designed by Enrico Nardi. He was soon noticed by Carlo Abarth, who hired him as works driver for Abarth. There he met Gianni Lancia, son of Vincenzo, with whom he went to the Liceo classico Massimo d'Azeglio as a child. Lancia let him try out an Aurelia B20 and Valenzano decided to compete in professional racing with that car and later the Lancia D20 and D24. He competed in Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Among his teammates were Luigi Segre and other successful drivers, including Alberto Ascari, Luigi Villoresi, Juan Manuel Fangio and Luigi Musso. In 1955 Lancia withdrew as a team from professional racing, so Valenzano switched to Maserati and drove six more races. However, this would be his last season, because his brother Piero died during the Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti on July 10, 1955.[5][6][7][8]

Complete results[edit]

Gino Valenzano racing results[9]
Year Date Race Entrant Car Teammate(s) Result
1947 June 29 Varese Fiat 1100
July 20 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti Revelli Monaco
August 24 Circuito di Senigallia Fiat 7th
1948 April 4 Targa Florio DNF
May 2 Mille Miglia Fiat Rocco Motto DNF
May 9 Vercelli Nardi-Danese 8th
July 11 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti 6th
1949 April 24 Mille Miglia Fiat 1100 Cabriolet Luigi Segre 63rd
July 17 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti Nardi-Danese DNF
August 21 Circuito de Senigallia 6th
1950 April 23 Mille Miglia Fiat 1100 E Luigi Segre 59th
June 11 Premio di Apertura Nardi-Danese 6th
August 20 Pergusa Grand Prix Abarth 1100 1st
October 8 Modena Nardi-Danese 4th
1951 April 29 Mille Miglia Lancia Lancia Aurelia Luigi Maggio 7th
August 11 6 Hours of Pescara 3rd
1952 March 9 Giro di Sicilia Emilio Giletti 3rd
May 4 Mille Miglia "Paltrinieri" DNF
June 1 Prix de Monte Carlo Scuderia Lancia none 4th
June 15 24 Hours of Le Mans "Ippocampo" 6th
June 29 Targa Florio 2nd
July 13 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti DNF
1953 April 12 Giro di Sicilia Scuderia Lancia "S. Ramella" 2nd
April 26 Mille Miglia "Margutti" DNF
May 14 Targa Florio Scuderia Lancia Lancia D20 none 4th
May 31 Coppa della Toscana Lancia Aurelia Luigi Maggio 2nd
June 14 24 Hours of Le Mans Lancia D20 Felice Bonetto
Froilán González
June 28 Giro dell'Umbria Lancia Aurelia Luigi Maggio 3rd
July 12 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti Scuderia Lancia Lancia D23 none DNF
1954 March 7 12 Hours of Sebring Lancia D24 Profirio Rubirosa 2nd
May 2 Mille Miglia none DNF
September 11 RAC Tourist Trophy Robert Manzon
Eugenio Castellotti
1955 March 13 12 Hours of Sebring Maserati Co. &
B. S. Cunningham
Maserati 300S Cesare Perdisa 4th
May 15 Bari Grand Prix Maserati A6GCS 4th
May 29 Supercortemaggiore Maserati Maserati 300S Franco Bordoni DNF
June 2 Coppa Delle Sei Ore Lancia Aurelia
June 5 Mugello Grand Prix Maserati A6GCS 10th
June 12 24 Hours of Le Mans Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 300S Luigi Musso DNF
July 10 Coppa d' Oro delle Dolomiti Maserati A6GCS DNF