Throughout the years, Della Penna Motorsports has helped the career of many drivers. Check out who has graduated from our team…

Willie T. Ribbs

Della Penna met Willy T. Ribbs in San Jose in 1982 after they had both raced at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Ribbs qualified on the pole for that race but did not finish due to mechanical problems. The two quickly became friends. Later that season Della Penna ran out of money to continue campaigning his Formula Atlantic effort, however since Ribbs still had some of his sponsorship, Della Penna decided to become a team owner for two races and run Ribbs in his car. The two had a great time working together and Ribbs finished 8th at Montréal and 3rd at Mid Ohio that year. Della Penna then became involved in Ribb’s career by helping him get a ride with Dan Gurney at the Daytona 24 hour and then on to a full ride in Trans Am with Deatley Motorsports and Budweiser sponsorship. Ribbs went on to win many races in Trans Am with Chevrolet and Ford and eventually ended up driving for Dan Gurney's "All American Racers'' team in IMSA alongside Juan Manuel Fangio II.

Juan Manuel Fangio II

Della Penna and Fangio met while the two were racing at Sears Point in 1983. Fangio was running a Can Am car and his team needed a set of rain tires so Della Penna loaned them a set. Juan went on to finish in the top 3 that race. The two began talking and had a chance to reminisce about Argentina and quickly became friends. The two kept in touch and spent some time together the next time Della Penna traveled to Buenos Aires. It was in 1985 that Fangio moved to the U.S to pursue his dream of racing full time. New to the country and scarce on contacts, Fangio lived with Della Penna for a few months while Della Penna helped him chase down a racing ride. Shortly thereafter, Fangio got a ride in the old Indy Lights series and then a ride with Dan Gurney in the IMSA series. Oddly enough Fangio ended up being teammates with Willy T. Ribbs. Fangio won the IMSA championship with a Toyota Prototype and then continued with Gurney’s “All American Racers” team to the Fed Ex World Series in CART where they continued to work with Toyota and developed the Eagle Chassis. Juan retired from racing in 1998 and moved back to Argentina.