Andre Ribeiro

Full Name:
Andre Ribeiro da Cunha Pereira
Born:
18th January 1966 (Age 53)
Sao Paulo
Nationality:
Brazilian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This popular Brazilian was a three-time race winner in the Champ Car World Series who then spent a season as a works Penske driver. However, he could not sustain that career although the fact he continued to work for Roger Penske in South America is testament to his business acumen and the respect in which he was held.

Background and early career

André Ribeiro was studying law at São Paulo University when he decided to drop out to follow a career in racing instead. Already active on the Paulista karting scene for many years, he was a contemporary of Christian Fittipaldi and Rubens Barrichello. His car racing debut was in Brazilian Formula Ford during 1989 after which he moved to Europe.

His 1990 European Formula Opel campaign included a second-place finish at Donington Park and finishing as runner-up in the Nations Cup at Spa-Francorchamps when representing Brazil with Barrichello.

British Formula 3 Championship

He graduated to British Formula 3 during 1991 when driving a Paul Stewart Racing Ralt RT35-Mugen from mid-season. However, 1992 was a huge disappointment. While team-mate Gil de Ferran won the championship, Ribeiro could only finish ninth – although third in the British Grand Prix support race and pole position for the final round represented glimmers of promise.

Ribeiro drove an underfunded Fortec Motorsport Dallara F393-Mugen in 1993 but early-season speed was halted by two frightening 150mph accidents within three days at Thruxton’s round two. Second at Brands Hatch next time out, he recovered to finish fifth in what was his last British F3 season.

Indy Lights and Champ Cars

He joined Steve Horne’s Tasman Motorsports for Indy Lights in 1994 and won four times to finish as runner-up when narrowly beaten by Englishman Steve Robertson. He graduated to Champ Cars with the team a year later and won from pole position at New Hampshire – the first win both for driver and Honda engines. He won twice more in 1996 – including the championship’s inaugural race in Brazil – as he finished 11th in the points.

A frustrating and winless 1997 followed but he joined Al Unser Jr as Penske team-mates for 1998. He qualified second for his debut with the team in Miami but his season only got worse from there. Seventh in Vancouver was his best finish as the team struggled to sort the difficult Penske PC27-Mercedes-Benz.

Subsequent career

Ribeiro decided to retire from racing in order to establish his business in South America. He runs United Auto for Penske – a network of 15 car dealerships that includes Honda, Toyota and others among the marques it represents.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1998 FedEx Championship Series
Marlboro Team Penske
18 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
22nd 13
1997 PPG CART World Series
Tasman Motorsports Group
17 0 1 0
0% win rate
14th 44
1996 PPG Indycar World Series
Tasman Motorsports Group
16 1 2 2
13% win rate
11th 76
1995 PPG Indycar World Series
Tasman Motorsports Group
17 1 1 1
6% win rate
17th 38
1994 PPG/Firestone Indy Lights Championship 12 4 7 4
34% win rate
2nd 170