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Loris Kessel


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#1 Japan Time

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 09:44

I remember reading a few years ago an interview of Swiss driver
Loris Kessel, in which he recalled which car was the worst he ever
drove (F2 or F1, I do not remember).

As far as I can see he entered 3 F1 races with Ram/Brabham in
1976, and failed to qualify in Italy with Williams in both 1976 and
1977 events.

I was just wondering if any of you roughly knew what did between
F1 in 1977 and now ?

He apparently may have become a Bentley dealer in Lugano
(Switzerland) - I also found info about a Loris Kessel Racing Team
who ran in French GT championship recently. That's all I have !

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#2 ensign14

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 12:39

He drove in Group C in the early 1980s (I think in a Cheetah) and Kauhsen F2 in about 1977.

#3 schuy

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 17:21

I believe there is a 360 Challenge team called 'Lorris Kessel'.

#4 bschenker

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 20:47

The best way you contact him directly on his site:

http://www.loriskesselauto.ch

#5 Geza Sury

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Posted 20 February 2003 - 21:11

Originally posted by Japan Time
As far as I can see he entered 3 F1 races with Ram/Brabham in 1976, and failed to qualify in Italy with Williams in both 1976 and 1977 events.

Not exactly. Actually Kessel entered five races in 1976 with RAM Racing (The Spanish, Belgian, Swedish, French and Austrian Grands Prix), but qualified only three times. In 1976 drove the curious Apollon-Williams at Monza just to fail to qualify once again.

As for his carrier, here's a quote from Steve Small's magnificent 'Grand Prix Who's Who':

A Swiss garage owner and fomer Alfa saloon racer, Kessel graduated from Formula 3 with no great record of success outside his native championship. A season of Formula 2 with march in 1975 saw him briefly lead the opening race at Estoril and score a couple of fourth place at Hockenheim, but little else. His undistinguished spell with RAM F1 team in 1976 ended in legal acrimony, then followed a brief flirtation with the Apollon. Thereafter he made occasional apearances in F3 until 1981, when he returned to F2 without success. However, in 1993, after many years out of the spotlight, he was to be found in the Porsche 962C that finished seventh in the Le Mans 24 Hours.

There's some more info about Kessel in TNF member Richie Jenkins' website: http://www.oldracing...tn.asp?letter=K

#6 Japan Time

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 03:36

Thank you ! I actually could find info on the Cheetah experience, and even got a photo of the car:

Posted Image

The car was developed by Swiss Chuck Graeminger in 1980~81 and was supposed to take part to the Group C World Championship in 1982. Cash-strapped Loris Kessel brought the team all money they needed to achieve the development of the car.

However it apparenlty took more time than expected to develop the first Cheetah G603, which only appeared in 1983 in Spa (where its Cosworth DFL 3.3 L exploded) - driven by Loris Kessel and Laurent Ferrier. Yet things improved rapidly - it finished resp. 8th and 9th in Imola and Mugello.

Disputes over legal issues between Kessel et Graeminger ended the brief carreer of Cheetah G603. In 1984 Graeminger launched a Cheetah G604-Aston Martin that looked very much like its predecessor (which caused the ire of Loris Kessel, who considered he was the genitor of G603) :

Posted Image

Even though it was good-looking, it never achieved great results - but was seen in races until the end of the eighties !

Note I got all info on following great site (in French language) :
http://gto-racing.nexenservices.com/

#7 fines

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 16:37

I recall that Kessel had a very serious accident in a Swiss Championship round at Monza in the late seventies, maybe 1979? He was driving an F2 March and broke both legs, iirc.

#8 Japan Time

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Posted 24 February 2003 - 10:28

Yes, I actually happen to remember an accident involving Loris Kessel - I actually recall a F3 flipping over another. I am gradually getting a clearer picture of his curriculum = Itinerary of a Golden Boy :

1950 - birth in Lugano (Switzerland)
1970 - starts competition in Alfa Romeo Spider
1974 - Swiss F3
1975 - Euro F2: 16th. 3rd & 4th at Hockenheim on Kauhsen-March 752 BMW. Sportscar on Cheetah G501 Ford
1976 - 5 F1 attempts (Brabham BT44B) : 3 Starts in Zolder, Anderstorp, Osterreichring, 2 DNQ.
1977 - 1 F1 attempt in Monza (Jolly Club Switzerland Apollon-Williams FW). DNQ
1978-80 - F3
1981 - unsuccessful return to F2
1983 - the Cheetah Experience (see above for more details)
1985 - Alba AR2 Carma (C2) - Monza 1000 KM, Silverstone 1000 KM
1991 - Winner of Swiss Trofeo Alfa C3
1993 - 7th Le Mans 24 (Obermaier Porsche 962C) + winner of Swiss Rennsportwagen Trophy (Alfa C3)
1996 onwards - yearly organisation of Ferrari Day in Lugano
2000 onwards - runs Ferrari 250 LM in FFSA GT Championship
2001 - took part to Alps Rally ASAT in a Subaru Impreza

Apparently he also did some Hill-climbing racing in Switzerland and took part to a number of Rallies (noticeably on a Lancia Beta in the 80's).

Any other details to complete the history ?

#9 Japan Time

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 04:11

Has anyone anything to add ? Maybe some experts from Switzerland have a word to say ? :wave: :wave: :wave:

Following address would probably enable us to complete the picture, but apparently it is not working at the moment : http://www.loriskess...ssel/index.html.

By the way I noticed that one of his drivers in FFSA GT Championship last year was Alex Caffi, who spent 7 seasons in Formula 1: Osella in 86/87, Dallara in 88/89, Arrows-Footork in 90/91, and Coloni in 92.

He was kind of a promising guy, but Jackie Oliver fired him from Arrows after an infamous road accident. I remember Oliver saying something like "I can accept that a pilot of F1 has an accident when leaving his grand-mother's. However having such a stupid accident at 4 am while going out drunk of a night-club is another thing". I believe Stefan Johannson took over at Arrows.

#10 schuy

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 06:28

Too bad that website doesn't work, but his Ferrari dealership website does.
Just click the Ferrari logo.

#11 Japan Time

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 03:07

Thank you schuy, the link is apparently working - yet I do not access to info about LK's racing years this way. :|

Any advice ? Maybe I am not doing it the right way ? :confused:

#12 schuy

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 17:32

To me all the links on his Ferrari site work properly.
If you click on "Reparto Corse" you get to a very nice website about his 360 Challenge team.
The links in his main home-page do not work-a technical fault, or, they will be ready in the future.

Liran.