Alberto Rodriguez Larreta

14/1/1934 - 11/3/1977

Record updated 13-Mar-23

Larreta was one of the most versatile Argentinian drivers. He drove single seaters, sports and Turismo Carretera cars and is best remembered in his native Argentina for his performance with the Torino in the 1969 Marathon de la Route, an 84 hour endurance race at the Nurburgring where he finished 4th driving with Eduardo Copello and Oscar Mauricio Franco.

Alberto Rodriguez Larreta
Alberto-Jorge Rodríguez Larreta came from a wealthy family, the son of Alberto Rodríguez Larreta, a keen amateur racing driver who had won the 1924 Grand Prix de Marseille sharing a 4.9 litre Sunbeam with 'Macoco' (Martin de Alzaga).

Not Larreta, but a picture of an electric Type 52 from that period.

At 6 Alberto-Jorge already had a Bugatti Type 52 (Not a full size one but the baby electric Bugatti that Ettore had designed for his son Roland). Alberto-Jorge drove it continuously until the batteries went flat at which point his father would charge them up ready for the next session.

He immediately came to notice in his very first race driving a 1100 Cisitalia in 1953 Premio Primavera when he finished 3rd. An it wasn't long before he was winning races driving the Cisitalia, a MG and a Simca 1500.

In 1955, at the age of 21, he won the 500 Millas de Rafaela 1955 driving a 1953 Ferrari 250MM and finished 3rd in the Championship that year behind Carlos Najurieta and Diaz Sáenz-Valiente (Who died the following year in a plane crash).

the 1957 Gran Premio de Turismo Standard in a Peugeot 403

In his early races he called himself Jorge to distinguish himself from his father, but later became known as 'Larry' though he was also know as 'El Mosca' (The Fly). Throughout his life he drove a wide variety of cars in all kinds of competitions, winning in all disciplines as well. Amongst those wins were the 1957 Gran Premio de Turismo Standard in a Peugeot 403 (similar to the Carrera Panamericana but for stock vehicles).

We did say that he raced a wide variety of cars! This is Larry racing an Isard 300 in 1960. He rolled on the last lap, the only crash of his career.

He also won the 1960 500 Millas Standard in which he drove a Jaguar with Jackie Forrest-Greene (another Argentine driver despite his name, and brother of Eric who was killed in the 1954 1000 km de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires) and the Mar y Sierras in 1962 where he had to literally push his Alfa Romeo for the last 3 km (Despite this he still managed to average 182 kph!).

1960: Larry at the the Autodromo de Buenos Aires in the Lotus 16

In 1960 he contested his home Grand Prix at the the Autodromo de Buenos Aires, driving a works Lotus 16 to ninth place from fifteenth on the grid. A few days later, in Cordoba, he qualified 8th but did not start. Apparently after those two races, Colin Chapman offered him a three year contract but he declined.

In 1961 he drove Gonzalez’s Ferrari Corvette finishing second in the Rafaela 500 and another second, sandwiched between two other Ferrari-Corvettes, in a race at Buenos Aires. He took outright victory in the 500 Millas Standard at Buenos Aires in 1962 driving a 3.8 litre Jaguar.

In 1963 he competed in the 'Gran Premio', a race similar to the Carrera Panamericana but for stock road cars, in an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti.

In 1964 driving for Scuderia Grand Prix in a Lotus Ford and a Stanguellini, he competed in the Formula Junior Championship in Argentina but failed to score any points.

He was a class winner in the 1967 Turismo Nejoreda championship driving a Peugeot 404.

In 1966 he was runner up in the Turismo Mejorado E Championship behind Carlos Reutemann and took the title the following year with a Peugeot 404.

He was a class winner in the 1967 Turismo Nejoreda championship driving a Peugeot 404.

The Torino, despite the name being more readily associated with Ford, was actually manufactured by Renault Argentina.

He joined the Torino team in 1969. That year he competed in the Nürburgring 84 hour race (yes, that really is 84 hours!). Driving with Eduardo Copello and Oscar Mauricio Franco in a IKA Torino they finished 4th overall. It seems that this event was big news in Argentina with live radio broadcasts throughout the race.

Still with the Torino team he won the National Turismo Standard Championship in 1970, and was a winner in class A in the Turismo Carretera Championship the following year.

After 1971 he virtually retired and sadly died from a heart attack at the age of 43.