Shaken, not Stirred - The History of Martini Racing

Shaken, not Stirred - The History of Martini Racing

The first ever sponsorship program by Martini happened in 1968, at a small event in Hockenheim. The stripes we recognize and love nowadays were not present in those first few cars. A year later, Martini Racing was formed and two Porsche 907 cars were entered in multiple races. Two cars donned the Martini branding on them, the aforementioned 907 and the Alfa Romeo SZ. They both featured small letterings marking their sponsorship but none of the iconic stripes. 

 

It was not until 1971 that the stripes would leave their permanent mark on the history of racing and iconic liveries. Competing in the 1971 World Sportcar season, the #22 Porsche 917 featured the iconic livery that has now become synonymous with Martini Racing. That year, Porsche dominated Le Mans and cemented the #22 livery as one of the most legendary liveries in motorsports history after winning in the legendary circuit of La Sarthe. This livery went on to inspire GPX Martini Racing's livery in 2021 and brought automotive nostalgia to the world of endurance racing.

After a brief one-year pause, the sponsorship came back on track and the Martini Racing Porsches went ahead and won Le Mans again in 1976 and 1977 with the Porsche 936. At this time, Martini was close to the Porsche factory team, putting its stripes on iconic cars such as the RSR Turbo, 935 and 936. Years after this iconic collaboration, Martini Racing went on to sponsor our homegrown GT racing team, GPX Racing now known as GPX Martini Racing. Competing with Porsche's GT3 cars, the liveries can now be found on some of the most prestigious endurance events around the world such as Spa 24H and more. 

Lancia also received the support of Martini Racing and the Group C Lancia LC2, Group 6 Lancia LC1 and Group 5 Lancia Monte Carlo all bore the stripes of the iconic brand. 

In 1992, Martini Racing got involved with touring car racing, sponsoring the Alfa Romeo 155 in the Italian Touring Car Championship with driver Nicola Larini winning the championship title. It then moved up to the prestigious DTM championship with the same car and drivers, however the car was not competitive anymore in 1995. 

Their first rally entrance was made in partnership with their old friend Porsche in 1978 when the team returned to the WRC with a 911 SC. Despite their 2nd and 4th positions in the race, Porsche did not continue the project any longer. 4 years later, Martini Racing signed with the Lancia team and sponsored the Group B Lancia 037, now one of the most iconic cars in motorsports history. Their partnership lasted until the end of the 1992 season, spanning across multiple cars such as the Group B Delta S4 and Group A Delta Integrale. The Group A Deltas went on to win the WRC six years in a row, with 46 total victories. This record remains unbeaten today. The Martini Lancia cars took the WRC titles in 1987 and 1991 with Kankkunen and 1988 and 1989 with Biasion. 

Martini Racing also made its entrance into Formula 1 in 1972, starting with their homegrown team; Tecno. Because the car was uncompetitive, Martini withdrew at the end of the season. Another attempt would be made in 1975 with a full time return in F1, sponsoring the Brabham team. In 1979, the sponsorship moved to Team Lotus which at the team yielded poor results, ending in Martini's withdrawal from F1. A minor involvement with Scuderia Ferrari happened in 2006 but the fans did not see the iconic stripes on an F1 car until 2014, when Martini Racing sponsored Williams F1 team and the stripes were found on the car until 2018. 

Another surprising sponsorship came in 1975 and 1976 when Martini Racing sponsored Carlo Bonomi and Cesare Fiorio's boats in the Powerboat World Championship. They took the titles back to back for those two years. In 1980, Guido Niccolai took the European title and in 1982, Renato Molinari lost the title by a single point. 

 

 

 

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