Former F1 team owner Guy Ligier dies

Guy Ligier

Guy Ligier

Guy Ligier, the former grand prix and sportscar driver, team owner and rugby player has died aged 85.

Ligier first excelled in rugby union, rising to represent France in the sport before turning his attention to motor racing.

He competed in sportscar racing in the 1960’s and then contested 12 F1 races in a Cooper Maserati and Brabham Repco in 1966 and 1967.

Ligier’s rise to become one of the famed F1 team owners had its roots in 1968 after Jo Schlesser perished in 1968 with his first chassis, a sportscar, carrying the codename JS1.

Although it would not be until 1976 that Ligier would enter F1 under his own name as a team entity after buying out Matra two years earlier.

French compatriot Jacques Laffitte supplied Ligier with his first grand prix win at Anderstorp in Sweden in 1977, the first of what would be nine wins.

A change of ownership in the early 1990’s then saw the team score a shock win through Olivier Panis in the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix a year before Alain Prost acquired the team which for a short time operated under the four-time champion’s name.

Always one with a keen eye for enterprise, Ligier set about establishing a successful business in natural fertilisers in the 1990’s along with establishing Ligier Micro Cars.

 

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