Equipe Ligier

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Main article: Ligier
Ligier
Ligier logo
Full name Equipe Ligier
Base Vichy (1976-1988) and Magny-Cours (1989-1996), France[1]
Founder(s) Guy Ligier
Noted staff Ken Anderson
Loïc Bigois
Cyril de Rouvre
Frank Dernie
Richard Divila
Gérard Ducarouge
Claude Galopin
Tom Walkinshaw
Noted drivers France Jacques Laffite
France Patrick Depailler
Belgium Jacky Ickx
France Didier Pironi
United States Eddie Cheever
Italy Andrea de Cesaris
France René Arnoux
Sweden Stefan Johansson
Belgium Thierry Boutsen
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
United Kingdom Mark Blundell
Japan Aguri Suzuki
France Olivier Panis
Next name Prost Grand Prix
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races competed 326
Engines Matra, Ford-Cosworth, Renault, Megatron, Lamborghini, Mugen Honda
Constructors'
Championships
0
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories 9
Podiums 50
Points 388
Pole positions 9
Fastest laps 9
Final race 1996 Japanese Grand Prix

Equipe Ligier is a motorsport team, best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. The team was founded in 1968 by former French rugby union player Guy Ligier as a sports car manufacturer.[2][3]

Sports car origins[edit]

After retiring from racing following the death of his friend Jo Schlesser, Guy Ligier had engineer Michel Tétu develop a sports car named JS1 (Schlesser's initials). The Cosworth-powered JS1 took wins at Albi and Monthlery in 1970, but retired at Le Mans and from the Tour Automobile de France.[4]

For 1971, Ligier had the JS1 developed into the JS2 and JS3. The JS2 was homologated for road use and used a Maserati V6 engine, while the JS3 was an open-top sports-prototype powered by a Cosworth DFV V8 engine. The JS3 won at Monthlery in 1971 but failed to finish the minimum distance in Le Mans. Therefore, it was retired,[5] and Ligier installed the Cosworth DFV in the JS2 road car, finishing second overall at Le Mans in 1975.[6] Guy Ligier then switched his efforts into Formula One.

Formula One[edit]

Acquiring the Matra F1 team's assets, Ligier entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, and won a Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite in 1977. This is generally considered to have been the first all-French victory in the Formula One World Championship.[7]

The 1980 Ligier JS11/15 being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Ligier used a turbo engine for the first time in 1984. Andrea de Cesaris drives the JS23 chassis at that year's Dallas Grand Prix.
Ligier's last F1 car, the JS43, on display. Driven by Olivier Panis and Pedro Diniz, it provided Panis' only F1 victory and Ligier's last, at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix.

The deal with Matra ceased in 1979 and Ligier built a Cosworth-powered wing-car, the Ligier JS11. The JS11 began the season winning the first 2 races in the hands of Laffite. However, the JS11 faced serious competition when Williams and Ferrari introduced aerodynamically modified cars. The rest of the season was less successful for the French marque.

The JS11 and its successors made Ligier one of the top teams through the early 1980s. Despite substantial sponsorship from Talbot and public French companies - mainly SEITA and Française des Jeux (deals which François Mitterrand helped to put in place[8]) - the competitiveness of the team began to decline around 1982. Around this time, they were testing a Matra V6 turbocharged engine, which never raced.[9] In the mid-1980s, the team benefitted from a "free" Renault turbo engine deal. This made them more competitive, though not a frontrunner, despite sponsorship from companies such as Gitanes, Loto and Elf Aquitaine. When Renault left the sport in 1986, Ligier was left without a bona fide engine supplier. An abortive collaboration with Alfa Romeo (due to René Arnoux's harsh criticism on the Alfa Romeo engines) was followed by customer engine deals with Megatron (who provided them with rebadged BMW M12 engines), Judd and Cosworth and then works contracts with Lamborghini, Renault and Mugen-Honda.

In the last years Ligier had little public support and lacked funds. Surprisingly, the team was somewhat more competitive during this period, perhaps due to the talents of aerodynamicist Frank Dernie, whose skills had developed the Williams of Alan Jones that so regularly beat the Ligiers in the late 1970s.

The talent of the young engineer Loïc Bigois may have played some role as well. But this also brings some to think that, in previous years, Guy Ligier was more worried about making money than restoring the team competitiveness.[citation needed] Famous for his histrionics and boisterous pitlane explosions, the recalcitrant Guy Ligier added greatly to the character of Formula One events from the mid-1970s onward, if not through the competitiveness of his teams. As one F1 commentator famously said, "You always had the feeling that even when they were winning they didn't know why...".[citation needed] Certainly the team enjoyed an upswing when Guy Ligier sold the team to Cyril de Rouvre after a disappointing 1992 season when they once again failed to fulfil their potential despite being supplied with the same works Renault engines as the dominant Williams team - they scored eight podium finishes over the next four years, contrasting sharply with their failure to secure a single top three position between 1987 and 1992.

Between 1987 and 1991, the team struggled, failing to score points in 1990 and 1991, and at the 1988 San Marino Grand Prix neither René Arnoux nor Stefan Johansson qualified for the race, the first time in team history that neither car made the grid. In 1990, when fellow team Larrousse were disqualified after claiming their chassis was built by themselves, while in fact it was built by Lola Cars, Ligier moved up into the important 10th place in the Constructors' Championship, which gave them subsidized travel benefits, despite actually not being classified due a to lack of points.

In 1996, the Mugen Honda-powered JS43 turned out to be a well balanced car, if not on par with the Williams entries. It became a surprise winner as well, with the team taking the chequered flag with Olivier Panis at the Monaco Grand Prix, albeit in a race of heavy attrition, with only three cars finishing. It was the first "all-French" victory at Monaco since René Dreyfus in Bugatti in 1930.

The team was sold to Alain Prost soon after and became Prost Grand Prix in 1997. Prost GP, despite substantial financial backing by large private French companies failed to make the team competitive and went bankrupt in 2002.

The team traditionally used numbers 25 and 26.


After Formula One[edit]

In 2004, Ligier returned to motorsport after acquiring Automobiles Martini. Tico Martini had designed a Formula 3 chassis that was introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show[10] as the Ligier JS47, but with the F3 market cornered by Dallara, the car only raced in the minor Recaro F3 Cup.

In 2005 Ligier introduced a "gentlemen driver" sports car, the JS49, a sport prototype[11][12] made for the 2000 cc CN class, which can be used in the V de V Challenge.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1976 Ligier JS5 Matra MS73
V12
G BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA JPN 20 5th
France Jacques Laffite Ret Ret 4 12 3 12 4 14 Ret Ret 2 Ret 3 Ret Ret 7
1977 Ligier JS7 Matra MS76
V12
G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 18 8th
France Jacques Laffite NC Ret Ret 9 7 7 Ret 1 8 6 Ret Ret 2 8 7 Ret 5
France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret
1978 Ligier JS7
Ligier JS9
Matra MS78
V12
G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 19 6th
France Jacques Laffite 16 9 5 5 Ret 5 3 7 7 10 3 5 8 4 11 Ret
1979 Ligier JS11 Ford Cosworth DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 61 3rd
France Patrick Depailler 4 2 Ret 5 1 Ret 5
Belgium Jacky Ickx Ret 6 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret
France Jacques Laffite 1 1 Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret 8 Ret 3 3 3 Ret Ret Ret
1980 Ligier JS11/15 Ford Cosworth DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 66 2nd
France Didier Pironi Ret 4 3 6 1 Ret 2 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 3 3
France Jacques Laffite Ret Ret 2 Ret 11 2 3 Ret 1 4 3 9 8 5
1981 Ligier JS17 Matra MS81
V12
M USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 44 4th
France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret 7
France Jean-Pierre Jabouille DNQ NC Ret DNQ Ret
France Patrick Tambay Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
France Jacques Laffite Ret 6 Ret Ret 2 3 2 Ret 3 3 1 Ret Ret 1 6
1982 Ligier JS17
Ligier JS17B
Ligier JS19
Matra MS81
V12
M RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 20 8th
United States Eddie Cheever Ret Ret Ret WD 3 Ret 2 10 DNQ Ret 16 Ret Ret Ret 6 3
France Jacques Laffite Ret Ret Ret WD 9 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 14 Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret
1983 Ligier JS21 Ford Cosworth DFV
V8
M BRA USW FRA SMR MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 0 NC
France Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 8 7 Ret 9 Ret 10
Brazil Raul Boesel Ret 7 Ret 9 Ret 13 10 Ret Ret Ret DNQ 10 DNQ 15 NC
1984 Ligier JS23 Renault EF4
V6 (t/c)
M BRA RSA BEL SMR FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 3 10th
France François Hesnault Ret 10 Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 8 7 Ret 10 Ret
Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ret 5 Ret 6 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 7 Ret Ret Ret 7 12
1985 Ligier JS25 Renault EF4B
V6 (t/c)
P BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 23 6th
Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ret Ret Ret 4 14 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
France Philippe Streiff 10 9 8 WD 3
France Jacques Laffite 6 Ret Ret 6 8 12 Ret 3 3 Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret WD 2
1986 Ligier JS27 Renault EF15
V6 (t/c)
P BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 29 5th
France René Arnoux 4 Ret Ret 5 Ret 6 Ret 5 4 4 Ret 10 Ret 7 15 7
France Jacques Laffite 3 Ret Ret 6 5 7 2 6 Ret
France Philippe Alliot Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret 6 8
1987 Ligier JS29B
Ligier JS29C
Megatron
I4 (t/c)
G BRA SMR BEL MON DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR ESP MEX JPN AUS 1 11th
France René Arnoux DNS 6 11 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani Ret 7 12 Ret Ret EX Ret 12 8 8 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret
1988 Ligier JS31 Judd CV
V8
G BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
France René Arnoux Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ 18 17 Ret Ret 13 10 Ret 17 Ret
Sweden Stefan Johansson 9 DNQ Ret 10 Ret Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret 11 DNQ Ret Ret DNQ 9
1989 Ligier JS33 Ford Cosworth DFR
V8
G BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 3 13th
France René Arnoux DNQ DNQ 12 14 DNQ 5 Ret DNQ 11 DNQ Ret 9 13 DNQ DNQ Ret
France Olivier Grouillard 9 DSQ Ret 8 DNQ DNQ 6 7 Ret DNQ 13 Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret
1990 Ligier JS33B Ford Cosworth DFR
V8
G USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
Italy Nicola Larini Ret 11 10 Ret Ret 16 14 10 10 11 14 11 10 7 7 10
France Philippe Alliot EX 12 9 Ret Ret 18 9 13 DSQ 14 DNQ 13 Ret Ret 10 11
1991 Ligier JS35
Ligier JS35B
Lamborghini 3512
V12
G USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ret Ret 7 7 Ret 8 12 Ret 9 17 11 Ret 16 Ret 9 Ret
France Érik Comas DNQ Ret 10 10 8 DNQ 11 DNQ Ret 10 Ret 11 11 Ret Ret 18
1992 Ligier JS37 Renault RS3B / RS3C
V10
G RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 6 7th
Belgium Thierry Boutsen Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 12 10 Ret 10 7 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 5
France Érik Comas 7 9 Ret Ret 9 10 6 5 8 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
1993 Ligier JS39 Renault RS5
V10
G RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 23 5th
United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 6 5 5 14 8 5 7 Ret 6 9 6
United Kingdom Mark Blundell 3 5 Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret 7 3 7 11 Ret Ret 7 9
1994 Ligier JS39B Renault RS6
V10
G BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS 13 6th
France Éric Bernard Ret 10 12 Ret 8 13 Ret 13 3 10 10 7 10
United Kingdom Johnny Herbert 8
France Franck Lagorce Ret 11
France Olivier Panis 11 9 11 9 7 12 Ret 12 2 6 7 10 DSQ 9 11 5
1995 Ligier JS41 Mugen Honda MF301
V10
G BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR PAC JPN AUS 24 5th
United Kingdom Martin Brundle 9 Ret 10 4 Ret Ret 3 Ret 8 7 Ret
Japan Aguri Suzuki 8 Ret 11 6 Ret DNS
France Olivier Panis Ret 7 9 6 Ret 4 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret 8 5 2
1996 Ligier JS43 Mugen Honda MF301HA
V10
G AUS BRA ARG EUR SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN 15 6th
France Olivier Panis 7 6 8 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 7 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 10 7
Brazil Pedro Diniz 10 8 Ret 10 7 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Case History". Corktree.tripod.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  2. ^ "GP Encyclopedia – Constructors – Ligier (Equipe Ligier)". Grandprix.com. 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  3. ^ "Corporate". Ligier.fr (in French). Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "1969 - 1970 Ligier JS1 - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  5. ^ "1971 Ligier JS3 Cosworth - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. 2004-11-23. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  6. ^ "Le Mans Register - 1975". Formula2.net. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  7. ^ Chassis, engine and driver were French. The gearbox was British (Hewland) and the tyres American (Goodyear). Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Renault achieved victory at the 1979 French Grand Prix with an all-Renault car and Michelin tyres.
  8. ^ Dupuis, Jérôme (17 October 1996). "L'Etat gaspilleur" [The Wasteful State]. L'Express (in French). Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "6th Gear - Years in Gear - Grand Prix cars that never raced". Forix.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  10. ^ "News channel". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  11. ^ Sam Collins (2007-11-29). "Ligier JS49 VdeV CN | Sportscar". Racecar Engineering. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  12. ^ http://www.frenchrendezvous.cc/ligier/ligier-js49/default.htm

External links[edit]