Fabrizio Barbazza_1

Fabrizio Barbazza,  posing with Carlos Ghys.

Barbazza grew up in the town of Monza and after a career in motocross in his teens he began competing in Formula Monza in 1982. The following year he moved straight into the Italian Formula 3 series, driving a Genoa Racing Ralt-Alfa RT3. He moved to Venturini in 1984 and finished sixth in the series and in 1985, still with Venturini, won four races and finished third in the championship behind Franco Forini and Alex Caffi. Having no money available to move into Formula 3000 he went to the United States and entered the American Racing Series with Arciero Racing. He won four races (Meadowlands, Toronto, Laguna and on the oval at Phoenix) and the ARS title at his first attempt. This led to the chance to join the Arciero CART team in 1987 and he finished third at Indianapolis on his debut and became CART Rookie of the Year. He wanted to race in Formula 1 and at the end of 1998 he returned to Europe and tested for the AGS team but he missed much of the 1989 season because he did not have the money to find a drive. In 1990 he was hired by Crypton Engineering in F3000 and that led to a drive with the AGS Formula 1 team in early 1991 when it was taken over by Crypton boss Patrizio Cantu. Barbazza failed to qualify for any races but in 1993 he finally found backing from Beta and joined the Minardi team, scoring points twice in his first four races before being replaced at midseason when the money ran out.
In May 1995 he was racing a Ferrari sportscar in the United States when he was very seriously injured in an accident with Jeremy Dale at Road Atlanta. He suffered head and chest injuries which left him in a critical condition, in a coma and on artificial respiration. Barbazza recovered but did not return to racing, he started a go-kart circuit in Monza and began designing crash barriers.