l  Copyright © 2002 until present  -  All rights reserved John Damen  -  Copyright  l
follow me on Facebook

Formula Racing Career

1982 March BMW F2
1983 Theodore Ensign F1
1984 Toleman F1
Johnny always had one eye fixed on car racing. Now at the end of 1980 he was going to make a dreadful decision for all the motorcycle racing enthusiasts.Already during the 1980 season of motorcycle racing Johnny Cecotto drove some races in Formula 2 with a March BMW 802 for the Mike Earle team. His results weren't that bad at all. So his decision was clear now. He stopped with motorcycle racing and switched to the car racing scene. This was a brand new experience. He already knew most of the circuits but racing in a car and on 4 wheels was completely different then motorcycle racing. In 1981 he drove for the Minardi team with Michele Alboreto in a Minardi Fly 812 but because of not been threaten even with Michele he left the team after 5 races and was contracted for the Horag team from Markus Hotz. He drove a March BMW 802 at Mugello but got a new March BMW 812 at Pau. Johnny's results became better and at the last 3 races he finished always in 6th position. He ended on 14th place overall with 6 points. Cecotto was contracted to race in St. Peterzell-Hemberg during a hill climb race for the Hotz team. He finished in fine 3rd position in this spectacular new and for once challenge. His talent had been attract attention and so he became a contract in 1982 for the official March BMW team. Johnny Cecotto formed a team with Corrado Fabi and Christian Danner in 1982. They all drove a March BMW 822 and Cecotto did unbelievably well. Johnny did win 3 races in Thruxton, Pau and Mantorp Park and he came only 1 point short at the end to be the new Formula 2 European Champion. His team-mate Fabi won the title for March BMW. Johnny did get a Formula 1 seat for the 1983 season in the Theodore team with Roberto Guerrero. In the 2nd Grand Prix of USA in Long Beach he finished 6th and so gained 1 point for the drivers listing. But there was no money for improvement of the Theodore Ford N183. And because of this Cecotto couldn't qualify in 4 Grand Prix's and even had to miss the last 2 races because of money problems in the Theodore team. But his driving performances in 1983 were noticed and rumours went on he would sign for Brabham next to Nelson Piquet. That wasn't going to happen though but instead he got a seat for the Toleman team in 1984 with Brazilian Ayrton Senna. The Toleman TG183B was very unpredictable though and he couldn't reach the finish once. Most attention in the team was given to Senna and Johnny wasn't happy about that. At the Monaco GP Cecotto did receive a new Toleman TG184 which should be much more competitive. Instead things went better they got worse, very worse. Disaster struck during the Friday practice for the British GP at the circuit of Brands Hatch. Johnny drove his Toleman in his 2nd flying lap, after losing it's grip on the track, with high speed in a straight way into the guardrail. He smashed the whole front side of his car of which the parts flew all over the track. Red flags were shown and the practice session had to be stopped to be able to extract Johnny from his car. He had a lot of pain. With severe injury on his legs he was taken to hospital for surgery in St. Mary's Hospital in Sidcup. So far I have never seen any pictures of the accident except for some of Johnny being taken to the helicopter. Martina Wagner, Johnny's girlfriend who normally always was with him at the races was in Germany recovering from a flew. She was flown in by helicopter after Elio de Angelis had informed her personally. Long time surgery was necessary and luckily his legs could be saved. He stayed in hospital for some time in England. His team mate Ayrton Senna never showed up there to even visit Johnny. Shortly after he was transported to Augsburg in Germany Rehabilitation in Germany followed for almost a year and although he did recover almost completely he just never would be able to drive Formula 1 again. His strength in legs and feet just wasn’t good enough to race in a Formula 1 car anymore. And that was a pity while Johnny had been talking to a lot of other teams in Formula 1 like Brabham and Ferrari!! He for sure had the capabilities to become a great Formula 1 driver. Regrettably the accident in Brands Hatch changed all of Johnny’s plans and so he never got the chance to prove his abilities. Therefore he made a decision to step into Touring Car Racing of which you can read more in the next session of this site. Click the link on this page below.....

Career Touring Car Racing  >>>>>