Gino Munaron

Born:
2nd April 1928
Turin, Piedmont
Died:
22nd November 2009 (Aged 81)
Pecetto di Valenza, Piedmont
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Gino Munaron was a sports car driver during the late 1950s who made a fleeting appearance in F1 during 1960.

Sports car career

A regular on the Mille Miglia since 1951, he won the lesser Hyères 12 Hours with a Ferrari 750 Monza in 1955 before sharing Carroll Shelby’s similar car on the Targa Florio. Placed in several national events over the coming seasons, he finished the 1957 Reims 12 Hours in third position despite driving the Ferrari 250GT solo.

Sixth in the 1958 Buenos Aires 1000Kms with a private Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa, he was a works driver at the Nürburgring when fifth with a 250TR, Wolfgang Seidel and Luigi Musso.

Grand Prix career

The Italian made his Le Mans debut in 1959 driving Lino Fayen’s 250GT and was placed again – sixth when fourth in class. In addition to driving a Maserati T61 for Lucky Casner in sports cars during 1960 (he was fifth at the Nürburgring but a retiree at Le Mans), Munaron made his Grand Prix debut that year with an old Maserati 250F. He qualified for the Argentine GP on the penultimate row and finished 13th position, albeit lapped eight times.

He joined Scuderia Castellotti for the European season to drive its Cooper T51-Ferrari. He failed to qualify in Monaco but was on the grid in France, Britain and Italy. He finished 15th at Silverstone and qualified eighth at Monza in a field depleted by the British teams boycott due to safety concerns regarding Monza’s banking. He ran as high as third that day before retiring at half distance.

His final Formula 1 race was the non-championship 1961 Pau GP when Munaron’s Cooper T43-Alfa Romeo retired on the opening lap. He started a couple of British Intercontinental races for Scuderia Centro Sud later that summer before turning his back on single-seaters.

He concentrated on GT racing for the next few seasons and his works Alfa Romeo Giulia TI finished fifth in the 1964 Spa 24 Hours. That was his penultimate season in international racing.