historicracing
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Laurent Aiello
Laurent Aiello
© hr
FRANCE

Born
23 / 5 / 1969
Aiello won four touring car championships during his career, the French Superturismo title in 1994, the German STW Cup in 1997, British Touring Car Championship in 1999 and the DTM in 2002. He also won Le Mans in 1998 and Sebring in 2001.

Born in Fontenay-Aux-Roses in France he started racing at the age of 9 when his grandfather, Robert Bournet, bought him a kart. In 1983 he won the French Junior title and in 1985 the French Senior title.

In 1988 he switched to cars graduating to Formual 3 the following year. Racing in the B Class he finished runner up and moved up to the A class in 1990.

Racing a Reynard 903 his season got of to a difficult start but at the Monaco round he took the win in the wet pulling away by nearly one and a half seconds a lap.

DG Racing decided to rent a Ralt for the rest of the season and Laurent took three wins in Dijon, Paul Ricard and Le Mans. The Team Bowman were impressed and entered him for two international races, Macao, where he finished fourth, and Fuji, where he came second just behind one Michael Schumacher.

In 1991 he graduated to F3000. It was a dissapointing year with the Lola T91/50-Mugen. He did however finish ahead of his team mate Allan McNish and did finish on the podium at Spa.

He joined Pacific Racing in 1993 along side Jordi Gene. Unfortunately he lost out to the Spaniard who was favoured as the number one driver. The season was a disaster his Reynard only finishing in the points on two occasions. To make matters worse changes in French law banned cigarette sposorship, so Aiello, like so many French drivers since, lost out due to the lack of a sponsor.

In 1993 he also raced in the French Superturismo series. Driving a BMW 318iS for Hugues de Chaunac he took four wins. He also raced touring cars in Italy.

He joined Peugeot in 1994 and though he had an F1 test with McLaren it didn't come to anything. In touring cars he drove the 405 to win the French Superturismo Championship with 5 victories. In December he had another F1 test this time with the Jordan-Peugeot.

In 1995, the Peugeot 405 was no longer competetive and Laurent dropped to third in the final standings with just one win.

With Peugeot pulling out of the French series, Aiello packed his backs and went to compete in the German STW Cup driving the 406 to three wins and third in the series.

1997 was a great year, 11 wins saw Aiello take the German STW Cup with ease. However the defence of his title the following year was thwarted by Johnny Ceccoto in the BMW.

At Le Mans in 1998, Porsche were looking for replacement for Yannick Dalmas to partner Allan McNish and Stephan Ortelli in the Porsche 911 GT1. They signed Laurent and, in spite of his inexperience, they took the win.

Another move followed in 1999. This time to contest the British Touring Cars Championship with the works Nissan team along side team mate, David Leslie. Laurent took the title with Leslie second. At Le Mans he joined Audi in the R8 with Alboreto and Capello, finishing 4th overall.

2000 was a poor year. He joined Abt to race an Audi TT in the DTM. Outgunned by both Mercedes and Opel he finished a lowly 16th in the standings. At Le Mans things were brighter with a second place finsh for Audi teamed up with Allan McNish and Stephan Ortelli again.

Changes to the rules in 2001 saw the Audi TT-R become more competetive and Laurent took two wins to finish 5th in the points. Driving the Audi R8 he won the Sebring 12 hour race with Alboreto and Capello and finished second at Le Mans, with Pescatori joining him and Capello as Alboreto had tragically lost his life in testing.

Still shaken by the death of Alboreto, Aiello skipped Le Mans in 2002, prefering to concentrate on the DTM. He took five wins and despite an end of season charge by the AMG-Mercedes of Bernd Schneider, he took his fourth touring car title.

Once again his title defence came unstuck. In a season beset with bad luck he took just one win in 2003 and his 6th in the ponts was not a true reflection of his driving. At the end of the year he decided to leave Abt and join Opel for the following season.

He was with Opel for the next two years but though the car was quick it was ureliable and Aiello
had little success. He retired at the end of 2005.

© hr