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Life after a racing career

2005 with Johnny jr.
Cecotto family
me with Johnny in Imola 2010
Johnny Cecotto stopped with active racing after 2002 but meanwhile his son Johnny Amadeus had driven his first kart races in Italy and it looked as like he was going to be in his father's footsteps. In 2003 he raced at the 12 hours of Sebring in March for the ALMS series but retired after 2 hours of racing with an engine failure. Cecotto also did show up at the Tuner GP at Hockenheim in June with the Irmscher Opel Vectra GTS. But in 2003 Johnny spent most of his time to help his son Johnny Amadeus with his kart races for the Veneto championship in Italy. Also in 2004 Johnny Cecotto was manager and mechanic for his son Johnnyjr. who was racing in Italy for the Open Master 2004 in 100cc junior class. Johnny did a charity race for the BTCC Masters at Donington, England on September 26th. He didn't finish because of an accident with Tim Harvey who pushed him of the track. On November 29th 2004 Johnny became father again of daughter Julie Isabel. In the beginning of 2005 Johnny competed at the Historic Ice Trophy in Austria with a BMW 2002 Gr. II with Franz Guggenberger. His son Johnny Cecotto jr. got a contract for the Formula BMW ADAC series with Team Lauderbach Motorsport (TLM) so Johnny was going to support him here. Johnny jr. switched from team at the Norisring and would drive for Mamerow Racing. Johnny Cecotto was invited on the same circuit to compete the "Race of the Legends", a charity race. Competitors were Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Emerson Fittipaldi, Michael Doohan Jody Scheckter and Johnny Cecotto. Johnny finished 3rd behind Prost and Fittipaldi. Johnny Cecotto worked hard to find sponsors for his son and it was definitive that Johnny jr. would race in 2006 for the KIWI ESP team in the Italian Formula Renault 2000 championship so Johnny was to be seen again on a lot of circuits. Johnny again participated in the Historic Ice Trophy in January with a BMW M3 in 2006. Now and then he was offered a race like the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring in June. There he competed with a Subaru Impreza WRX TSI for the AtTrack Bioendurance racing team of Ulrich Schiefer. Through engine problems which weren't to solve the car even didn't get to the start of the race though and his actions were minimized to practices. In 2007 an X-lite Cecotto replica helmet was manufactured in a series to honour different motorcycle racing champions from the past. In 2008 Johnny Cecotto was present at the BMW M Night on castle Heidelberg in Germany with his BMW M3 GTR from 1993. Johnny Cecotto had been asked by Alpina BMW to be driving their BMW B6 GT3 for the FIA Euro GT3 series and the German GT Masters in 2009. It never came to a deal with them though he did some testing together with Johnny jr. at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy at the end of February. Meanwhile also his other son, Jonathan, had started his racing career in karts now and so Johnny took most of his time to support him while Johnny jr. already stood on his own and made big progression every year. I was contacted by chief editor Mark Koense of Dutch RTL GP Magazine to be helpful for an article about Johnny Cecotto. This article was published in the addition of RTL GP Magazine number 5 of 2009. A 6 page interview with Johnny Cecotto with lots of pictures in it. In 2010 Johnny Cecotto started his own racing team: JC Racing. Of course Jonathan Cecotto was a driver of that team. In September of 2010 Johnny for the first time raced together with his son Johnny jr. in the Super Trofeo Lamborghini at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy. They won 2 of the 3 races and it was sure Johnny could still drive a racing car. Johnny jr. showed he had the same abilities as his father and already was into the GP2 series. Another remarkable happening in 2010 was the fact that Johnny was present at the first edition of the Imola 200 Miglia Revival in Italy. We were there to be witness of the fact that Johnny Cecotto sat on a Yamaha 500cc racing motorcycle from the Yamaha Classic Racing Team of Ferry Brouwer. In 2011 Johnny now and then is present at different events like VW Scirocco Cup and also on a Yamaha motorcycle again at the Bikers’Classics at Francorchamps. Of course we were there to make a report of that event and to witness Johnny riding the Yamaha 500cc from 1978 again. As it did back then in 1978 also here at Francorchamps his bike broke down with mechanical problems. He still worked on his own racing team and tried to find sponsorship for both of his sons careers. In 2012 we were on holiday in Italy and visited the Cecotto family at their house in Treviso. We also looked at their garage where their equipment of the JC Racing team was stored. That was a great moment and really special to me and Carolien. Johnny was also present at the 40th anniversary of the BMW Old Timer event at the Nürburgring in this year. Also in 2013 Johnny did compare his son Jonathan during his kart races. Johnny jr. still was racing in GP2. There wasn’t any further big news or happening about Johnny Cecotto himself. But in 2014 Johnny was going to compete in the Coupes Moto Légendes at the French Dijon Prenois circuit. Together with my daughter Lindsey I visited the famous French circuit to report for this site. We had a great weekend their and saw Johnny in action on some different 500cc Yamaha’s from the French Yamaha Classic Racing Team. Johnny was with his whole family at Dijon and we had a nice visit there. Jonathan already did some testing in Formula cars. In 2015 it was 40 years ago Johnny Cecotto came to Europe to compete motorcycling Grand Prix’s. Johnny was asked to drive on a Yamaha at the French Paul Ricard circuit at the Sunday Ride Classic in April, the same circuit as he started back in 1975 to win both races in 250 and 350cc at his first appearance. Regrettably I wasn’t able to visit the event. Son Jonathan had started to race in the ADAC Formula 4 series in Germany and of course Johnny compared him to give advise. In June Cecotto also was at the Goodwood Revival where he drove in a 1978 BMW Formula 2 car, the BMW 782. Johnny jr. started in GP2 again but because of lack of financial support of home country Venezuela he only did a few races and got unemployed. This annoyed Johnny Cecotto so much he gave a statement about this in the media. Nevertheless... With both his sons being a racing driver the name Cecotto probably will continue for some time in Motorsport. And so also this story about Johnny Cecotto himself will go on.....

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