Former Scuderia Mediantepieza racing ace Pablo Diavolo has died today aged 92 after a long battle with his conscience.
The two times world champion who drove the Scuderia's legendary V8s with notable success in the mid 1960s is most famous for his controversial victory in the 1967 Albanian Grand Prix. Arriving at the Enver Hoxha Autodrome that year in pursuit of his second World Championship, he famously declined to drive the team's experimental three axle 8 wheel hybrid methane powered flat 12 turbo opting instead to "borrow" the Lola-Honda of rival team Wishbone Racing (later AJTCorps Racing Inc). Victory in that race propelled Pablo to the championship, though South Dorset Autosport Magazine's Pitt Lane argues that "borrowing another team's car without permission and thereby excluding their own driver from the race was not within the spirit of the sport - even back then". Nor was it the only blot on Diavolo's season. Only a month later at the Ecuador Grand Prix, he was widely suspected of slashing the tyres of every other team with the result that he was the only starter on race day, though his fans point out that this at least allowed him to achieve something unique in Grand Prix history: finishing first, last and all points in between. He claimed all 30 points available that day and thereby clinched the Championship.
Speaking from his home in Fifehead Neville, former Scuderia Mediantepieza team boss Sir Hands Brake-Pedal, paid tribute to his lifelong friend adding "Winning was everything to El Diavolo as he was known and the rules simply didn't apply. Take for example the time he crossed the line fourth in the Chilfrome Race of Champions but managed to get the first three cars disqualified on the grounds they had crossed the line before him. He was special".
It is widely assumed that the character Enzo Testerono in Doug Graves "Death on Four Wheels" [a Threadbone Cimeshelf™ novel] is loosely modelled on Pablo whose life after motor racing was almost as colourful as that of the fictional character.
Pablo Diavolo as his fans will remember him: LEFT: Driving for Scuderia Ferrari in 1959 at Monaco; TOP RIGHT: The controversial 1967 Albanian Grand Prix; BOTTOM RIGHT: Monaco again, this time in the experimental Hornimint Racing Alfa-BRM-Lotus Climax