Cesare Perdisa

2021-02-17 23:00

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Cesare Perdisa

In Italy between the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, a period destined to make history, the Dolce Vita, develops. It is a period that


In Italy between the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, a period destined to make history, the Dolce Vita develops. It is a period that involves all aspects of Italian life, even unsuspected ones such as sport. In this period, in fact, there is a rider who more than anyone has managed to embody this lifestyle: Cesare Perdisa. Born in Bologna, Cesare was born in the Emilian capital on October 21, 1932.


From a wealthy family, the future Ferrari driver is the son of Luigi, dean of the faculty of agriculture at the University of Bologna and founder of Calderini-Edagricole in 1935. The father hopes that his son will be able to follow in his footsteps but the good Cesare nurtures another passion, that for engines. Despite his father's aversion to his son's commitment to the world of racing, Cesare made his racing debut in 1954, at the wheel of a Maserati T2000 S, finishing fourth at Imola, followed by fifth at the Gran Prize of Portugal and from the third to the Grand Prix of Syracuse.


The young Cesare immediately proved to be a very fast driver, so much so that the following year, at the age of 23, he made his debut in Formula 1 always driving a Maserati. The setting for his debut is the most glamorous of all, Monte Carlo. It is May 22, 1955, it is very hot, there are one hundred laps to go. The young Bolognese starts from the sixth row, and leads a constant race that brings him up to the third final place that he will share with the French driver Jean Behra, whom Maserati had hired to replace Stirling Moss, at the moment driving for Mercedes.


In the same year Cesare will compete in another prestigious Grand Prix, this time in Belgium, finishing in eighth place always driving a Maserati. At the same time, the Bolognese driver will obtain further successes in the titled races in Bari and at the Shell Grand Prix in Imola. The level of his performances will be just as high in 1956, as still driving the Maserati, he will compete in four other Formula 1 races, obtaining another podium in Belgium (third shared with Moss), a fifth place in France and a seventh place in Great Britain, but will retire in Germany. Thanks to these excellent results, Maserati confirms him at the wheel of a 300S for the 1000 Kilometers of the Nurburgring, which he will not complete.


In 1957 Cesare remained in Modena, but changed the car manufacturer, crowning the dream of driving for Ferrari. At the first Grand Prix disputed with the cars of Maranello he finished in sixth place, on the occasion of the Argentine Grand Prix, but his career was abruptly interrupted when, engaged in the 12 Hours of Sebring, he learned that his friend and companion team, Eugenio Castellotti, lost his life in Modena due to an accident during a practice session.


Initially this tragedy shakes him to the point of deciding not to participate in the US race, and at the same time he accepts the request of his parents, who express the desire for an immediate, albeit temporary, withdrawal from competitions. The abandonment to racing soon became definitive, and Cesare devoted himself to an industrial career in the publishing sector. Lover of the good life, friend of singers like Gino Paoli and Fred Bongusto, and writers of the caliber of Luca Goldoni (it tells of the famous journey at full speed from Bologna to Cortina, scaring the famous novelist madly), superstitious to the point of wanting his cars had racing numbers with 7, Cesare will switch off in Bologna on 10 May 1998, leaving a way of living and understanding racing as if he were a modern-day D'Artagnan.


Simone Centonze



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