Ricardo Risatti: The man who beat the wind

He was one of the great drivers who stood out in the early years of Road Tourism. He won the 1938 title and is still remembered today for his aggressive driving style and for being the star of a photo that traveled the world ...

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El surname Risatti It is one of the most historic in Argentine motorsport, so much so that there are now four generations linked to this exciting sport. The one who planted the seed in this Cordoba family was Ricardo Risatti, one of the great pilots that our country had and who stood out in the early years of the Road Tourism.

Its beginnings were like that of many contemporaries: through a mechanical workshop. In his case, it was the one his father had Victorio. During his childhood and adolescence he learned the secrets of the trade and that motivated him to experience firsthand how fast the cars he prepared could go. And so it was noted in the 1936 Grand Prix. The debut could not be more auspicious as it won two consecutive stages to the amazement of locals and strangers. Sadly, this 28-year-old boy's adventure ended with a dropout in the eighth stage.

Ricardo Risatti GP1938
Checkered flag for Risatti at the 1938 Grand Prix.

Far from being intimidated by that misfortune, he took revenge in the edition of 1937. And in his second GP he showed off again. He came to lead the general classification, but was left empty-handed as a result of that aggressive driving style that shocked all his rivals.

The third attempt came in 1938. But this was not just another competition. Risatti had signed up with the sole objective of winning and winning the prize that would allow him to take his seriously ill wife to Lourdes (France) in search of a miracle. They were more than 7.000 kilometers at pure speed and where there were pilots of the stature of Oscar Gálvez, Domingo Marimón, Arturo Kruuse, Félix Heredia y Osvaldo Permigiani.

Achieving the desired goal was not easy. It had several drawbacks, including a rollover. However, the victories achieved in four stages allowed him to win easily. If he even had the pleasure of going to greet his wife and little son Jesus Ricardo seven years old when the race passed through Vicuña Mackena, the place where he lived. The success achieved in the strenuous competition also had another prize: the consecration as Argentine Champion. The long-awaited trip to the Old Continent could never materialize due to the serious condition of his wife, who finally died while Risatti was competing in the 1939 Grand Prix ...

Ricardo Risatti Tour of Chaco1950
Risatti at the Vuelta de Chaco in 1950. This photo traveled the world.

During the following years, already representing Laboulaye where he had settled with his family, the Cordovan continued to stand out at full speed in the nascent TC. So much so that his colleagues and journalism had baptized him as The Trigger. Paradoxically, it returned to celebrate a triumph only in 1950, in the Tour of the Chaco. There is a testimony of that competition that still continues to amaze today. It is a photograph in which the Cordovan is seen in flight several meters from the road. In his time, this image traveled the world as a faithful symbol of the TC of that time.

Like several of his colleagues, Ricardo Risatti lost his life in a race. It was in the 1951 Northern Grand Prix when he was fired from his car after going through a speed bump in Santiago del Estero. He was 43 years old.

But the history of the Risatti with motorsport did not end with that tragedy ... On the contrary. That little boy who was stunned by his father's visit in the middle of the Grand Prix also became a pilot. Kelo came close to winning a TC title in 1961 (he won two races), although that dream was cut short by an accident that prevented him from continuing in the fight. Their children Ricardo y Gerardo they also stepped on the slopes. The first one even had the pleasure of racing in Monaco with a Formula 3 fully attended by Argentine mechanics; while the second stood out in minor categories and was preparing to run in TC when a traffic accident took his life. The fourth generation is represented by Caito, son of Ricardo and great-grandson of the Trigger.

Ricardo Risatti was not only the starting point of a dynasty, but also the representative of a brilliant era of Argentine motorsports. The one where everything was done with the heart and with the sole objective of being faster than the wind.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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