Michael Gagliardo was doing what he loved - racing - when his life came to a tragic end on Sunday, May 20, 2001 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Gagliardo was competing in his fifth Trans-Am series race at Mosport International Raceway when his...
Michael Gagliardo was doing what he loved - racing - when his life came to a tragic end on Sunday, May 20, 2001 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Gagliardo was competing in his fifth Trans-Am series race at Mosport International Raceway when his Corvette swerved off track, kicking up dust and then back on-track into the direct path of oncoming traffic when T-boned by the Panoz Esperante of Gary Longo. Longo survived - Gagliardo did not.
Why the Corvette spun out of control does not matter - whether, it broke or was nudged is not important. What is important, is that a driver who had a passion for racing is gone.
Members of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Central Division knew Gagliardo; especially Chicago Region. Many of us can recall the Columbus Foods Company S2000 that he raced for several years at the SCCA events. He was a winner! Not only by winning races but by the life he led and the enjoyment he got out of racing.
Gagliardo grew up in Chicago and at the time of his death, he and his sister Paulette Gagliardo Caffrey ran the family owned business that was started by their Grandfather - Columbus Foods, producers of cooking oil and other products. Gagliardo, 46, was married to Margaret Gagliardo and the father of Michael and Catherine, 11-year-old twins.
At the age of 18, Gagliardo had a passion for racing; however, the family and the family business came first. A fact that over the years never changed. He did fulfill his passion for racing! Currently, his son, Michael races go-carts on the national level.
Gagliardo will be missed by his family, friends, Columbus Foods employees, and the SCCA racing community. He is gone but his legacy will live on in those who knew him and whose lives he touched.
Motorsport.com extends our condolences to the family, friends and the SCCA.