PEOPLE: MARIO TOLENTINO

Name: Mario Tolentino
Nationality: Italy

Mario Tolentino first came to prominence in Formula 1 circles in 1982 when he was named chief designer by the Euroracing Alfa Romeo team following the departure of French designer Gerard Ducarouge. The 1983 car was by then largely designed and so it was not until 1984 that Tolentino's first F1 design - the Alfa Romeo 184T - was revealed. By then the team was going into decline and the car was not a great success. The team decided to hire British engineer John Gentry for the design of the 1995 car but he soon departed to join Renault and so Tolentino became technical director and reworked the 184T as the 185T. This was not a success and at the end of the 1985 season Alfa Romeo withdrew from F1 racing, leaving Euroracing's Paolo Pavanello to go into partnership with Walter Brun to form the EuroBrun team.

Tolentino designed the EuroBrun ER188, which was powered by a Cosworth DFZ engine and the team entered two cars for Oscar Larrauri and Stefano Modena in the 1988 World Championship. Neither qualified often and no points were scored and at the end of the year Tolentino left the team and joined Dallara to design the F189 chassis for Scuderia Italia. He stayed with the team until January 1990 when he was offered the job of designing a Formula 1 Lamborghini chassis to be run by a Mexican team called Gonzalez Luna & Associates. The car was finished in the summer of 1990 but then GLAS boss Fernando Gonzalez Luna disappeared with around $20m of sponsorship money and the project was taken over by Carlo Patrucco's Modena Team.

In the middle of 1991 Patrucco decided to strengthen the engineering staff by hiring Mauro Forghieri from Lamborghini Engineering and this resulted in Tolentino leaving the team to go to work with his former Scuderia Italia colleague Patrizio Cantu, who had taken over the AGS team. Tolentino and Christian Vanderpleyn rushed through the design of a new JH27 chassis and this appeared for the first time in September 1991. The car was not very competitive and money ran out soon afterwards and the team closed down.

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