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Jacque Lafitte

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#1 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 14:28

Marc Bahner, my wife and I were lucky enough to have a twenty minute conversation with Jacque Lafitte in front of the HGP tent at Indy. He couldn't have been nicer. He has been involved in restoring and maintaining the old Ligier race cars, etc.

Does anyone have any great memories of his driving to share? I saw him race
for several years at Watkins Glen in the USGP and I always rated him pretty
high. I explained that I would be driving his Ralt RT-4 car in the Southern
Festival of Speed in New Zealand this year and his eyes just lit up. What
a nice man!


#2 Geza Sury

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 17:12

I also met Jacques Laffite in 1994, when he was racing in the Porsche Supercup at the age of 51! He sat on a terrace of a bar with some other people and I stepped to him for an autograph. He signed the paper and then handed it to the person sitting next to him. He asked me "Do you who he is?" I said: "No." It was non other than Jean-Pierre Jarier!

#3 cheesy poofs

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 19:20

Hi Dave !

It was a wet and cold september day back in 1981 when Jacques won his last ever GP in Montreal.
He drove a masterful race in very difficult conditions.

#4 Don Capps

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 19:23

OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave, When? I had planned to drop by on Sunday, but got waylaid. Plus, Burt Levy and I got to yakking....

#5 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 October 2002 - 19:47

It was late Saturday afternoon when everything was slowing down for the day. Sorry, you missed him!

#6 John B

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 15:47

Good win in Austria 1981 as well - passing Arnoux's turbo Renault in the last laps. A better start in the very early races of that year and he could have been champion - being punted out of Zaandvoort by Reutemann didn't help either!

I thought his career may have come to a stop with WIlliams in 1983-84, but those 1985-86 drives for Ligier were impressive...a number of podiums including at least 2 second places before his unfortunate accident at Brands. The funniest was when he was trying to preserve a 2-3 finish in Australia and signaled his teammate to stay behind him, then the teammate (was it Phillippe Streiff?) smashed into him and drove the last lap on 3 wheels to keep his 3rd!

#7 Mila

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 22:57

passing Johansson’s Ferrari around the outside of La Rascasse during the 86 Monaco GP!

#8 JAGarfield

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 23:32

I had a conversation with him at the Detroit GP in '86 or '87 and
told him that I liked how he always wore a Ligier Tshirt under
his suit even when driving for someone else. It was in the pits
before qualifying and he talked with me for probably 10 min. and
acted like he had nothing more pressing to do that day than chat!

What a nice guy he is, when he finally said the team would be look-
ing for him he asked ME if I wanted an autograph (I hadn't thought to
ask). One of my all time favorite drivers.

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 October 2002 - 23:43

When Jacques was driving for Williams in the early 1980s at Spa - the team's sponsor coordinator/driver psychologist Sheridan Thynne walked round the back leg of the course during practice. High on the hillside above the cars on the section linking the two legs of the old course across the valley, Sheridan was puzzled to see Jacques raising one hand from the steering wheel on each lap. He walked back to the paddock, and as he entered the motorhome Jacques collared him with the question, "Hey, SheriDAN - out on the back I wave to you. Why you no wave back?". The vision and spare capacity of some of these blokes really is remarkable...


#10 jmp85

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 01:57

a few years ago in the french mag "sport-auto", a bernard asset (i believe) picture of laffite was shown: he was driving his ground effects ligier through one of the two "ballsy" interlagos left-handers, and his helmet was entirely turned toward the photographer, and he was also waving (while taking a 260kph corner with a lateral acceleration of god-knows-how-many g). eek!

#11 diego

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 02:24

He's a dude. Can't say that of most current F1 drivers, save for perhaps Villeneuve.

#12 JacnGille

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 14:58

Watkins Glen - '79. Jacques had a rear wheel part company with the car on an out lap in practice. It was in the chicane. Jacques never got off the gas or the pavement!

#13 rdrcr

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Posted 03 October 2002 - 15:52

"Now the Frenchman Jacques Lafitte is as close to Surer as Surer is to Lafitte"

Murray Walker :p

I saw Jacques at the Glen quite a bit. We had a great name for his determined style of driving - and called him Jacques La-FOOT!

He represented the Matra entries very well... they were awesome in both sight and sound.

He was truly a class guy... in the 82 battle for the championship, while he could have figured in the outcome, he sportingly moved aside in the Austrian GP to let Rosberg and de Angelis fight it out.

He also remarked of Gilles skill at his famous run in the wet at the '79 Glen event:

"....the Ferrari breathless and steaming. In the pits the other drivers, aghast, had giggled nervously every time he skittered by at 160 mph. "Why do we bother ? He's different from the rest of us," Jacques Laffite said. "On another level ..."

From Nigel Robuck's Grand Prix Greats.

#14 RSNS

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 02:59

The first time I saw Lafitte race was in a F3 event, which he won. He was said to have a slightly different brawking approach than other drivers.

#15 Spamula One

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Posted 04 October 2002 - 03:05

I saw Laffite race from the back to the grid and nearly won in a 'Celebrity' Beetle Cup race in Montréal in '00. Really fun to watch, but I must say at the time I didn't really know who he was other than an ex-F1 driver.