Mauricio Gugelmin

Born:
20th April 1963 (Age 56)
Joinville, Santa Catarina
Nationality:
Brazilian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This personable Brazilian started 74 Grands Prix but was ultimately frustrated during his Formula 1 career. Maurício Gugelmin then continued his racing career for almost a decade in the Champ Car World Series and retired from the sport as a race winner and with a world record to his name.

Early racing career

Brazilian Formula Fiat Champion in 1981, he moved to England and Formula Ford 1600 when he was a housemate of former karting adversary Ayrton Senna. Two seasons of FF2000 culminated in the 1984 European title after a mid-season switch to Dennis Rushden’s Reynard 84SF.

Backed by Perdigão chicken farms, Gugelmin graduated to British Formula 3 in 1985 with West Surrey Racing’s Ralt RT30-Volkswagen. Despite the strength of Reynard’s challenge that year, he won both the title and Macau GP at the first attempt.

His 1986 Formula 3000 bow with WSR’s John Player Special March 86B-Cosworth was overshadowed by the death of the team’s next protégé Bertrand Fabi. 1987 could not have started better for Gugelmin’s works Ralt RT21-Honda won the opening F3000 round at Silverstone after team-mate Roberto Moreno retired. However, four mid-season races without a finish reduced him to fourth in the final standings despite consistent placings thereafter.

Formula 1 with March and Jordan

Gugelmin graduated to F1 in 1988 with the Leyton House March Racing Team. Silverstone was the highlight of a mixed campaign when the Brazilian converted a career-best fifth on the grid into fourth place at the finish. 1989 began with Gugelmin third in his home GP (his best F1 result) but that was his only points’ score all year.

More notable was his dramatic French GP where he barrel-rolled at the start and promptly leapt into his spare car for the restart. He then set the race’s fastest lap after a problem was fixed during a lengthy pitstop. 1990 was another frustrating campaign – the Brazilian failing to qualify for three races in a row and then suffering engine failure while running fourth in France.

Without a point in 1991, Gugelmin moved to Jordan for what was his final GP season. The Yamaha engine proved uncompetitive and Gugelmin regularly qualified outside the top 20 during 1992.

Successful switch to Champ Cars

He found refuge in Champ Cars with Dick Simon Racing for the final three races of 1993 although it was with the recently formed PacWest concern that he established himself in America. Following a year with Chip Ganassi, he joined Bruce McCaw’s team in 1995 and was second on his debut in Miami. He then led convincingly at Indianapolis before fading to sixth at the finish.

Second again in the 1996 United States 500 at Michigan, the following season was his best in Champ Cars when a factor on speedways and road courses alike. He finally scored a breakthrough victory in Vancouver and finished fourth in the 1997 standings. That year ended with Gugelmin’s PacWest’s Hollywood Reynard 97I-Mercedes-Benz qualifying on pole position at Fontana’s California Speedway at an average of 240.942mph to set a new record for a lap of a closed circuit.

Gugelmin did not win again but four further seasons with PacWest including second at Nazareth in 2000 and pole position for Cleveland a year later. He retired at the end of 2001 after his son died and he now runs a business in Brazil that promotes reforestation.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2001 FedEx Championship Series
PacWest Racing Group
19 (1) 1 0 0
0% win rate
24th 17
2000 FedEx Championship Series
PacWest Racing Group
20 0 1 0
0% win rate
17th 39
1999 FedEx Championship Series
PacWest Racing Group
20 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 44
1998 FedEx Championship Series
PacWest Racing Group
19 0 0 0
0% win rate
15th 49
1997 PPG CART World Series
PacWest Racing Group
17 3 3 1
6% win rate
4th 132
1996 PPG Indycar World Series
PacWest Racing Group
16 0 2 0
0% win rate
14th 53
1995 PPG Indycar World Series
PacWest Racing Group
17 0 2 0
0% win rate
10th 80
1994 PPG Indycar World Series
Chip Ganassi Racing Team
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 39
1993 PPG Indycar World Series
Dick Simon Racing
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1992 F1 World Championship
Sasol Jordan Yamaha
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1991 F1 World Championship
Leyton House Racing
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1990 F1 World Championship
Leyton House Racing
11 (5) 0 0 0
0% win rate
18th 1
1989 F1 World Championship
Leyton House March Racing Team
15 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
16th 4
1988 F1 World Championship
Leyton House March Racing Team
16 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 5
1987 FIA International F3000 Championship
Ralt Cars
11 2 5 1
10% win rate
4th 29
1986 FIA International F3000 Championship
West Surrey Racing
9 (2) 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 4
1985 Marlboro British F3 Championship 1st -
1984 European FF2000 Championship 1st -