Guido Forti 1940 – 2013

Guido Forti was a racer in the 1960s and early 1970s but then decided to join forces with engineer Paolo Guerci joined forces to run a young Teo Fabi to the Italian Formula Ford 2000. The team was successful and moved up to Formula 3 the following year with Fabi in the Italian and European Formula 3 Championships, with a March-Toyota. The result was several victories in both series and fourth places in both titles. The team enjoyed some success in South American F3 in 1979 with Oscar Larrauri, but while he went to success with Euroracing, Forti stayed in Formula 3 with Dallara chassis with Franco Forini, winning the title finally in 1985. This led to a successful era with titles in 1987-88-89 with Enrico Bertaggia, Emanuele Naspetti and Gianni Morbidelli.

The team tried to break into Formula 3000 in 1987 but did not have the money to run a proper programme for Nicola Larini, but in 1988 the team managed a full season with Bertaggia. The team then decided to switch to Lola chassis and had some success with drivers Claudio Langes and Morbidelli. In 1991 Forti quit Fe to concentrate on Formula 3000 with Naspetti and Fabrizio Giovanardi. This was more successful and Naspetti won four races and was third in the championship. The following year Andrea Montermini finished runner-up in the European F3000 series. It was at the end of 1992 that Forti found a way to fulfil his ambition of getting into Formula 1, by signing up wealthy Brazilian Pedro Diniz for Formula 3000. The team was led that year by Olivier Beretta, but through Diniz, Forti met Carlo Gancia of the celebrated drinks empire. Gancia bought Guerci’s shares in the team and work began on an F1 project, which would be funded by customers of the Diniz supermarket empire, notably Parmalat, Sadia and other Brazilian companies. The team entrusted the design of the Forti FG01/95 to F1 veteran Giorgio Stirano with aerodynamics completed by former Brabham aerodynamicist Hans Fouche in the Aerotek windtunnels in Pretoria, South Africa. Composite work was done by Belco Avia and the cars featured Cosworth engines. Roberto Moreno was signed to drive alongside Diniz in 1995, but the cars were not very competitive and at the end of the year Diniz moved to Ligier. Forti hired Luca Badoer and Montermini and the team found some backing from Replay, TAT, ITS and Elf. Sergio Rinland was named the new technical director and Cesare Fiorio was hired a team manager. With a few weeks the whole operation was falling part and Forti was taken over by an organisation called Shannon Racing, which was in fact owned by Belco-Avia, which was owed money by the team. Forti went to court in Italy to try to regain control of his team but later that year a judged ruled against Forti, although by then it was irrelevant as the team closed down in the midseason. Forti made a brief return to motor racing in a team manager role in Euro F3000 in 2002 and 2003.

9 thoughts on “Guido Forti 1940 – 2013

  1. Good stuff Joe, I’m an avid reader of yours and I really like how you bring out different aspects of the sport.
    Regarding Forti, I somewhat miss the era in which some teams attempted the jump from lower series to F1. Even then it was hard to be competitive, nowadays tho it doesn’t seem viable at all.

  2. Hi Joe. Not sure where to put this, as it’s not a Forti related comment. Just thinking about the remaining seats available in F1 and obviously Caterham have yet to announce drivers. As you said, it is a buyers market and I understand that aspect. However testing is just around the corner. Is there not much work to be done with seat fittings, getting a driver comfortable in the car, sim work, strategy discussions, getting to know engineers, team bonding etc. What body is the car being designed around when Caterham (or F-India for that matter) might have 2 new drivers?! Is it strange for team personel to not know who even one of their drivers will be this close to the season? The whole buyers market thing, isn’t that only applicable to pay drivers? Can we assume, as a paid driver, that Hekki is unfortunately gone. As a paid driver and I guess he’d have been confirmed by now.

    1. I dont think you will see Heikki in F1 in 2013. Beyond that there is no rush until testing begins in three weeks. Seat fittings and the like take very little time.

  3. >Sergio Rinland was named the new technical director and Cesare Fiorio was hired a team manager.

    I didn’t notice that at the time.

    Joe, with hindsight it sounds rather a pity the team folded when it did. I can’t help thinking that those two guys might have been able to haul it up the grid a bit if Forti had been able to sort out the budget. Do you have an opinion?

    1. It was quite easy to miss Rinland’s tenure at Forti given that he was appointed in late March ’95 and had left to join Keke Rosberg’s touring car team by early May of the same year. As a result he didn’t have a lot of imput in the car’s performace. That said, I have read somewhere that the ’95 Forti was based upon the ’92 Fondmetal, which was a Rinland design.

      From memory, Fiorio’s stint at Forti was a little longer, starting in the early part of ’96 (having been jettisoned from Ligier), before leaving the team following the Shannon takeover in May. This nicely dovetailed with the TWR withdrawal from Ligier, so his return to the French team was pretty much immediate.

      1. “I have read somewhere that the ’95 Forti was based upon the ’92 Fondmetal” – now you say that, I can certainly see the resemblance.

        I wonder what Fiorio is up to now?

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