Henri Pescarolo (born the September 25th 1942 with Paris) is a racing driver French, also director of stable. Complete pilot, it is especially known for his record of participation and his 4 successes in the 24 hours of Mans.
Henri Pescarolo has its first contact with the automobile sport in 1962 when his/her father, doctor, fall under a rally amateur reserved to the doctors. Knowing the taste for the speed of sound son Henri, then medical student, he proposes to him to divide the wheel. If the hopes of Pescarolo to appear well in the classification are quickly destroyed by an route exit, the experiment does nothing but reinforce the interest of Henri for the car while he pains to impassion himself for his studies. In the months which follow, it fits at the flying school of the AGACI (Automobile General association of the Independent Runners) with Montlhéry, of which it shows the pupil more shining. It is selected to represent the Île-de-France area in the Cut of the Provinces, test lately created and sponsored by Ford France and the magazine Sport Car rested by the old drivers Jean Lucas and Gerard Crombac. The objective of this competition is to discover new talents by making them clash at the wheels of Lotus Seven. If the Cut returns finally to the team of the Rhone, Pescarolo is affirmed, with three victories, like controls it most gifted of the promotion, in which one also finds Jose Dolhem and Patrick Depailler.
In 1965, Henri Pescarolo draws a final feature on his studies, is recruited by Matra, in search of international recognition, which thinks that the automobile competition is a good means of showing its technological know-how. Matra constitutes a die of pilots to climb the levels of the automobile sport. Pescarolo carries out its beginnings in Formule 3 (a partial program only) with the sides of Eric Offenstadt, Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Jean-Pierre Beltoise. The following year, the rise in Formule 2 of Beltoise makes it possible Pescarolo to be established in Formula 3. Beaten with the championship by its new team-member Johnny Servoz-Gavin, it is caught up with by taking down the title in 1967, by establishing the record of 11 successes during the season. At the end of the year, become one of the pilots more for French automobile sport, it begins in championship from Europe from Formula 2.
In 1968, the career of Pescarolo takes an international dimension. Vice-champion of France and vice-champion of Europe of Formula 2 behind his fellow-member Jean-Pierre Beltoise, it also carries out his beginnings in Formule 1 with September at the time of the GP of Canada (Pescarolo had taken part the previous year in the GP of Spain, but in the wheel of a Formula 2). Then, the week following its beginnings in F1, it exceptionally conquers the heart of the French public at the time of the 24 hours of Mans, organized with the autumn because of the events of May 1968. For its third participation in traditional mancelle, Pescarolo nourishes great ambitions with the wheel of its Matra 630B until, around 2 hours of the morning, under the rain, the windshield wiper breaks down. Considering it impossible to continue the race, its Johnny Servoz-Gavin returns to the stand to give up. Lagardere, owner of Matra, awake Pesca to announce to him the abandonment, the engine of the windshield wiper being inaccessible. Pescarolo then decides to take the wheel but the team stops it with the following turn to ask to him whether all is well. " You stop me for that? You make shit! " Pescarolo answers while setting out again in waterspout… In spite of the lack of visibility, it rises in second position in the small hour, in front of a crowd completely won over to her cause after its night exploit. But, at only two hours of the arrival, following a passage over remains (consequence of the serious accident of Mauro Bianchi), a tire bursts at high-speed, seriously damages the car and the constrained one with the abandonment.
The rise of Pescarolo is stopped in 1969. Leader of the championship of Formula 2, it undergoes a serious accident, on April 16th, during preparatory private tests at the 24 hours of Mans. Victim of an aerodynamic defect (the back suspensions are compressed excessively and before lightens itself), the Matra 640 flies away in the long straight line of Hunaudières and falls down in the forest which borders the track. Burned and severely touched with the spinal column (fracture of 6th and 7th dorsal vertebrae), Pescarolo tries to find its physical condition as soon as possible but will be satisfied to comment on the 24 hour old edition of Mans on Europe 1 on line of its room of the private clinic of Passy. It takes again finally the competition only at the summer.
In 1970, given of its wounds, it is established in Formula 1 at Matra, at the sides of Jean-Pierre Beltoise. In spite of one 3rd place with the GP of Monaco and a championship of France of Formula 2 and Formulates 1 of them (at the time of the international tests of F2 and F1, the French federation carried out a classification interns in order to determine best French, thus decreeing the championship of France to him), its season is overall disappointing, so much so that with the end of the year, Matra replaces it by the New Zealander Chris Amon.
In 1971, Pescarolo faces a double program: in F1, it is recruited by the stable of Frank Williams which engages of the March 711 on a purely private basis, while in Endurance it finds refuge at Alfa Romeo on 33-3. If its season of Formula 1 is transformed quickly into galère (March suffers from an excessive brittleness of the frame and suspensions and financial means of Frank Williams are modest), the pilot is not causes some since it signs one 4th place with the GP of Great Britain and the record of the turn of the GP of Italy. He has on the other hand satisfaction to carry out several beautiful performances in Endurance (victory to the 1000 km of Brands Hatch as a crew with Andrea de Adamich and three podiums).
In 1972, it always sets out again in F1 on March 711 engaged by Williams, where it continues to connect the bad results, but also in F2 at Rondel, new stable founded by Ron Dennis (victory with Enna). On the other hand, it does not take down a wheel in Endurance after the failure to renew of its contract by Alfa Romeo. Matra recalls it for Mans and to the British veteran Graham Hill associates it. At the conclusion of a long duel with the crew Cevert - Ganley (also on Matra), Pescarolo and Hill gains for the first time the mancelle test.
In 1973, without wheel in F1, Pescarolo makes its return as a holder in the stable Matra d' Endurance, where its success of the previous year in Mans obviously made go up its coast. It also disputes the championship of Europe of F2 at the wheel of a Brabham engaged by Rondel. The season starts rather well (victory at the 6 hours of Vallelunga, the 1000 km of Dijon and in F2 with Thruxton) when March requires of him to replace punctually Jean-Pierre Jarier with the GP of Spain de F1 (Pesca obtains only one modest 8th place). The 24 hours of Mans offer one enticing posts with four Matra and three committed Ferrari. At the conclusion of a fantastic brawl against the crew Jacky Ickx/Brian Redman, the tandem Pescarolo/Gerard Larrousse gains the race. They repeat at the time of the 1000 km of Zeltweg and the 6 hours of Watkins Glen and Matra the championship of the world of the manufacturers takes down then in front of Ferrari.
In 1974, Pescarolo joined the stable BRM in F1, but this one is nothing any more but the shade of the fabulous team of the years 1960. It obtains like better result only one 9th place with the GP of Argentina. On the other hand, at the side of Larrousse, it continues at Matra to thread the victories like pearls in Endurance (1000 km of Imola, 1000 km of Austria, 6 hours of Kyalami and in point of organ of the season, 24 hours of Mans). There Pescarolo signs its 3rd consecutive mancelle ground victory. Matra gains the championship of the world of the manufacturers and decides to continue from now on the competition only as a simple motor mechanic of F1.
In 1975, Pescarolo signs at Willy Kauzen which engages of the Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12. It gains with three recoveries (Spa, Zeltweg and Watkins Glen) and makes it possible Alfa to gain the championship of the world of the manufacturers in front of Porsche. As Alfa does not dispute the 24 hours of Mans, it runs on a Ligier JS2 (fellow-member of François Migault) but must give up per 14th hour.
1976 is the beginning of a crossing of the desert for Pesca. It tries an ultimate return in F1 to the wheel of a Surtees but once again the car is not powerful and the means miss. Pesca will definitively give up F1 at the end of the season after 56 GP and a prize list little packed compared to its talent. It also misses sense of smell by refusing a proposal of Porsche to lead one 936 to Mans to sign at Inaltera - Jean Rondeau: Ickx gains Mans at the wheel of the 936, Pescarolo finishing only 8th with the general (nevertheless 1st with classification GTP).
1977 and 1978 are not memorable seasons for the sprinter become marathonian. He controls for Porsche but gives up twice in Mans, however, he gains 3 races for Kremer Racing at the sides of Bob Wollek.
From 1979, it turns over to Rondeau which aligns from now on cars under its own name and ambitionne to gain the 24 hours of Mans, Jean Rondeau will gain in 1980, but without Pescarolo.
The Eighties and NinetiesPescarolo puts its career of racing driver between brackets and is devoted to its other passions. It establishes a record in ULM between Paris and London, beats the New York speed records/Paris and Los Angeles/New York in the single-engined aircraft and gains the Paris race/Libreville in the single-engined aircraft in 1984.
In 1984, it turns over, successfully, with its first loves. It gains for the 4th time the 24 hours of Mans (associate with Klaus Ludwig) at the wheel of Porsche private prepared by the Joest Racing. The same year he is crowned champion of France of the circuits and gains the Porsche cut which rewards best the private committed one in championship for the world of endurance.
In 1985, Pescarolo signs at Lancia but the performances of the LC2 are lower than those of Porsche: he only finishes 7th in Mans. In 1986, it passes to Kouros Racing TEAM Sauber which aligns of C9 motorized by Mercedes. It gives up in Mans into 86 and 87 but gains its 17th victory in championship of the world of endurance in Nurburgring 1986 with Mike Thackwell. Jaguar proposes to him to control a XJR9LM for Mans 1988, with Raul Boesel and John Watson. They give up during the night on rupture of transmission, leaving the victory to another Jaguar crew. 1988 are also the year when Pescarolo finishes for the first time the rally Paris/Dakar, in 18th position, on a Peugeot Turbo 405 16 official.
It finishes 6th in Mans in 1989 (Porsche 962C) and 1992 (Cougar). In 1994, Cougar is called Courage and the Pescarolo/Lagorce/Ferté crew takes down the pole position 24 hours of Mans. They are at the head with semi-race before giving up on driving break-in.
In 1994 also, the Elf tanker entrusts the responsibility to him to direct a structure of training of young pilots, " Filière". Thanks to him, Sebastien Bourdais and Franck Montagny, enter others, will learn their trade. From 1995 to 1999, it takes part on Courage-Elf it Filière in the mancelle test (7th place in 1996 with Collard and Lagorce and 1997 with Clérico and Belloc). It hangs up again its helmet in Endurance after the 24 hours of Mans 1999 when it finishes 9th on Courage C50. It holds the starting absolute records in Mans with 33 participations.
When Elf releases " Filière" , begun again in hands by the FFSA, Pescarolo decides to continue while melting in 2000 its own stable of endurance, Pescarolo Sport. C52 Courage engaged in Mans in 2000 finishes 4° (Bourdais/Grouillard/Clérico) behind the 3 Audi official. From 2001 to 2003, it engages of C60-Peugeot Courage in Mans and for some tests Sportcars TRUSTED about it (victories in Estoril, Magny-Course, Barcelona and Spa) but the results in Mans are less good (8° and 9° in 2003). In 2004, Pescarolo jumps the step by developing its own car starting from a frame Courage C60 and with an engine Judd. In Mans, Pesca again finishes 4° behind untouchable Audi. The stable also takes down the 4° row of the championship Mans Series. The 24 hours 2005, Pescarolo-Judd failed of little for the victory vis-a-vis Audi, but gain the championship.
In 2006, the enemy n°1 remains Audi which tries a bet while engaging of the motorizations diesel. They gain Mans, Pescarolo-Judd finishing with the 2° place. The stable will comfort this frustration by gaining the championship again Mans Series thanks to a large historical slam (5 victories in Istanbul, Spa, Nurburgring, Donington and Jarama).
At the end of 2006, Pescarolo Sport decides more not to extrapolate the frames intended for the season 2007 on a Courage basis but to conceive them in-house. The fact that these frames (P01) could be shown a profit by a provision of private stables encouraged the teams Lister Racing and Rollcentre Racing to contact Pescarolo Sport.
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