Dean Canto

Dean Canto
Dean Canto
Nationality Australian
Born 24 September 1980 (1980-09-24) (age 31)
Sydney, Australia
V8 Supercar
Years active 1999–2011
Teams Owen Parkinson Racing
Graphic Skills Racing
Dean Canto Racing
Glenn Seton Racing
Briggs Motor Sport
Triple Eight Race Engineering
Dick Johnson Racing
Garry Rogers Motorsport
Ford Performance Racing
Rod Nash Racing
Starts 67
Wins 0
Best finish 16th in 2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series
Previous series
2000, 2005, 2008
Australian GT Production
Australian Super Touring
Development V8 Supercar

Nations Cup
Aust. Mini Challenge
Championship titles
Development V8 Supercar
Sandown 1 Hour
Development V8 Supercar

Dean Justin Canto is a multiple-championship winning Australian motor racing driver. Best noted as a V8 Supercar driver, Canto was the inaugural winner of the second-tier V8 Supercar development series in 2000, and the first to become a multiple-champion five years later. Canto has been a regular in the main V8 Supercar series for a variety of teams racing both full-time and as a part-time endurance race co-driver. No longer racing full time, Canto now runs a performance driving school.[1]

Racing career

After winning a national and two state titles in kart racing, Canto graduated to the Australian GT Production Car Championship and finished the Championship in 11th overall, and second within Class B in which his Subaru Impreza WRX raced. He then backed up this performance with a victory in the 1998 Sandown 1 Hour driving a Maserati Ghibli co-driving with Alfredo Costanzo.[2] Another second in class placing followed in 1999 driving a Ford Mondeo in the Indepedants class of the Australian Super Touring Championship.

Later that year, Canto made his V8 Supercar début in the Shell Championship Series at Oran Park Raceway then went on to drive in the Queensland 500 and Bathurst Classic as well as racing his Mondeo at the Bathurst 1000.

In 2000, Canto won the inaugural V8 Supercar Development Series[2] driving a Ford EL Falcon under the banner of Dean Canto Racing. In 2001 Canto drove with Ford Tickford Racing at the Queensland 500 and Bathurst 1000. He achieved a ninth placing in the Queensland 500 and fifth with team-mate Jim Richards in the Bathurst 1000.[2] Canto added another title with his victory in the Young Guns races at the Honda IndyCar Carnival, a one-make event for emerging young drivers in road specification Honda Integras.

In 2002, Canto became co-driver to Max Wilson at Briggs Motor Sport and in 2003, achieved a full time drive with the same team. Canto was diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis, a very rare medical condition that causes rapid hair loss to the body. Medical advice reassured Canto that the condition would, in no way, affect his overall health. With concerns allayed, Canto then took the time to adjust to the condition, renew his confidence and focus, stronger than ever, on more driving success.[citation needed]

In the later half of the 2003 season, Canto pulled off a number of strong performances and top 10 finishes and was awarded the VIP Top Dog award, however it was not enough for Canto to keep his full-time drive. Canto was retained as the endurance race codriver with team under its new ownership identity of Triple Eight Race Engineering for the 2004 season.

The following year Dick Johnson Racing appointed Canto to drive the Gatorz Racing Development Series Ford Falcon. The season proved a success. Canto won five of the seven rounds, qualified on pole position on six of seven occasions, won nine of the ten races where he started on the front row of the grid and won ten races in total. Canto's times were so fast that he could qualify in the top 20 (even though the Development cars had a 100 kg lead weight disadvantage). He set new Development Series lap records at Adelaide and Wakefield Park and new qualifying lap records at the Clipsal 500 and Queensland rounds. At the season's conclusion he became the first driver ever to win two Development Series Championships.[3]

Canto proved once again his worth as an endurance driver teaming up with Glenn Seton at the endurance rounds in a DJR Falcon. The pair finished ninth at Bathurst even with an engine misfire.

Canto's performance in 2005 caught the attention of Garry Rogers Motorsport team Principal Garry Rogers. He asked Canto to fill the vacant seat of the #34 Valvoline Repco Cummins VZ Commodore for the Indy 300 and Tasmanian rounds of the V8 Supercar Championship Series. The car finished well and both team and driver realised that a longer term relationship would be beneficial for team and driver. Canto signed a multi year deal with GRM as the team's lead driver for their assault on the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

The 2006 series saw Canto achieve his first win in the main category, the reverse grid race at Barbagallo Raceway. After a lack lustre 2007 season Canto's GRM contract was cut leaving Canto without a full time drive in 2008.[4] Canto returned to the Development series with Howard Racing but just missed out on his third title, finishing second to Steve Owen.[5]

Since then Canto has competed as an endurance co-driver with Ford Performance Racing or its satellite teams from 2008–2010. Canto is currently competing full time in the Australian Mini Challenge[6] sponsored by his own business Stunt Driving School which he runs with fellow part-time V8 Supercar driver, Luke Youlden.[7]

Career results

Season Series Position Car Team
1998 Australian GT Production Car Championship 11th Subaru Impreza WRX
1999 Australian Super Touring Championship 7th Ford Mondeo Knight Racing
2000 V8 Supercar Development Series 1st Ford EL Falcon Dean Canto Racing
2001 Shell Championship Series 32nd Ford AU Falcon RPM International Racing
Glenn Seton Racing
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series 44th Ford AU Falcon Briggs Motor Sport
2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series 24th Ford BA Falcon Team Betta Electrical
2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series 35th Ford BA Falcon
Holden VZ Commodore
Dick Johnson Racing
Garry Rogers Motorsport
2005 V8 Supercar Development Series 1st Ford BA Falcon Dick Johnson Racing
2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series 17th Holden VZ Commodore Garry Rogers Motorsport
2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series 16th Holden VE Commodore Garry Rogers Motorsport
2008 V8 Supercar Development Series 2nd Ford BA Falcon Howard Racing
2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series 38th Ford BF Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series 52nd Ford FG Falcon Ford Performance Racing
2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series 41st Ford FG Falcon Rod Nash Racing
2010 Australian Mini Challenge 13th Mini John Cooper Works Challenge
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Winner of the V8 Supercar Development Series
Succeeded by
Simon Wills
Preceded by
Andrew Jones
Winner of the V8 Supercar Development Series
Succeeded by
Adam Macrow


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