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Ignazio Giunti: The avoidable crash

Submitted by on February 28, 2010

This has to be one of the most ridiculous and completely avoidable crashes I have ever seen. The tragic part is that it claimed the life of popular Italian driver Ignazio Giunti

Giunti, from Rome, made his name in saloon and sports car racing in the late 1960s.

By 1968, driving for Alfa Romeo, he finished a fighting second in the Targa Florio and fourth at the Le Mans 24 Hours race co-driving with Nanni Galli.

In 1970 Enzo came calling and Giunti was signed by Ferrari primarily for their sports car team and promptly won the Sebring 12hrs and the Targa Florio. His spectacular success earned him a Formula One chance and he repaid Ferrais faith with a fine 4th on debutat the Belgian GP at Spa. Giuntiand raced three more times that year, but failed to better his debut result.

Ferrari were trialling the Swiss ace Clay Regazzoni who put in some superb drives to keep Giunti’s out of an F1 drive, but he remained at Ferrari for 1971.

Sadly, tragedy struck in his first drive in 1971 whilst racing in the 1000 km Buenos Aires. His Ferrari 312PB prototype ploughed into the back of the Matra 660 of Jean-Pierre Beltoise, who was pushing the car along the track after it had run out of fuel.

The massive impact and the subsequent fire killed him. Beltoise, who was bloody lucky to emerge unscathed, had his license suspended for his part in the accident.

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