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Jean-Pierre Beltoise


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#1 ian senior

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:33

Apologies if this has been done before, but using "search" takes me all over the place.

It struck me last night that, apart from his racing record and the fact that he started on bikes which left him with an arm injury, I know nothing about him at all. What was he like as a man - was he popular with his team mates and mechanics, was he the kind of guy you'd like to spend some time with outside the racing environment, was he pleasant natured or a bit of a git, or what?

I rated him quite highly. Clearly a man with some speed and I was well chuffed when he won at Monaco - well deserved and long overdue, I thought. I remember a bloke called Ecclestone, in an interview in Competition Car magazine, saying that he didn't rate him at all and thought he would never win a GP. Got that wrong, didn't he?

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#2 Twin Window

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:56

One of my favourite souvenirs; Belters signing an autograph for a fifteen year-old me during the 1973 Race of Champions meeting...

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He was one of my favourite peddlers, and I still want one of those jackets!

#3 kevthedrummer

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:59

Hi Ian. The most I have read about Beltoise is in Jean-Claude Halle's book, "Francois Cevert - A Contract With Death." Cevert seems to have grown very fond of his brother-in-law and likewise, although apparently Cevert initially disliked him after overhearing Beltoise giving support to Patrick Depailler, a rival for the 1966 Shell Scholarship which Francois won nonetheless. Apparently his bad arm was all but useless in the dry but he found it much easier in wet conditions, hence his reputation as a wet weather specialist (i.e. Monaco '72). I've often wondered how much the Giunti incident affected him.

#4 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 08:33

Didn't the arm injury occur in a Ferrari at Rhiems, rather than on a motorycle? I think it left him with an almost locked elbow, which given the subsequent success in F1 shows a remarkable level of inherent skill and determination.
He also won the very last F1 race for a BRM, the 72 Victory Race at Brands in the otherwise unsucessful P180 againmst the likes of Emmo in a Lotus 72 and Peterson ina March. Then he peddled the P201 to 2nd in it's debut at Kyalami. No mean feat!

Simon Lewis
Transport Books
www.simonlewis.com

#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:03

Originally posted by ian senior
Apologies if this has been done before, but using "search" takes me all over the place.


I do apologise if this sounds like carping, however, one suggestion I have made for this magnificent forum is that it needs to be tidyed up and sorted into logical order....my suggestion was to have (in TNF) a heading for Drivers (by name).

I think I suggested "The Drivers" for a seperate folder....I really hope this terrific resource learns to recognise its true value and the responsibility its makers have to the Motor Racing community now that they have gathered us all in this place....Cheers,

Yours in Motorsport, Mick

PS no offence to Jean-Pierre Beltoise....just to say, that I would love to be able to click on his name and read about his exploits without having to search multiple threads where his name may have been mentioned.

#6 kevthedrummer

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:12

I've just found an account of Beltoise's accident in the Cevert book. According to the author it occurred in July 1964 at Reims and he was driving a Rene-Bonnet. Apparently he hit oil dropped by a Ferrari at the Annie-Bousquet corner and overturned into a ditch, resulting in sixteen fractures. The accident was at night, around 1am.

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:32

There is this thread about Beltoise's Reims accident. I learned a lot about the man from T54's post:

Originally posted by T54
Doug,
Beltoise was a true great on motorcycles and I am convinced that he would have had been right up there with the Hailwoods and Agostinis if he did persevere. From 50cc drives on the semi-works Itom, then the works Kreidler 12-speed, to his rides on the 250 Morini Rebello, 250 Aermacchi, 125 and 250 TSS Bultacos and Matchless G50, he was simply unbeatable in national as well as international meets. His crash at Pau was due to an oily track from a blown 4-banger a lap before, as he very rarely "lost it".
The drives in the Matra MS11 with the big cumbersome V12 were also quite impressive as well as how close he was to win at Clermond with the V8, save for a flat in the last lap. He also had extraordinary control on the wet, and I remember a ride in his Elva from paris to Orly in the rain that was especially impressive, knowing that the SP Sport of the era were not the keenest on slick pavement...

Jean-Pierre is responsible in great part, along with Jose Rosinski, Gerard Crombac and Jean Lucas, for the late 1960's new rise in interest in motorsports in France, in a country which had been psychologically beaten under British domination in auto and bike racing for many years. Through his motivation and his various dynamic columns as a journalist for Moto-Revue, Sport Auto and Champion, and through his persuasion of Jean-Luc Lagardere and the advent of MATRA, he allowed the progression of others by the names of Cevert, Weber, Jaussaud and the "first wave" of French GP drivers.
Unfortunately, the "politically korrekt" era also began in the early 1970's, and some did not take kindly that he expressed himself very frankly in certain situations, and he was later sidelined by the powerful hypocrite now in place.
I personally owe a lot to Jean-Pierre, not the least for some driving lessons that made me progress a lot more rapidly by his keen understanding of what it takes to go fast safely, something that was quite new then, when most believed that speed was only related to the size of one's cojones. Jean-Piere was also very kind to all, and took the telephone to obtain for me the oil and tire contracts I needed to persevere.
A true great he is for me.
Regards,

T54



#8 Pedro 917

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 11:06

Some (scanned) slides that I bought at a model cars fair many years ago:

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Nürburgring 1974, photographer unknown.

#9 Gary C

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 12:54

Twinny, in your photo, is that guy on the left holding a video camera??

#10 philippe charuest

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 17:13

yep thats a video cam . the camera itself then were not too big but what you dont see is that the cam is connect by wire to a recorder and those dam recorder they were big and "heavy"

#11 David M. Kane

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 17:53

Ian Senior:

Over the years Bernie has trashed many a driver. That arm injury was extreme to say the least, I would rate it at 35-50% functional at best. JPB was very brave guy who got the best out of what he got.

Now Mrs. Bernie is a very attractive woman; but she couldn't hold a candle to Francois's sister!
Mrs. Beltoise is one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the pit wall with a stopwatch.

I think it's pretty clear that Bernie, the little pi@# ant, is a worthless sh%$stirrer who could barely drive a Cooper F3. So where does he get off commenting on other drivers abilities? That like some guy who plays putt putt golf crashing on Tiger Woods!

How is it possible for one midget to comsume 50% of air on this planet?

JPB drive in Monaco in the BRM is epic, ask anyone who was there...

#12 David McKinney

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 18:27

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Bernie....could barely drive a Cooper F3

...but was good enough to win several races

#13 David M. Kane

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 18:30

I still don't like him...

#14 Fiorentina 1

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:19

Originally posted by Twin Window
One of my favourite souvenirs; Belters signing an autograph for a fifteen year-old me during the 1973 Race of Champions meeting...

Posted Image

He was one of my favourite peddlers, and I still want one of those jackets!


That's cool! :wave: Ya, that jacket is nice! Now, it would look even better then it did in 1973. Retro!!!!!!!!!! Man, we have to have these made. I think you'd see Jenson wearing one in a Hollywood club some night . :rotfl: Well, at least Irvine. :smoking:

The only thing I don't like about Beltoise was his part in the Giunti tragedy in Buenos Aires in January 1971. I don't put 100% blame on him, but it was a REAL bone head move that killed a very good young driver. It could have easily killed him as well. As he said afterwards, "I made a mistake, but where were the yellow flags?"

#15 philippe7

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 07:09

I was born french in 1957 , so "Jean-Pierre Beltoise" was really the household name when my interest for auto racing started when I was 11 or 12.....he impersonated the racing driver , and his name was the one that was widely known in the country , outside of the car enthusiast circles.....probably similar in France to what the name Jim Clark meant to the British ( and international...) general public.

As T54 wrote, Beltoise and Matra were the symbol of the "re-birth" of France on the international racing scene , and therefore restored national pride in some way....hence the popularity of those two names in the general public.

It's true , as T54 also wrote, that Jean-Pierre had a rather difficult and stiff personality, and was quite gifted for making himself unpopular.

The Giunti tragedy of course did not help his reputation. I fully understand your feelings , Fiorentina 1 , but maybe 35 years later we should not let ourselves be carried away by emotions . It was a terrible , unfortunate, racing accident . There is a comprehensive thread on TNF here :
http://forums.autosp...&threadid=69822

Also another interesting thread about the disgraceful 1976 Beltoise-Ligier affair...
http://forums.autosp...&threadid=63241

For those of you who can read french, there are interesting Beltoise stories on the blog of TNF sometimes contributor Patrice Vatan, a great fan of JPB who has embarked on a comprehensive chronological record of detailed reports of Jean-Pierre's each and every Grand Prix . It's an "in progress" work, but he's already down to year 1972 , so not much more left ! The index is here .
http://memoiresdesta...x_beltoise.html

Finally, on this same blog a couple of very emotional threads about François Cevert , including first hand written and photo contributions from Claude Roudeau, one of his officers during his military service , Jean-Jacques Ardouin, one of his close high school friends, and even a few posts by the stunning lady David Kane mentions earlier, his sister Jacqueline, wife of Jean-Pierre Beltoise

http://memoiresdesta..._1944-1973.html
http://memoiresdesta...ec-legende.html
http://memoiresdesta.../un-ete-65.html
http://memoiresdesta...-de-ma-vie.html

#16 ian senior

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:28

Thanks everyone - some very interesting stuff. I'll have to brush up my French!

I also remember Mme Beltoise as being very very tasty. Lucky old JPB.

Does anyone have any pictires of Jean-Pierre on the podium at Monaco in 1972?

#17 Racer.Demon

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:23

There is one on FORIX:

http://www.forix.com...0&c=49&p=58&o=1

#18 ensign14

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 06:44

There were two Mme Beltoises. The first (Elaine) was killed in a road accident in 1966 when she crashed into a telegraph pole on an autoroute - she was on her way to Arpajon to collect a pet dog of all things when they were staying in Paris. She was very pretty as well, short blonde hair and the gamine look.

"Depuis ce jour maudit, je n'ai plus peur de la mort" - J-PB in his autobiography (Defense de Mourir), which takes things to 1968. An excellent read, by the way.

#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 09:08

Originally posted by Fiorentina 1
The only thing I don't like about Beltoise was his part in the Giunti tragedy in Buenos Aires in January 1971. I don't put 100% blame on him, but it was a REAL bone head move that killed a very good young driver. It could have easily killed him as well. As he said afterwards, "I made a mistake, but where were the yellow flags?"

As phillipe7 said, we had a comprehensive thread about this. I'd refer you particularly to the discussion of the regulations in the early part of the thread, where we established that the then-current International Regulations did not prohibit pushing, although it appears that the local regulations might have done. I suppose it's down to a legal discussion of which regulations took precedence, which might be why the blame was apportioned three ways.

Anyway - back to J-PB .....

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#20 scheivlak

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 10:58

A recent pic of JPB and Jacqueline: http://www.classicdr...00.asp?id=12463

#21 philippe7

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 11:55

And another one of Jacqueline with one of her two sons ( probably Anthony, the elder )

http://memoiresdesta...i-d-autres.html

The article respectfully presents her as " sister, wife and mother of racing drivers".....

#22 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 23:59

While looking for something else I came across this story, from the Autosport report on the 1974 French GP by Pete Lyons:

Beltoise was running, however, and running in a very anxious manner here at the French GP. As has happened rather too often to the little fellow he, at one point, got in a brush with authority. The pits at Dijon are approached from the circuit through a tight double-right-angle chicane, which is a rather awkward — and not very effective — way of trying to discourage excess speed up the pits road. Stationed here was a young marshal, who was occupied partly with giving certain drivers "slow down" signals. He gave this to Beltoise at one point, and got an angry two-fingered gesture in return ; but that wasn't all. The BRM stopped dead in the next instant, squarely in the middle of the little chicane, its engine dead. Instantly the marshal, accompanied by this reporter, sprang forward to push what appeared to be a derelict car out of a dangerous spot. But it wouldn't move, as the driver had left it in gear. As the car sat there blocking the road, Reutemann's Brabham came along, and had to be waved down. All the while Beltoise was holding the car firmly against being pushed, and waving for the marshal to come to the cockpit. As the boy finally realised what the waving meant and ran forward and bent down, Beltoise shot his right arm up and delivered a hard cuff to the marshal's face. Then he restarted the engine and drove to the pits.

Nice way to treat a marshal. :well:

#23 arttidesco

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 00:26

Some where I have some pics of some Peugeot 309's being raced at Le Mans in the mid to late 80's does anyone else recall JPB running in a one make 309 series at Le Mans and may be even winning, of have I completely lost my marbles ?

#24 arttidesco

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:38

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Found the pics of JP Beltoise in his #88 Peugeot 309 at Le Mans, not sure of the result but he appears to have led several laps and pulled out a lead.