Enzo Coloni


Record updated 17-Oct-06

Raced in Italian F3 winning the Championship in 1982 at the age of 36 before switching to team management and to manufacturing. Entered F1 in 1987 and struggled on until 1992.

Enzo Coloni
Enzo Coloni, nicknamed 'The Wolf', began racing in 1976 at the age of 30 in Italian Formula 3. He started out driving an an old March-Fiat 743 but became a serious contender after switching to a March 813 in 1981, winning two races and finishing fourth in the series. In 1982 he aquired a new Ralt RT3 and won the Championship. He had tried F2 in 1980 with San Remo and after another race at the end of 1982 with Minardi, he deceided that at 36 his future in motor racing lay elsewhere.

So, at the end of 1982, he gave up driving and started managing his own team with the wolf insignia becoming the trademark of his outfit's cars from then on. Initially he entered Italian Formula Three with a Ralt-Alfa Romeo RT3 for Ivan Capelli, with backing from Gulf and Diavia. Capelli won nine of the 13 races to dominate the championship.

The following year Coloni and Capelli teamed up again, this time in European Formula 3 with a Martini-Alfa Romeo MK45. With sponsorship from Marlboro, Capelli won at Magny-Cours and La Chatre. At Monza the team was found to be using an illegal airbox. However Capelli went on to win at Enna and Mugello to prove that he could win without it. Coloni also ran Alessandro Santin in the Italian F3 Championship taking four wins and the overall title.

In 1986, Coloni Motorsport appeared in Formula 3000, entering an out-dated March 85B with drivers like Nicola Larini and Gabriele Tarquini. The Formula 3000 attempt was unsuccessful, but instead of staying put and improving, Coloni, prompted no doubt by the banning of turbos in one of the ongoing attempts to bring the costs down, took the plunge into the shark-infested waters of Formula 1.

His first car, the FC187, arrived late in the season with Larini as the sole driver. He failed to qualify for Monza but made it to the grid in Jerez for the final race of the season. Eight laps later he was out, and when the team returned for the 1988 season, Gabrielle Tarquini was in the driver's seat. He failed to qualify on eight attempts and managed to finish in four races, eighth in Montreal being the best result.

For 1989 the team entered two cars driven by Moreno and Raphanel. Between them they managed to fail in qualifying 27 times and never actually finished a race. For 1990 the team reverted to a single car for Bertrand Gachot. He failed to make the grid that year and in 1991 it was the turn of Pedro Chaves and Naoki Hattori to spend a season watching Grand Prix from the paddock.

For some inexplicable reason the team was purchased by the Andrea Moda concern after Subaru had purchased a stake in the team and then sold it back again during the 1991 season.

In 1992 co-operating with the University of Perugia, Coloni designed and built the FTS, a new F3 car.

In 1994 Coloni designed the Superformula and organised the Superformula Championship.

In 1995, Coloni designed and built the single seater for the Open Nissan Championship in Spain and also a Silhouette Race Car with carbon brakes, sequential gearbox and powered by a 400 HP Alfa Romeo engine.

In 1996 Coloni started a F3000 team and during nine season was one of the most successful, taking 18 victories.

In 2005, Coloni ran a GP2 Team with Gian Maria Bruni and Mathias Lauda, an F3 Team in the Italian F3 Championship and organised the Italian F.3000 Championship.