Michele Alboreto was an Italian racing driver. He was runner up to Alain Prost in the 1985 Formula One World Championship, as well as winning the 1997 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2001 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races. Alboreto competed in Formula One from 1981 until 1994, racing for a number of teams, including five seasons for Ferrari; the Italian's career in motorsport began in 1976, racing a car he and a number of his friends had built in the Formula Monza series. The car, achieved little success and two years Alboreto moved up to Formula Three. Wins in the Italian Formula Three championship and a European Formula Three Championship crown in 1980 paved the way for the Italian's entrance into Formula One with the Tyrrell team. Two wins, the first in the final round of the 1982 season in Las Vegas, the second a year in Detroit, earned him a place with the Ferrari team. Alboreto took three wins for the Italian team and challenged Alain Prost for the 1985 Championship losing out by 20 points; the following three seasons were less successful, at the end of the 1988 campaign, the Italian left Ferrari and re-signed with his former employers Tyrrell, where he stayed until joining Larrousse midway through 1989.
Further seasons with Footwork, Scuderia Italia and Minardi followed during the tail end of his F1 career. In 1995, Alboreto moved on to sportscars and a year the American IndyCar series, he took his final major victories, the 1997 Le Mans 24 Hours and 2001 Sebring 12 Hours, with German manufacturers Porsche and Audi respectively. In 2001, a month after his Sebring victory, he was killed testing an Audi R8 at the Lausitzring in Germany. Michele Alboreto started his career in 1976 racing in Formula Monza with a car he and his friends built, known as the "CMR"; the car itself proved to be uncompetitive and in 1978 Alboreto, now in a more competitive March, moved over to Formula Italia where he began to take race wins. Two years Alboreto moved up to Formula Three, racing in a Euroracing-entered March-Toyota in both the European and Italian series. In his début Formula Three season, Alboreto finished 6th and 2nd in the two championships, scoring three wins in the Italian series. 1980 would prove to be the Italian's final, most successful, year in Formula Three where he took the European crown and finished third in the Italian championship, taking five wins between the two series.
An appearance in the British Championship was made that year. Alboreto's European title earned him a move into Formula Two, a feeder series for Formula One, with the Minardi team, he scored Minardi's only F2 victory, at Misano, during the 1981 season where he finished eighth in the championship. Despite his career in open wheel racing, Alboreto was chosen by Lancia to be part of their official squad in the World Championship for Makes, running in rounds which did not conflict with his other races, he shared the Group 5 category Lancia Beta Montecarlo with Walter Röhrl or Eddie Cheever on four occasions during the 1980 season, scoring three second-place finishes and a fourth. Alboreto again ran a partial schedule in 1981 though he was running Formula Two and Formula One; this season included his first participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He earned an eighth-place finish overall, second in class, was the highest finishing Lancia, he followed this with his first win in the championship, at the Six Hours of Watkins Glen with co-driver Riccardo Patrese.
Alboreto finished the year 52nd in the highest ranked Lancia driver. When Lancia chose to move to a new class of competition with the Lancia LC1 as the championship concentrated on endurance races in 1982, further success came for Alboreto. A small schedule for the championship, as well as an emphasis on European circuits allowed him to compete in every race that year. Although the LC1 suffered from mechanical problems on its debut and teammate Patrese were able to rebound to earn a victory at the 1000 km of Silverstone. Teo Fabi joined the duo for the 1000 km of the Nürburgring, he was not able to repeat his previous success at Le Mans when the LC1's engine failed, was unable to complete an event at Spa when the car broke in the closing laps. A third victory was earned by Alboreto and new teammate Piercarlo Ghinzani at their home circuit, Mugello; the final two races of the World Championship season had Alboreto's car eliminated from contention due to accidents. At the end of the season, he had secured fifth in the Drivers' Championship.
Lancia changed classes and cars once again in 1983 World Sportscar Championship season, but Alboreto remained as one of the team's primary drivers. He brought the new Lancia LC2 to a ninth-place finish in its debut at the 1000 km of Monza, but the new car struggled to finish the next few races of the season, his entries would not finish another race until round five. While Lancia chose to skip rounds of the championship, he would not return to the team in order to concentrate on his commitments to Formula One, his troubles with the LC2 and early departure from the team earned him only two points in the championship. At the age of 24, Alboreto made his Formula One debut at the 1981 San Marino Grand Prix for the Cosworth-powered Tyrrell Racing team, replacing Ricardo Zunino after the Argentine failed to impress team boss Ken Tyrrell. For the Italian, a collision with fellow countryman Beppe Gabbiani put him out of the race after completing 31 of the 60 laps. Alboreto failed to score a single point during his debut year, his highest position being ninth at the Dutch Grand Prix.
In comparison to the previous season, Alboreto had a more successful 1982 c
Jean-Pierre Wimille was a Grand Prix motor racing driver and a member of the French Resistance during World War II. Born in Paris, France to a father who loved motor sports and was employed as the motoring correspondent for the Petit Parisien newspaper, Jean-Pierre Wimille developed a fascination with racing cars at a young age, he was 22 years old when he made his Grand Prix debut, driving a Bugatti 37A at the 1930 French Grand Prix in Pau. Driving a Bugatti T51, in 1932 he won the La Turbie hill climb, the Grand Prix de Lorraine and the Grand Prix d'Oran. In 1934 he was the victor at the Algerian Grand Prix in Algiers driving a Bugatti T59 and in January 1936 he finished second in the South African Grand Prix held at the Prince George Circuit in East London, South Africa won the French Grand Prix in his home country. Still in France, that same year he won the Deauville Grand Prix, a race held on the city's streets. Wimille won in his Bugatti T59 in an accident-marred race that killed drivers Raymond Chambost and Marcel Lehoux in separate incidents.
Of the 16 cars that started the race, only three managed to finish. In 1936, Wimille traveled to Long Island, New York to compete in the Vanderbilt Cup where he finished 2nd, behind the winner, Tazio Nuvolari, he competed in the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race, winning in 1937 and again in 1939. When World War II came, following the Nazi occupation Wimille and fellow Grand Prix race drivers Robert Benoist and William Grover-Williams joined the Special Operations Executive, which aided the French Resistance. Of the three, Wimille was the only one to survive. Jean-Pierre Wimille married Christiane de la Fressange with whom he had a son, François born in 1946. At the end of the War, he became the No. 1 driver for the Alfa Romeo team between 1946 and 1948, winning several Grand Prix races including his second French Grand Prix. From 1946 on, Wimille designed cars in Paris under the brand-name Wimille. Between 1946 and 1950 around eight cars were built, at first with Citroën-engines with Ford V8-engines.
Jean-Pierre Wimille died at the wheel of Simca-Gordini during practice runs for the 1949 Buenos Aires Grand Prix. He is buried in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris. There is a memorial to him at the Porte Dauphine on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris; some of Jean-Pierre Wimille's race victories: 1932: Grand Prix de Lorraine Grand Prix d'Oran1934: Grand Prix of Algeria – Bugatti T591936: French Grand Prix – Bugatti T57G Grand Prix de la Marne – Bugatti T57G Deauville Grand Prix – Bugatti T59 Grand Prix du Comminges – Bugatti T59/571937: Pau Grand Prix – Bugatti T57G Grand Prix de Böne – Bugatti T57 24 hours of Le Mans – Bugatti T57G driving with Robert Benoist Grand Prix de la Marne – Bugatti T571939: Coupe de Paris Grand Prix du Centenaire Luxembourg – Bugatti T57S45 24 hours of Le Mans – Bugatti T57C driving with Pierre VeyronPost War – 1945: Coupe des Prisonniers – Bugatti sprint car1946: Coupe de la Résistance – Alfa Romeo 308 Grand Prix du Roussillon – Alfa Romeo 308 Grand Prix de Bourgogne – Alfa Romeo 308 Grand Prix des Nations – Geneva – Alfa Romeo 1581947: Swiss Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo 158 Belgian Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo 158 Coupe de Paris1948: Grand Prix de Rosario – Simca- Gordini 15 French Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo 158 Italian Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo 158 Autodrome Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo 158/47 Paris, Jean-Michel and Mearns, William D: "Jean-Pierre Wimille: à bientôt la revanche", Editions Drivers, Toulouse, 2002, ISBN 2-9516357-5-3 Saward, Joe: "The Grand Prix Saboteurs", Morienval Press, London, 2006, ISBN 978-0-9554868-0-7 Grand Prix History – Hall of Fame, Jean-Pierre Wimille Jean-Pierre Wimille grave photos at Cimetière de Passy
Alvah Robert "Al" Holbert was an American automobile racing driver, a five-time champion of the IMSA Camel GT series. Holbert was born in Pennsylvania, he was the son of racecar driver Bob Holbert, who ran a Volkswagen-Porsche dealership in Warrington, PA, near Philadelphia. Holbert worked for Roger Penske while studying at Lehigh University, where he graduated with a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1968. Holbert began racing Porsches in the northeast division of the SCCA, racing a C-production Porsche 914/6 against, among others, Bob Tullius and Bob Sharp. In 1971, Holbert scored his first race win in a Porsche and would turn professional in 1974, he would score his first of his two IMSA titles in 1977 in a Dekon Monza. Being a Porsche supporter, Holbert allowed Porsche technicians to inspect his Monza, which would lead to Porsche entering the series with turbocharged cars such as the 934 that led to a Porsche dominance for the following years. During that time Holbert jumped ship to the Stuttgart marque.
From 1976-1979 Holbert raced 19 career races in NASCAR. In those 19 races, in which he drove for James Hylton, Holbert scored 4 top ten finishes, he added an IMSA GTP title in a Porsche powered March 83G when Porsche were unable to make their 956 eligible for competition that year. February 27, 1983, he won the Grand Prix of Miami. Holbert finished fourth in the 1984 Indianapolis 500, led the Porsche IndyCar effort in 1987-1988, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983, 1986, 1987, the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1986 and 1987 and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1976 and 1981. Holbert was the head of the Porsche North America's Motorsports Division and ran his own racing team, Holbert Racing. In 1988, Holbert realised that the Porsche 962 that had brought him success in his earlier years was becoming outmoded by the newer generation of racers from the likes of the Jaguar XJR-9 and the Electramotive's Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo, his plan was to build an open top Porsche-engined racer for customer teams. Porsche built such a car nearly a decade although the WSC-95 would never be built for customer teams as Holbert and Porsche intended.
On September 30, 1988, Holbert was at the IMSA Columbus Ford Dealers 500. That evening, Holbert was fatally injured when his owned propeller driven Piper PA-60 aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff near Columbus, when a clamshell door was not closed. At the end of the season, the team was disbanded and IMSA would retire his race number 14. Former Holbert Racing chief mechanic Kevin Doran became a noted team owner. Son, Todd Holbert was a mechanic, is with Toyota developing their NASCAR Tundra and Camry vehicles. Holbert was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993. "Al Holbert". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 3, 2010. NTSB accident report
Luigi Chinetti was an Italian-born racecar driver, who emigrated to the United States during World War II and became an American citizen. He was a driver in 12 consecutive 24 Hours of Le Mans races, winning 3 times, won the Spa 24 Hours race twice, he was the long-time American importer of Ferrari automobiles to the United States. Born in Jerago con Orago, north of Milan, he began work for Alfa Romeo as a mechanic in 1917 at the age of sixteen; the rise of fascism in his native country prompted his move to Paris where he worked for Alfa Romeo as an automobile salesman and became a sports car driver. Driving an Alfa Romeo race car entered by his co-driver Raymond Sommer, Chinetti won at his first 24 hours of Le Mans race in 1932; the following year, with Louis Chiron as co-driver, he won the Spa 24 Hours endurance race in Belgium. He teamed up with Philippe Étancelin in 1934 to win his second 24 hours of Le Mans. Following the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Chinetti went to the United States of America with Dreyfus from the Ferrari team, for the 1940 Indy 500.
He remained in the U. S. during the war, working for the Italian dealer and master mechanic, Alfred Momo. Luigi Chinetti became an American citizen in 1946. With the war over, racing resumed in Europe and he entered the competitions. At the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans race he drove the first Ferrari to win the event, became the second three-time winner of the race; the Ferrari 166M in which Chinetti won was turned over to Baron Selsdon of Scotland for twenty minutes during the race, making Thomson the official co-driver although Chinetti had driven twenty-three of the hours of the race. Following the race, Thomson purchased that automobile through Chinetti; that same year Chinetti won his second Spa this time driving for Ferrari with Jean Lucas. In 1951, he was the riding mechanic in the Ferrari 212 that won the grueling Carrera Panamericana race, a 2,100-mile, five-day competition across Mexico. Driving the automobiles of more than one manufacturer, Luigi Chinetti competed in every Le Mans motorsport race held between 1932 and 1953.
Enzo Ferrari appointed Chinetti as his Ferrari factory agent in the United States. Chinetti opened the first—and for a while the only—Ferrari dealership in the country, his territory became all areas east of the Mississippi River. The tradition associated with Chinetti continued to draw clients from all areas throughout his career. In addition to handling Ferrari, Chinetti Motors was U. S. agent for Automobili OSCA of Bologna until 1967. The showroom of his Greenwich, Connecticut business remains open, owned by Miller Motorcars, a Ferrari-Maserati dealership; the first sale Chinetti made through his Ferrari dealership was sold to Briggs Cunningham for racing, which ended up in Cunningham's motorcar museum. Most of the sales Chinetti made were, kept secret to protect the privacy of his wealthy clients. Chinetti was the founder of the North American Racing Team, an official arm of Ferrari, it became the team that established the high ranking of Ferraris in American racing circuits, was responsible for Ferrari's survival as a retailer of cars through the quantity he sold to wealthy individuals in North America.
The team, sometimes abbreviated as N. A. R. T; also had a successful endurance racing program both at Sebring and at Le Mans, right into the 1970s. In addition to the racing cars, the team commissioned many limited-run special variants of Ferrari road cars, most notably, the spyder version of the Ferrari 275GTB/4. Chinetti remained in Greenwich, Connecticut after his retirement and died in 1994 at the age of ninety-three; as an extension of his secrecy to protect the interests of his clients, Luigi Chinetti allowed photographs to be taken, but some can be seen on the internet, such as this one with Alfred Momo on the left and the story of the meeting photographed with this employer from his early days in the U. S. is at, as part of an article honoring a fellow driver, Ed Hugus. Another site presents a photograph of Chinetti at a race toward the end of his life
1939 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 16th Grand Prix of Endurance, took place at Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, on 17 and 18 June 1939. The 1939 programme cover depicted the raising of six nations' flags: France, Great Britain, Belgium and the United States. By June 1939, the outbreak of World War II was less than three months away; the following year's 24 Hours of Le Mans was planned for June 1940, but due to the invasion of France in May the race was called off. Endurance racing would not return to Le Mans until 1949, four years after V-E day ended World War II in Europe. Class winners are denoted with bold. Fastest Lap: #15 Robert Mazaud – 5:12.1 Distance: 3,346.106 km Average Speed: 139.781 km/h 14th Rudge-Whitworth Biennial Cup – #39 Gordini Index of Performance – #39 Gordini
Frank Biela is an auto racing driver competing in touring cars and sportscar racing. He has raced in cars manufactured by the Audi marque since 1990. Biela started his career in 1983 in karting before joining the Ford Youngster Team programme in 1987 alongside Manuel Reuter and Bernd Schneider, he drove for the team in Formula Ford and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, where he won the race at AVUS in 1987. Biela continued to compete in the DTM in 1988, raced a limited season in German Formula Three, scoring two wins. In 1990, he moved to Audi, winning the DTM race at the Nürburgring and the DTM championship in 1991 before Audi left the DTM in mid-season of 1992. Biela stayed with the company, with the rise of the two-litre Class 2 rules in other series across Europe, he was entered in various European touring car series over the following few seasons such as the French Supertouring Championship in 1993 driving the Audi 80 entered by Audi into the championship pairing alongside Marc Sourd.
Since his French Supertouring Championship victory in 1993, he is the only standing non-French driver to win it. In 1995, he won the Touring Car World Cup race at Paul Ricard in the new Audi A4, which became one of the dominant touring cars of the mid-1990s. Biela competed in the Super Tourenwagen Cup in his native Germany during 1994 and 1995. During the AVUS Berlin race in September 1995, Biela's Audi struck Kieth O'dor's accident-stranded Nissan Primera squarely on the driver's side, fatally injuring O'dor, who died that day in a Berlin hospital. For 1996, Audi decided to enter a works team of two A4s in the BTCC. Biela was selected to lead the team. Biela comfortably won the title, finishing every single race and being classified in the top ten in all but two races, he capped an astonishing season by taking first place in the Guia Race of Macau. Because of the Audis' dominance in 1996, the BTCC organisers imposed a heavy ballast weight "penalty" on all four-wheel-drive cars for the 1997 season.
With his Audi badly handicapped by the penalty, Biela struggled to make a serious impact. The weight penalty was halved at the midpoint of the season, results improved to the point where Biela finished second overall to eventual champion Alain Menu. Biela left Britain to return to the German Super Tourenwagen Cup for 1998, but was ineffective, he finished a lowly 14th in the final standings. In 1999, Biela abandoned touring cars in favour of joining the Audi R8 sports car project, racing under the Audi Sport Team Joest name, it was a good match, Biela excelled in sportscar racing over the next few seasons, winning several classic events at the wheel of the R8 as well as three ALMS races. The highlight of Biela's time with the R8 team was three successive victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Emanuele Pirro and Tom Kristensen. Audi began to scale back support for the R8 programme after the 2002 season. After winning the ALMS series in 2003, Biela returned to the revamped German touring car series, driving an Audi for Joest Racing.
Biela continued to race an R8 at Le Mans each year with mixed results. In 2003, he ran out of fuel, he finished 3rd in 2004 and 2005, respectively. In December 2005 he participated in the first runs of the new Audi R10 diesel sportscar, the R8's successor. Driving an R10 in the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside Pirro and new team-mate Marco Werner, Biela took his fourth victory to date in the classic race, he repeated the victory with the same car and team in 2007. His greatest achievements include winning: 1991 Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft German Touring Car Championship with an Audi V8 1993 French Touring Car Championship 1995 short-lived Touring Car World Cup one-off race 1996 BTCC in 1996 1996 Macau Grand Prix Guia Race 2000, 2001, 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans with an Audi R8 2006, 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans with an Audi R10 In a 2005 poll conducted by Motorsport Magazine, Biela was voted 19th best touring car driver ever. † — Retired, but was classified as he completed 90% of the winner's race distance.
‡ A non-championship one-off race was held in 2004 at the streets of China. ‡ Not eligible for points due to being a guest driver. Official Website
Henri Jacques William Pescarolo is a former racing driver from France. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record 33 times, winning on four occasions, won a number of other major sports car events including the 24 Hours of Daytona, he participated in 64 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one podium and 12 championship points. Pescarolo drove in the Dakar Rally in the 1990s, before retiring from racing at the age of 57. In 2000 he set up his eponymous racing team, Pescarolo Sport, which competed in Le Mans until 2013, he wore a distinctive green helmet, wears a full-face beard that covers burns suffered in a crash. Pescarolo began his career in 1965 with a Lotus Seven, he was successful enough to be offered a third car in the Matra Formula 3 team for 1966, but the car was not ready until mid-season. However, in 1967 he won the European Championship with Matra and was promoted to Formula 2 for 1968; that season he was team-mate to Jean-Pierre Beltoise and achieved several second places and a win at Albi, which led to him being given a drive in Matra's Formula One team for the last three races of 1968.
His career suffered a setback, in 1969, when he crashed on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans whilst testing the Matra sports car. Pescarolo did not compete again until mid-season, he returned at the German GP where he drove a Formula 2 Matra into fifth place winning the small capacity class, in his only Grand Prix race that season. For 1970 Pescarolo was signed full-time by Matra for their Formula One team and once again as team-mate to Beltoise, put in a solid season with a third place at the Monaco Grand Prix being the high point, he won the Paris 1000 km and Buenos Aires 1000 km sports car races partnered with Beltoise. Pescarolo was not retained by Matra, in 1971, 1972, 1973 with Motul sponsorship, he drove for the fledgling Formula One team run by the young Frank Williams, but with little success. In 1974, Pescarolo drove for BRM, again with Motul backing, but the team's best days were gone and a ninth place in Argentina was his best result in a season with many retirements. Pescarolo did not compete in Formula One in 1975 but returned to the championship in 1976 with a Surtees entered by BS Fabrications.
Although neither car nor driver was considered to be competitive, failing to qualify for 2 of 9 Grands Prix entered, Pescarolo did begin to show speed in the final 5 races scoring a season's best finish of 9th at the 1976 Austrian Grand Prix. After Pescarolo's retirement from Formula One, he went on to start his own team, which competed until 2012 in the Le Mans Endurance Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which he won as a driver four times, his team, Pescarolo Sport, was notably sponsored by Sony's PlayStation 2 and by Gran Turismo 4. During the five years that Pescarolo has campaigned Courage C60 prototypes, so many modifications have been made to the model that Courage allowed the team to name the car after themselves, such was the differences between their model and the standard C60. In 2005, it was developed further still to meet the "hybrid" regulations, before the change to LMP1/2 format. In 1977, 1978 and 1979 Pescarolo drove in Australia's most famous motor race, the Bathurst 1000 for touring cars held at the Mount Panorama Circuit, driving on all three occasions with 1974 race winner John Goss.
All races resulted in a DNF for the Goss built Ford XC Falcon GS500 Hardtops, completing only 113 laps in 1977, 68 in 1978 and 118 in 1979. The 1977 race saw Pescarolo's Le Mans rival Jacky Ickx win the race in a semi-works Falcon driving with Allan Moffat. Pescarolo holds the record for Le Mans starts with 33 and has won the race on four occasions as a driver, he has yet to win the race as a team owner, coming close in 2005 with the Pescarolo C60H. His team did manage to win the LMES championship in the same year, his team was second at Le Mans in 2006, followed by a third in 2007 behind a pair of diesel-powered prototypes. Pescarolo drove the Dakar Rally in the 1990s, is a keen helicopter pilot. ‡ Graded drivers not eligible for European Formula Two Championship points Pescarolo Sport