Venezuela is a small country located in South America, but it has a big presence in the world of auto racing. Venezuela is home to some of the most talented and renowned auto racing drivers in the world, from Formula One drivers to those in other racing series.
From the legendary three-time Formula One champion Pastor Maldonado to the up-and-coming Carlos Sainz Jr., Venezuela’s auto racing scene is one of the most vibrant and exciting in the world. Here is a list of the best auto racing drivers in Venezuela.
1. Pastor Maldonado
Pastor Rafael Maldonado Motta is a Venezuelan professional racing driver who has had a long and successful career in the world of motorsport. He started out in karting and achieved success in various junior categories, before making his debut in the GP2 Series in 2009.
In 2010, he secured the GP2 Series championship, becoming the first Venezuelan driver to do so. After his success in GP2, he was signed by the Williams and Lotus Formula One teams, and he spent several years racing in the sport’s top championship.
He also served as a Pirelli test driver until 2017, when he retired from professional racing. Pastor Maldonado Motta’s accomplishments have made him a household name in Venezuela, and an inspiration to aspiring racing drivers across the world.
2. Ettore Chimeri
Ettore Muro Chimeri was an exceptionally talented racing driver from Venezuela. He was born in Lodi, a city near Milan, Italy. However, his family later migrated to Venezuela, where he began his career in racing.
By the time he was 23, Chimeri was the first Venezuelan ever to compete in a Formula One Grand Prix, the highest level of open-wheel racing.
His impressive feat was a major breakthrough, as it opened the door for other Venezuelans to compete at the highest level of motorsport. Chimeri enjoyed a successful career in motorsport, competing at various levels of racing.
He won multiple national championships in Venezuela and even competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France.
His success at the highest levels of racing earned him a great deal of admiration and respect from his fellow racers and fans. Although Ettore Muro Chimeri tragically passed away in 2019, his legacy lives on as a pioneering figure in Venezuelan motorsport.
He was a pioneer in the sport, and his accomplishments have paved the way for other Venezuelans to compete in Formula One. Chimeri’s legacy will continue to inspire generations of Venezuelan drivers who aspire to reach the pinnacle of motorsport.
3. Johnny Cecotto
Johnny Cecotto is a former professional Grand Prix motorcycle and auto racer from Venezuela. He was born Johnny Alberto Cecotto Persello and quickly gained recognition as a prodigy in 1975 when he became the youngest motorcycle road racing world champion at the age of 19.
This would prove to be the first of many successes for the young racer as he went on to win multiple titles in both motorcycling and auto racing. In the world of motorcycle road racing, Johnny Cecotto was a force to be reckoned with.
He won the 500cc World Championship in 1975 and the 750cc World Championship in 1980. He also won the German Grand Prix in both 1975 and 1980.
In addition to his racing successes, Cecotto also set several records, including being the first rider to lap the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in less than eight minutes. In the world of auto racing, Johnny Cecotto competed in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), where he won the championship in 1985.
He also competed in Formula One, where he competed for the Theodore Racing team in 1983.
He also competed in the World Sportscar Championship in 1988 and 1989, where he drove for the Sauber Mercedes team. Throughout his career, Johnny Cecotto has proven himself to be one of the most talented racers of his generation.
He has won numerous titles and set numerous records throughout his racing career, cementing his place in the history of motor racing.
4. Milka Duno
Milka Duno is an accomplished race car driver from Venezuela who has competed in the IndyCar Series, the ARCA Racing Series, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
She is best known for being the only female driver to ever finish the 24 Hours of Daytona, the longest race in the history of motorsports. This feat earned her the record for highest finish for a female driver in the event.
Duno began her racing career in 1997 and since then has competed in a variety of racing series, including the IndyCar Series, the ARCA Racing Series, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
She has also made history by becoming the first woman to qualify for the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000. Duno’s success in the male-dominated world of motorsports has made her an inspiration for other female drivers, showing them that anything is possible in the world of racing.
5. Sebastián Fernández
Sebastián Fernández Wahbeh is a Venezuelan-Spanish racing driver who has competed in two major racing series. In 2019, he competed in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with Campos Racing, an international racing team based in Spain.
This series features some of the best young racing drivers in the world and is the last step before reaching the highest levels of motorsport.
In 2020, he switched teams and joined ART Grand Prix, another international racing team, to compete in the 2020 FIA Formula 3 Championship.
This is the most recent of his accomplishments and shows his dedication to motorsport and his ability to rapidly adapt to new teams and events.
As a Venezuelan-Spanish racing driver, Sebastián Fernández Wahbeh is an example of the many talented drivers that have come out of the country and is a role model for other aspiring racers.
6. Alex García
Alex García is a highly accomplished stock car racing driver from Venezuela. He is a former competitor in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, an annual series of stock car races in the US and Canada.
García is well-known in the racing community as a road course ringer, a driver who specializes in the difficult, winding courses of road racing. He drove the 98 Dixien/OmniSource Chevrolet for Transnet Racing, a team that García himself owns.
This makes García a unique and talented asset to the sport, as he is both an owner and a driver of the same team. His experience and success in stock car racing has earned him respect from fellow competitors and fans alike.
7. E. J. Viso
Ernesto José “E. J.” Viso Lossada is a successful professional racing driver from Venezuela. He is most known for his accomplishments in the GP2 Series, having competed in the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
Additionally, he was the third car for Spyker MF1 Racing in the same time period. In 2007, Viso Lossada returned to the GP2 Series with Racing Engineering, where he continued to race.
His impressive career in professional racing has firmly established him as a noteworthy driver in the sport.
8. Johnny Cecotto Jr.
Johnny Amadeus Cecotto, also commonly known as Johnny Cecotto Jr., is a professional racing driver. He holds both German and Venezuelan nationality and competes under a Venezuelan license.
He is the son of former motorcycle world champion and racing driver Johnny Cecotto, who is a well-recognized name in the motorsport community. Johnny Cecotto Jr. has made his own name in the racing world, competing in a number of different motorsport series.
He has raced in the FIA Formula Three European Championship, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, the Formula 3000 International Championship, and the FIA GT Championship. He has also competed in the GP2 Series and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Johnny Cecotto Jr.
has won several races throughout his career, and holds the title of the first Venezuelan to win the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. He has also achieved two second-place finishes in the FIA Formula Three European Championship.
In the GP2 Series, he earned a pole position and a podium finish, and he has also won a number of races in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Overall, Johnny Cecotto Jr. has established himself as a successful and well-respected racing driver.
He has followed in his father’s footsteps and has made a name for himself in the motorsport world.
9. Giancarlo Serenelli
Giancarlo “Gato” Serenelli Pellechia is a Venezuelan professional racing driver. He is well-known for his spectacular racing skills and his competitive spirit. He is considered to be one of the top racers in the world and has earned multiple titles and awards in his career.
He began racing at a young age and quickly established himself as a rising star in the sport. His wins include the Venezuelan Formula 4 Championship, the Southwest European Championship, and the Spanish F4 Championship.
He also competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3 Euro Series. He is currently competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. His skill and determination have made him a fan favorite and he is always a threat to win any race he enters.
Giancarlo is a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.
10. Enzo Potolicchio
Vicente “Enzo” Potolicchio is a renowned Venezuelan racing driver and businessman. He is known for competing and achieving success in various racing leagues.
Potolicchio currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Rolex Sports Car Series for Starworks Motorsport.
His remarkable achievements include winning the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2012 12 Hours of Sebring, both in the LMP2 class. This is an impressive feat to have accomplished and it is clear that Potolicchio is a talented and determined individual.
He has demonstrated his strong ambition and skill as a driver, as well as his business acumen. His success is a testament to his dedication and hard work, and it serves as inspiration to those who hope to pursue a career in motorsports.
Potolicchio is an example of what can be achieved when one has the commitment and drive to succeed.
11. Alex Popow
Alex Popow is a professional racing driver from Venezuela. He has been competing in the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series since 2011. He is currently driving for CORE autosport and Starworks Motorsport teams.
Popow has been actively involved in the racing industry for over a decade and has achieved numerous podiums and race wins throughout his career.
He has also raced in the American Endurance Racing Series and the 24 Hours of Daytona, and was the winner of the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, an impressive accomplishment.
Popow is known for his fast and aggressive driving style and is considered one of the most talented drivers in the sport. He is an important part of both the CORE autosport and Starworks Motorsport teams and is sure to bring them success in the future.
12. Rodolfo González
Rodolfo González is a professional racing driver from Venezuela. He has been involved in racing since an early age and has competed in numerous events. He began as a rally driver and has since ventured into the world of open wheel racing.
He competes in multiple championships including the Americas Rally Championship, the Venezuelan GT Championship and the Formula V8 3.5 series. Rodolfo has achieved many successes in racing, including winning the Americas Rally Championship in 2008 and taking the title of Venezuelan GT Champion in 2013.
In addition to his racing career, Rodolfo has also worked as a driver coach and mentor, providing guidance and tutelage to aspiring young drivers. Rodolfo is passionate about motorsport and has a strong desire to continue competing and winning at the highest level.
He is an inspiration to many drivers and is a role model for those who aspire to compete in the world of motorsport. His determination and commitment to the sport is something that is admired by all who know him.
13. Samin Gómez
Samin Gómez Briceno is a Venezuelan professional racing driver. She is well-known for her remarkable success in karting and other racing series.
Gómez Briceno began her racing career at the age of 12 in karting, where she quickly made a name for herself and achieved remarkable results. She then went on to compete in various other series, such as Formula 4 and Formula Renault, where she continued to impress.
Her accomplishments in these series have earned her a great deal of respect and admiration from fellow drivers and fans alike.
Gómez Briceno is an inspiration to aspiring female racers all around the world and is a great example of what can be achieved through hard work and determination. Her career is a testament to the fact that with the right dedication and passion, anything is possible.
14. Manuel Maldonado
Manuel Maldonado Vargas is a Venezuelan-born racing driver who is currently competing in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for the Panis Racing outfit. He is the cousin of the former Formula One driver, Pastor Maldonado, who raced in the sport from 2011 to 2015.
Maldonado Vargas began his career in karting before progressing to single-seaters, with his first taste of ELMS competition coming in 2015. Since then, he has become a regular in the series, competing for the likes of Eurointernational, RLR MSport, and now Panis Racing.
He has achieved a number of impressive results in the series, including a podium finish at the 4 Hours of Le Castellet in 2019. The Venezuelan is now aiming to take his career to the next level and become a professional racing driver in the highest echelons of the sport.
Auto racing in Venezuela is a popular sport and there are some great players from the country. From the legendary Carlos Sainz to the young Rafael Martinez, great drivers have competed and are still competing in all kinds of championships.
They have set records and won titles that have helped promote the sport in their country. Through the years, their commitment and determination to be the best have helped make auto racing in Venezuela even more popular.