Mauro Baldi

Born:
31st January 1954 (Age 65)
Reggio Emilia, Emilia-Romagna
Nationality:
Italian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Despite a modest Grand Prix record, Mauro Baldi was one of the most successful sports car drivers of the late 20th Century.

Early career and European Formula 3 Championship success

His competition career started with some local rallies as long ago as 1972. He switched to circuit racing three years later in the Renault Five one-make series – winning both the Italian and European Championships.

Part of his prize was a Ralt RT1-Toyota with which he made his Formula 3 debut in 1978. A race winner from that first year, Baldi joined Hugues de Chaunac’s crack ORECA concern in 1980 with the offer of free engines from Renault Italy. But he switched to more competitive Toyota units and the effect was immediate. Baldi’s Martini MK31 promptly dominated the Monaco support race from pole position and another three European Championship victories clinched fourth in the standings.

A move to Euroracing for 1981 was well judged as the combination of Baldi, March 813-Alfa Romeo and Michelin tyres proved irresistible. The European F3 title confirmed Baldi as a sought-after talent.

Formula 1 disappointment

He tested for Alfa Romeo and Toleman that winter but it was with Arrows that Baldi graduated to the 1982 Formula 1 World Championship. From F3 star to non-qualifier, Baldi struggled to come to grips with F1 at first but he improved to score sixth-place finishes in Holland and Austria.

He moved to Alfa Romeo for his sophomore season at this level and was a career-best fifth in the Dutch GP. But with the team torn by internal strife, Baldi’s form was a severe disappointment to driver and observers alike. After two further seasons with the back-of-the-grid Spirit concern, the Italian left F1 having started 36 GPs.

Sports car success

Baldi had also driven for Lancia’s sports car team since 1984 and he had won the 1985 Spa 1000Kms with Riccardo Patrese and Bob Wollek. There was no joy in this first international success as it was the race in which Stefan Bellof lost his life. Baldi found regular employment with Richard Lloyd’s GTi Engineering from 1986 and he was particularly impressive winning at the Norisring in 1987 with Jonathan Palmer.

Now an established sports car driver, Baldi moved to Team Sauber Mercedes and he drove for the emerging "Silver Arrows" concern from 1988 to 1990. Jean-Louis Schlesser may have been team leader but Baldi proved an able deputy – finishing third in the drivers’ championships of 1988 and 1989. Baldi and Schlesser were co-drivers for the first time in 1990 and they dominated the World Sportscar Championship by winning six times on the way to the title.

Mercedes withdrew from endurance racing at the end of the season and Baldi spent the last two years of the series with Peugeot. Le Mans success had been tantalisingly close for Baldi so far – second in 1989 and third in 1992 and 1993. He put that right in 1994 when he shared the winning Dauer Porsche 962LM with Yannick Dalmas and Hurley Haywood.

The FIA’s decision to end the World Sportscar Championship after 1992 had fragmented sports car racing so Baldi raced in America. He added the Daytona 24 and Sebring 12 Hours to his increasingly impressive sportscar c.v. during 1998 when driving Giampiero Moretti’s Momo Ferrari 333SP.

He raced in the Sports Racing World Cup from 1999 and won at Spa-Francorchamps with JB Racing’s Ferrari 333SP. Another two victories followed in 2000 at Monza (with an R&M Racing Riley & Scott MkIII-Judd) and Elkhart Lake (Doran Racing Ferrari 333SP-Judd).

Baldi, who had won the Daytona 24 Hours for the second time in 2002, retired from racing a year later.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2002 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Doran Lista Racing
2 0 2 2 0
2001 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Doran Lista Racing
2 0 2 2 0
2000 Sports Racing World Cup
R&M
Doran Lista Racing
2 0 2 2 20
2000 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series
Doran Lista Racing
2 0 2 2 0
1999 Sports Racing World Cup
JB Racing
1 0 1 1 10
1998 PSCR Championship
Doran Racing
1 0 1 1 0
1998 United States Road Racing Championship
Doran Moretti Racing
2 0 2 2 0
1995 IMSA World Sports Car Series
Scandia Motorsport
1 0 1 1 0
1994 PPG Indycar World Series
Dale Coyne Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1992 World Sportscar Championship
Peugeot Talbot Sport
6 3 4 2 3rd 64
1991 World Sportscar Championship
Peugeot Talbot Sport
8 2 3 1 3rd 69
1990 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Team Sauber Mercedes
9 7 6 6 1st 49.5
1989 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Team Sauber Mercedes
8 5 6 3 3rd 102 (110)
1988 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Team Sauber Mercedes
10 (1) 6 7 2 3rd 188 (198)
1987 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Richard Lloyd Racing
9 1 3 1 8th 58
1987 World Touring Car Championship
CiBiEmme
TOM's Racing
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1986 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Richard Lloyd Racing
5 0 2 1 10th 38
1985 F1 World Championship
Spirit Enterprises
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1985 World Endurance Championship
Martini Racing (Lancia)
7 1 2 1 13th 36
1984 F1 World Championship
Spirit Racing
7 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1984 World Endurance Championship
Martini Racing (Lancia)
Jolly Club
5 0 1 0 19th 28
1983 F1 World Championship
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo
15 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 3
1982 F1 World Championship
Arrows Racing Team
11 (4) 0 0 0
0% win rate
22nd 2
1982 World Endurance Championship 3 (1) 0 0 0 38th 11
1981 European F3 Championship
Euroracing with Marlboro March
14 6 11 8
58% win rate
1st 94
1980 European F3 Championship
ORECA
14 2 5 3
22% win rate
4th 45
1979 European F3 Championship
Mauro Baldi
ORECA
Scuderia Tricolore
10 1 3 0
0% win rate
4th 22
1978 European F3 Championship
Mauro Baldi
2 (2) 0 1 0
0% win rate
16th 4