Franco Scapini raced in Formula Abarth in 1981 and debuted in F3 the following year. In 1983 he was 10th in the Italian championship, 4th one year later. In 1985 he still raced in Italian F3 but without much success. In 1986 he switched to F3000 driving for the Italia 3000 and Lola Motorsport teams. His best result was 13th at the Osterreichring.
He returned to Italian F3 in 1987, scoring just one point. He was also hired to do sme testing on the Coloni F1 car.
For 1988 he crossed the Atlantic to race in Indy Lights. He made one start at Miami. He also drove in F3000 with ARF Racing but only qualified for just one race.
The following year (1989) he drove for the Automotor-Team with a best result of a tenth at Birmingham. He also drove the Mussato-Lancia LC2 in the WEC, failing to finish every round bar two, one when he was disqualified for outside assistance and another at Le Mans where they failed to qualify to begin with.
1990 he was officially the test and reserve driver for the farsical Life Formula One teams. He may even have driven the car once, in a test at Monza. After the Life F1 farce, Franco went to the US. Raced once in CART, qualified at 91 Surfer's Paradise, & also competed in Grand Am & the Spanish GT championship.
During the late Nineties Scapini raced Ferrari F355s in Italian GT and GrandAm.
Now limits his racing to the Daytona 24 Hours and works as a racing instructor.