1930-2015

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

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.

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