The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Martino Finotto (1933-2014)

14-08-2014

We are sad to record the death of Martino Finotto, the Italian driver whose main success was winning the 1979 European Touring Car Championship aboard a self-run BMW 3.0CSL entered under the Jolly Club banner. He claimed the title with long-time co-driver and business partner Carlo Facetti after winning five of the final six rounds.

But his special interest to Ferrari fans was his CARMA developed twin-turbo 308 GTB which he ran in the 1980 World Championship for Makes and which was reputed to develop 1,000 bhp in qualifying trim and was a fearsome sight as it twitched not just through corners but down the straights as well.

The Ferrari was developed by Finotto and Facetti’s CARMA operation – the name of which was derived from the opening letters of their christian names – and this tiny organisation subsequently built a bespoke four-cylinder turbocharged engine for the new Group C Junior category for 1983.

Badged a Giannini after the Fiat special tuner because CARMA needed a manufacturer for homologation purposes, this engine claimed back-to-back World Endurance Championship titles in the secondary Group C category in 1983-84 together with Italian racing car constructor Alba.

He competed at Le Mans on six occasions without breaking into the top 10, but had a best finishes at Daytona of second in 1977 driving a Porsche 935 and a fifth in 1981 at the wheel of his Lancia.

Finotto, who made his fortune in the chemical industry, briefly flirted with Formula 1. He bought a pair of Brabham BT42s but decided against racing them after a solitary test at Monza at the end of 1973. Instead they were fielded by ex-Formula 3 star Jurg Dubler under the Scuderia Finotto banner for a number of drivers through the ’74 season, though two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Gerard Larrousse’s start at the Belgian Grand Prix at Nivelles was the only time the team made it onto the grid.

Finotto continued to race into the 1990s, making his last sportscar appearance at the 1995 Sebring 12 Hours.