"Gimax"

Full Name:
Carlo Virgnio Franchi
Born:
1st January 1938 (Age 80)
Barbaiana di Lainate, Lombardy
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Carlo Franchi first raced in a World Sportscar Championship event at the 1974 Monza 1000Kms when 21st in a Chevron B23-Cosworth shared with Laurent Ferrier. It was the start of 10 years largely making up the numbers in international races held in Italy when always competing under the name “Gimax”.

His year-old Trivellato March-BMW was 10th when the Italian made his Formula 2 debut at Vallelunga in 1975. “Gimax” then finished third in the 1976 Florio Cup at Enna-Pergusa with Stanislao Sterzel and a March 75S-BMW after all-but one factory car retired from the Group Six World Championship race.

That event was poorly supported and down-graded to European Championship status in 1978. More akin to an Italian club race than an international event, “Gimax” and Giorgio Francia beat team-mates "Amphicar" and Luigi Moreschi with a works Osella PA6-BMW.

Formula 1 non-qualifier for Surtees

Despite his low-key career so far, “Gimax” replaced the injured Rupert Keegan for that year’s Italian Grand Prix but his Durex Surtees TS20-Ford proved to be a mobile chicane and was slowest of the non-qualifiers.

Advisedly, “Gimax” then competed in the less demanding Aurora British Formula 1 Championship in 1979 and 1980. Team-mate to legendary motorcycle champion Giacomo Agostini, his Dave Price-run Williams FW06-Ford was generally off the pace but “Gimax” did finish fourth at Monza driving that second season.

He continued to race in sports cars for another five seasons and his Osella-BMW finished third in the 1980 Mugello Six Hours and 1981 Monza 1000Kms. He retired from the sport in 1984 and has enjoyed more success in business than he ever did as a racing driver.