Roberto Guerrero

Full Name:
Roberto Jose Guerrero Isaza
Born:
16th November 1958 (Age 61)
Medellin, Antioquia
Nationality:
Colombian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

The popular Roberto Guerrero made his European debut in the cut-and-thrust of British Formula Ford 1600 during 1979. He graduated to British Formula 3 a year later with a works Argo JM6-Toyota and 1980 proved to be a classic season with three constructors (Argo and the more established March and Ralt) and three drivers entering the final round with a chance of the title.

Stefan Johansson eventually snatched the championship with Guerrero and Kenny Acheson just two points behind. Formula 2 was next for the Colombian in 1981 and Guerrero led Eje Elgh at Thruxton in a Maurer-BMW 1-2 before finishing seventh in the standings.

Formula 1 with Ensign

Sponsorship from Café do Colombia eased his Formula 1 graduation in 1982 although it was a frustrating season spent developing the Ensign N181-Ford for Mo Nunn’s small, one-car team. He finished eighth in the German Grand Prix that year and remained with the renamed Theodore Racing Team but 1983 was no better. He returned to F3 at the end of that latter season to finish second behind Ayrton Senna in Macau.

Champ Car success

Without the opportunity of a competitive F1 drive for 1984, Guerrero switched to Bignotti-Cotter’s March 84C-Cosworth in Champ Cars. He survived a lurid triple spin to finish second at Indianapolis and was named as Rookie of the Year for the race (shared with Michael Andretti) and in the championship.

Third and then fourth in subsequent Indy 500s, Guerrero signed for Vince Granatelli for 1987. His orange March 87C-Cosworth climbed from the back of the grid to score a popular breakthrough victory at Phoenix and Guerrero was among the pre-race favourites at Indianapolis. He qualified fifth but lost victory by stalling at his final pitstop due to a faulty clutch. Second that day once more – he qualified on pole position on four occasions during 1987 and won again at Mid-Ohio.

Testing crash and subsequent recovery

However, just as Guerrero appeared to be on the verge of tangible success, he crashed while testing at Indianapolis and suffered severe head injuries. He was in a coma for 17 days before eventually making a full recovery. Guerrero was still classified fourth in the 1987 championship despite missing the last three races of the year.

He returned at the start of 1988 and Guerrero qualified and finished in second position at Phoenix’s opening round although he was never as competitive again. He led the ill-starred Alfa Romeo Champ Car team in 1989 and 1990 before driving Kenny Bernstein’s Lola-Buick in selected races. Those included the 1992 Indianapolis 500 for which Guerrero qualified on pole position only to spin into the wall while warming his tyres on the parade lap.

Indycar finale

Now an American citizen, he and his wife settled in San Juan Capistrano, California. He continued to race in Champ Cars occasionally before switching to the new Indy Racing League in 1996. His Pagan Racing Reynard 95I-Ford was classified fifth at Indy despite being involved in a three-car accident on the last corner and he also finished in that position in the inaugural IRL standings.

He remained with the team for the 1996/97 season and survived a huge end-over-end accident in the final round at Las Vegas Speedway. Guerrero’s last Indycar race was in 2000 and he has since worked as a spotter as well as competing in the Baja 1000 off-road race.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series
Team Coulson
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
44th 7
1999 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Cobb Racing
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
30th 36
1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League
Cobb Racing
Pagan Racing
8 0 0 0
0% win rate
26th 83
1996/1997 Indy Racing League
Pagan Racing
10 0 0 0
0% win rate
7th 221
1996 Indy Racing League
Pagan Racing
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
4th 79
1995 PPG Indycar World Series
Pagan Racing
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
32nd 1
1994 PPG Indycar World Series
Pagan Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1993 PPG Indycar World Series
Budweiser King Racing
13 0 0 0
0% win rate
14th 39
1992 PPG Indycar World Series
King Racing
1 (1) 1 0 0
0% win rate
34th 1
1991 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
King Racing
Euromotorsport
Patrick Racing
5 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1990 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Patrick Racing
15 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 24
1989 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Alex Morales Autosports
11 0 0 0
0% win rate
22nd 6
1988 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Vince Granatelli Racing
12 (1) 0 2 0
0% win rate
12th 40
1987 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Vince Granatelli Racing
12 4 4 2
17% win rate
4th 106
1986 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Bignotti-Cotter Racing
16 (1) 1 2 0
0% win rate
9th 87
1985 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Bignotti-Cotter Racing
14 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
17th 34
1984 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Bignotti-Cotter Racing
16 0 1 0
0% win rate
11th 52
1983 F1 World Championship
Theodore Racing Team
13 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1982 F1 World Championship
Ensign Racing
8 (7) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1981 European F2 Championship
Maurer Motorsport
12 0 1 1
9% win rate
7th 16
1980 European F3 Championship
Anglia Cars
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1979 European F3 Championship
Anglia Cars
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
25th 2