Former owner of French F1 team Ligier dies aged 85
Guy Ligier, who died on 23 August 2015, enjoyed a brief career as an F1 racer, but is better known as a constructor. His eponymous team took nine races win from 1976-96.
Vichy-born, Ligier worked as a butcher before making his fortune in construction, primarily from the French motorway system. He played for the French national rugby B team before a career-ending injury.
His racing career started with bikes. He then switched to cars, competing in 12 GPs in privately entered Cooper and Brabham chassis in 1966-67. Having retired from racing following the death of his friend Jo Schlesser in 1968, Ligier set up as a road- and racing-car constructor. The rm moved into F1 in 1976 after Ligier bought the assets of Matra Sports, with Jacques Laffite claiming their rst win in the Matra-powered JS7 in Sweden in 1977.
Ligier enjoyed success in 1979, when Laffite won the frst two races in the Cosworthpowered JS11. But they were unable to match the development of their rivals, falling to third in the constructors’ standings. More wins followed in 1980-81, but despite considerable backing from the French government and rms such as Elf and Gitanes, the team began to fade from prominence.
Ligier sold up in 1992, moving into the fertiliser industry. His team claimed a nal win at Monaco in 1996, their nal season.