Beppe Gabbiani

From a wealthy Piacenza family, Giuseppe "Beppe" Gabbiani began karting when he was 14 and after a successful career made the decision to jump straight into Formula 3 in 1977. His success was immediate and, at the wheel of a Chevron, he won his very first race, a European Formula 3 race at Paul Ricard. He went on to finish fourth in his first season of racing, a really impressive achievement.

In 1978 he moved into Formula 2 with the Trivellato Racing Chevron team as team mate to motorcycling legend Giacomo Agostini. He scored only one top six finish that year. At the end of the F1 season he rented a Surtees for the final two races. He failed to qualify for both. In 1979 he joined the March factory team in Formula 2 and tried to qualify an old Shadow in the non-championship race at Imola (without success). He scored his first major F2 result with second place at Mugello. He was second again at Misano and ended the year in fifth place in the European Championship.

Switching to the Maurer team in 1980 was a mistake and he scored only one point. At the start of 1981 he signed to drive for the Osella team in F1. He failed to qualify for most of the races and retired in the three in which he did participate. In 1982 he went back to Formula 2 with Maurer as team-mate to Stefan Bellof. While Bellof won twice, Gabbiani was a regular points scorer and the pair finished fourth and fifth in the European Championship (Bellof being ahead by six points).

For 1983 Gabbiani was recruited to drive for the March team (being run by Onyx) and he started the year with four wins in five races. Despite this he failed to win the championship, drifting back to third position behind the Ralt-Hondas of Jonathan Palmer and Mike Thackwell. He dropped out of racing in 1984.

In the 1990s he raced a lot in Italian national sports car events and ultimately moved up to the International Sports Racing Series with occasional races with Henri Pescaroloís La Filiere team and has since raced more seriously in sports cars.