Ricardo Zonta won the South American Formula Three crown in 1995, then landed a Formula 3000 ride for 1996. He duly won the title in 1997. Mercedes signed him for 1998 and he won the FIA GT title. A Formula One ride for BAR produced no points, but he progressed in 2000, although tension with Jacques Villeneuve led to his dismissal. Ricardo won the Dallara Nissan World Series in 2002, before becoming test driver for Toyota's Formula One team in 2003. Towards the end of the season, the team sacked Cristiano da Matta from a race seat, and Zonta drove in four grands prix. In Belgium a brilliant fourth place went beckoning when engine failure struck three laps from the end. In Suzuka, the team hired Jarno Trulli and Zonta had to sit the event out, but Zonta competed in his home race, the Brazilian Grand Prix, which he finished in 13th. He continued as a test driver for Toyota in 2005, alongside veteran French pilot Olivier Panis. At the US Grand Prix later that year, he stood in for an injured Ralf Schumacher and took his place on the grid, only for Toyota, like the other six Michelin-shod teams, to withdraw from the race due to safety concerns. Zonta continue with Toyota as the team's third and test driver, before moving to Renault in 2007 in a similar capacity. That year he also entered the Stock Car Brasil series, and in 2008 he contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Peugeot Sport. He continued driving in the Grand Am Championship in America with Krohn Racng and is Team owner and Driver of Panasonic racing in the stock car series in Brazil.