Tonino Ascari, son of the great World Champion Alberto, never saw his father race. In 1960, aged 18, his mother sent him to Coventry, England, where he worked for Jaguars and learned to speak English. Returning to Milan, he got a job working in Gigi Villoresi's Innocenti-Mini Agency. Then he became involved with the building of racing cars for the Formula Junior 1,000 C.C. class, cars made by local constructors such as Stanguellini and Foglietti.
On August 2 1963, when Tonino became 21 he inherited a sum of money and on August 29, he drove a Formula Junior car belonging to Angelo Dagrada, around Monza. By October he was at the school for drivers at Vallelunga driving a 2.5 liter Ferrari. One month later, Tonino was up at Modena, taking lessons in a 2 liter, two-seater Cooper-Maserati sportscar from his father's old rival, Piero Taruffi, whose idea it had been to create a little stable of young pilots, the Scuderia Centro-Sud. Also taking lessons was Farina's nephew.
He had just one season of serious racing. On April 15 1964, Enzo Vigorelli announced that Tonino Ascari would race for two years with a Foglietti-Holbay Formula Three car under the colors of the Scuderia Madunina. That year, Tonino Ascari won the Italian Formula 3 series.
However the pressure to live up to the family name, pressure form his mother to quit and a dislike of his sponsors desire to exploit the Ascari name, led to him quiting.