Friday 10th May 1985
Antoine ‘Toni’ Branca (68), a Swiss amateur who, legend has it, financed his motor racing thanks to the donations of an admiring Belgian countess, died. He made his Formula 1 debut in 1950 at the wheel of a Scuderia Achille Varzi Maserati at the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten in 1950 and raced again at the non-championship Grand Prix des Nations in Geneva. That year he also raced in an F2 Simca-Gordini and led the race in Geneva. His only major finish was fourth at Aix-les-Bains. He raced again in the Belgian Grand Prix and the following year reappeared in a privately-run Maserati at the German Grand Prix. He was sixth in the non-championship Pescara Grand Prix but had little success in F2 and he disappeared from racing at the end of the 1951 season.