Ludovico Scarfiotti

2021-02-06 23:00

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Ludovico Scarfiotti

Ludovico Scarfiotti, also known as Lodovico, was born in Turin on October 18, 1933. From the Piedmontese capital, where he was born, the family moved


Ludovico Scarfiotti, also known as Lodovico, was born in Turin on October 18, 1933. From the Piedmontese capital, where he was born, the family moved to Potenza Picena, in the Marche region, to manage the cement factory in Porto Recanati, built at the behest of his grandfather Ludovico, first president of Fiat. His father Luigi, a deputy of the Kingdom of Italy, was also an excellent driver. It is therefore logical that even the young Lulù, as he was jokingly called, grew up with a passion for engines. His racing career began at the age of nineteen, when in 1952, on a Fiat Topolino, he made his debut on the Piceno circuit.


After obtaining his scientific diploma at the Galileo Galilei high school in Macerata, Ludovico takes care of the family business, but in the meantime he runs several minor hill climbs and takes part in the 1956 Mille Miglia at the wheel of a Fiat 1100 TV built by engineer De Sanctis. The following year with a Fiat 8V with Zagato bodywork, he won the Italian GT Championship and the Mountain Trophy. Also in 1958 he will repeat himself at the wheel of an Osca 1100 and an Abarth 1000, establishing himself in the first national GT championships and in the Mountain Trophy.


The years went by and his exceptional skills as a driver, both on the circuit and in the mountains, became formidable, so much so that he gained entry into the Ferrari official team for 1962. The results were immediately excellent: Ludovico won the European Championship twice. of the mountains, in 1962 and 1965, and will perform fabulous feats on the circuit in the most prestigious sports races, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1000 Km of the Nürburgring in 1964 paired with Vaccarella, and that of 1965, where paired with John Surtess will lead the race for the final forty-four laps, winning in six hours, fifty-three minutes and five seconds at an average speed of 145.58 km/h.


Other memorable feats will be written at the 1000 Kilometers of Monza, the 12 Hours of Reims, the 1000 Kilometers of Spa, and a memorable 24 Hours of Le Mans won in 1963 on a Ferrari paired with Lorenzo Bandini, as well as a third place obtained in the 1000. Kilometers of Paris paired with Colin Davis. In 1966 Scarfiotti and Bandini will present themselves at the 1000 Kilometers of the Ring driving the two-liter Ferrari Dino 206 S, and will finish second behind the Chevrolet - Chaparral 5.4 liters of the Bonnier - Phil Hill crew, which brings a futuristic solution to its absolute debut technical, automatic transmission.


Simultaneously with sports races and mountain races, Ludovico also engages in Formula 1, competing in ten races with three different teams, Ferrari, Cooper and Eagle, and winning a Grand Prix, totaling a tally of 17 points. Scarfiotti reached the highest point of his career in Formula 1 in 1966, when he won the Italian Grand Prix in Monza ahead of team mate Mike Parkes and New Zealander Dennis Hulme; this will be the last Formula 1 victory of an Italian driver at the Italian Grand Prix. Ferrari's decision not to entrust him with any cars at the 1967 Italian Grand Prix will be the prelude to the end of his career. Although it is true that in the team there was a rivalry with Lorenzo Bandini, which Ferrari himself will talk about in his book Drivers, what people:


"Bandini saw in Scarfiotti everything that he, Lorenzo, had never been able to be. Ludovico was the rich, happy boy who had found the steps already outlined in his life, even if for this reason he had wanted to earn something special with the risk Lorenzo felt this difference epidermally. He was jealous that friend who had faced his competitive career with the tranquility of finding a way and going beyond the normal routine".


However, it is equally true that Ferrari himself will undergo considerable pressure from the lawyer Agnelli, who will invite him not to further supply his cars to the young Ludovico, given that above all the parents would have liked their son not to continue his activity in the field of Motorsport. However, Ludovico shows up in Monza driving an Eagle, and together with the contract with Porsche he also signs a commitment with Cooper for a first drive in Formula 1. On October 26, 1967, the Auto Italiana newspaper published the news, which in Italy has the effect of a real bolt from the blue:


"Ludovico Scarfiotti has signed a contract with Porsche, with which he will compete in the European Hillclimb Championship next year. In addition, the Italian driver will be involved, again for the German brand, in the Targa Florio, in the 1000 Kilometers of Monza and in the of Nurburgring, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans".


Nobody expected it. The difficult relationship with the Maranello team ended unexpectedly. Unfortunately 1968 is the year of the tragedy that took the life of Ludovico: in Rossfeld, Germany, during the tests of an uphill race, the Italian driver is driving his Porsche 909 Bergspyder, when inexplicably he goes off the road. At the scene of the accident you will notice a long streak, an unequivocal sign that Ludovico had tried to brake continuously for sixty meters before taking the corner. Some time later, the Autosprint magazine will publish an interview with Ludovico himself, in which he will reveal that both he and his teammate Gerhard Mitter in a race in Spain, at Montseny, found themselves with a broken steering. However, the causes remain unknown today. Through the pages of his book, Commendatore Ferrari will say of Scarfiotti:


"Having got into Formula 1 he did not want to get off, even if his style did not reconcile with the necessary refinement. Someone spoke of divorce when Ludovico asked, for the following year's Italian Grand Prix, to look for another car. a letter from Gianni Agnelli, who was interested in the sporting activity of Ludovico, his cousin. He told me: He is fine. Ludovico also agrees to stop with Formula 1. His anxiety to feel complete at the wheel of a car racing had the upper hand. He left Ferrari and looked elsewhere, in England, in Germany, but he was not satisfied. I knew it: we had already laid the foundations for a comeback, for a new season with the red Sport cars that he never forgot. Few knew it. But Rossfeld's ambush, the spike of rock that was fatal to him when he fell out of the crazy white Porsche, had to prevent the solution of the misunderstanding. The driver generous, correct, above all obedient even if he had his blaze of pride, he could not find the light-heartedness of so many famous endurance races, that happiness that his love life had avarly dosed in a swing of affection".


In that damned Rossfeld curve a man goes out who had written memorable pages and still many he could have written in the racing world. A man who had given his all for the passion he had felt since he was young.


Simone Centonze



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