Juan María “El Flaco” Traverso: a crack behind the wheel
If we talk about Argentine motorsport, there is one name that can not be ignored: Juan María “El flaco” Traverso”. In addition to this great episode (which I remember, and I look again at at least once every six months), it left iron lovers a lot of anecdotes and, of course, an indescribable talent.
El Flaco was born in the last days of 1950 in the city of Ramallo, in the center of the province of Buenos Aires (fierrero stronghold if any). Was active for 34 (34!) years and achieved 16 titles and 7 runners-up. A little turkey, isn’t it? He went through many categories: Road Tourism, TC 2000, Top Race, Class 3 of National Tourism, Club Argentino de Pilots, Formula 2 Codasur, Formula 2 European, Italian Tourism and participated in the World Rally of 1988 (where he won the A7 Class).
The debut of Skinny Traverso
His debut was in 71, on Tourism Road (coincidentally it would also be the last category in which he ran: he retired in 2005 precisely by disputing that competition). For his first place he would have to wait a year: on 29 October 1972, under the command of his Torino 380 , he won the Vuelta of 25 May. Throughout his career, he came 46 times in the first place.
He started, like all those passionate, when he was very young. At the age of fifteen he managed to start his first car, a Ford A that lacked the exhaust (those who knew him say he made a terrible noise, impossible to forget). Also when he was very young he became friends with Marito García, who was already racing in Turismo Carretera. And there was another stroke of luck, also fundamental for every crack: as Marito was doing very well, General Motors incorporated him into his team. That made Torino vacant, and Marito himself was asked if he could recommend a pilot to replace him. He did not hesitate: “call Skinny Traverse,” he said, “if you give him confidence, he will be the best of all.” Looks like Marito had a good eye.
Hipólito Azema nació en Buenos Aires, en los comienzos de la década del 80. No se sabe desde cuándo, porque esas cosas son difíciles de determinar, le gusta contar historias, pero más le gusta que se las cuenten: quizás por eso transitó los inefables pasillos de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Buenos Aires. Una vez escuchó que donde existe una necesidad nace un derecho y se lo creyó.
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