Geki

Geki

23/10/1937 - 18/6/1967

Geki was a wealthy Italian driver who won the Italian Formula Junior Championship in 1961, 1962 and 1963 and the Italian F3 title in 1964. He entered three Grand Prix.

From a wealthy background Giacomo Russo was from Milan raced under the pseudonym of 'Geki'. He was a multiple Formula Junior champion in Italy during the early 1960s, driving a Stanguellini in 29 events between 1959 and 1961, taking eight wins, eight seconds and two third places and finishing 4th in the championship in 1960. In 1960 he was an outstanding second in the Monaco Grand Prix support race.

In 1961 he graduated from the relatively primitive Stanguellini to a Lotus with which he won the Italian Formula Junior Championship in 1961, 1962 and 1963.

He moved up to Formula 3 in 1964 with Scuderia Sorocaima De Sanctis and won most of the races and the title. He also tried out a Fiat-engined Abarth Formula 2 car.

Always difficult to beat at Monza, he was always a local attraction come Grand Prix time. In the autumn of 1964 he rented one of Rob Walker's Brabham-BRMs for the Italian Grand Prix but failed to qualify.

In 1965 he was signed up to drive for the factory Alfa Romeo sportscar team but also competed in F2 and F3 events in a variety of different cars. In September he rented the third Team Lotus entry for the Italian Grand Prix. This time he made the race but retired with mechanical trouble. In sports cars he raced at Le Mans with Carlo Zuccoli  but the car retired with transmission troubles before Geki got to drive.

He did the same in 1966 and finishing ninth in the Italian GP. That year he drove in the Sebring 12 Hour race with Gaston "Gus" Andrey in the works Alfa Romeo TZ2 (111). Running in the up to l600cc Sports Car Class they won their class and finished 14th overall. He also raced in the Targa Florio with Teodoro Zeccoli finishing 3rd in class and 13th overall.

His deal with Alfa Romeo continued in 1967 and it looked like he was on course for a successful career in long distance sports car racing, but he was killed in a horrific accident in an Italian Formula 3 race at Caserta later in the year. After a multiple accident involving Fehr, Andrea Saltari, Franco Foresti and Jürg Dubler.  Beat Fehr managed to get out of his car and ran down the track to warn the oncoming racers of the damaged cars on the track ahead.

Geki, who was running in 3rd position behind Brambilla and Antonio Maglione, arrived on the scene, lost control of his Matra and crashed into a concrete wall on the right side of the track. He was thrown out and killed by the impact, his car subsequently catching fire.

The unfortunate Fehr was hit by the next group of drivers and died on his way to hospital. Tiger (Romano Perdomi) who was in that group, crashed head on into a concrete pole and he suffered serious leg and internal injuries and also died eight days later.

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