François Delecour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
François Delecour
Personal information
Nationality France French
Born (1962-08-30) 30 August 1962 (age 51)
Hazenbrouck, France
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1984–2002, 2012, 2014
Teams Ford, Peugeot, Mitsubishi
Rallies 97
Championships 0
Rally wins 4
Podiums 19
Stage wins 214
Total points 322
First rally 1984 Monte Carlo Rally
First win 1993 Rallye de Portugal
Last win 1994 Monte Carlo Rally
Last rally 2014 Monte Carlo Rally

François Delecour (born on 30 August 1962 in Hazebrouck, France) is a rally driver.

Biography[edit]

Career in World Rally Championship[edit]

Francois Delecour began rallying in 1981, in the French national championship. He entered his first major event, the Monte Carlo Rally, three years later, driving a Talbot Samba. For 1985 and 1986 he drove in the Peugeot 205 Cup, finishing third in both seasons. This was enough to earn him a degree of support from the Peugeot works team for subsequent years, culminating in a full works drive in a Peugeot 309 in 1989 and 1990, in which year he finished ninth overall and first two-wheel-drive car on the Monte Carlo.

Delecour was then hired by the Ford team to contest the 1991 World Championship. The four-wheel-drive Ford Sierra Cosworth, introduced the previous season, was not regarded as fully competitive, but Delecour demonstrated a remarkable turn of speed on the Monte Carlo Rally. He took the lead from reigning world champion Carlos Sainz on the third day and seemed certain to win until he lost five minutes with suspension failure on the final night and dropped to third place. Delecour retired from the next three events he contested, but then took fourth and third places on the San Remo and Catalunya rallies and sixth on the final round of the series, the RAC Rally in Great Britain, to finish seventh in the driver’s championship. Delecour remained with Ford for the 1992 season, and was joined by twice world champion Massimo Biasion. Results were generally better than in 1991, with second places for Biasion in Portugal and Delecour on the Tour de Corse. Delecour also took third place on the San Remo, leaving him sixth in the World Championship.

For 1993 the Sierra was replaced by the smaller and more agile Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Delecour immediately showed its potential by leading the Monte Carlo until the final night, with Biasion second. However, both lost out to a final-night charge by Didier Auriol, and finished second and third. Delecour at this time was still regarded as a specialist on asphalt rallies, but he finally established his reputation as an effective driver on all surfaces by winning the third round of the series, the Portuguese Rally, again with Biasion second. He won again in Corsica, giving him the championship lead. However, retirement in Greece and San Remo saw the title pass to Juha Kankkunen, although Delecour compensated somewhat by winning the Catalunya Rally and finishing a strong fourth on the RAC, giving him second place in the World Championship, his co-driver, Daniel Grataloup, was awarded the co-driver’s championship for that year.

After his strong showing in 1993, Delecour was widely regarded as the strongest contender for the 1994 world title, and he duly won the Monte Carlo Rally. However, he retired with engine failure in Portugal. A month later he was involved in a road accident, when the Ferrari F40 he was driving was hit, ironically by an amateur rally driver practicing for a local event. Delecour suffered severe leg injuries and was forced to miss the next four rounds of the series. He returned to action in Finland and finished fourth, before retiring from the final two events of the year.

At the end of 1994 the official Ford team was closed down, and cars were instead run by Belgian concern RAS Sport. Biasion left the team, leaving Delecour as lead driver, backed up by Bruno Thiry. However, the Escort was less competitive than in the previous year and he failed to win an event, although he finished second in Monte Carlo and Corsica. His final event for the Ford team was in Sweden in 1996.[1]

After leaving Ford, he then acquitted himself in a subsequent stint for Peugeot, piloting the French firm's array of various machinery for much of the rest of the 1990s and often continuing to make a points-scoring impact, particularly on asphalt world championship level rallies in the two-litre kit-car classification. It culminated in his involvement in the opening years of the works Peugeot 206 WRC project, where amid much publicity he was to find himself, on the hard-surface rounds of the 2000 World Rally Championship season which Peugeot otherwise dominated, in conflict with Peugeot management and fellow French tarmac ace and team-mate, Gilles Panizzi at that year's San Remo Rally.[2]

Delecour with a Ford Focus RS WRC 01 at the 2001 Rally Finland.

Delecour switched back to Ford for 2001. The Blue Oval's effort, however, was by now being masterminded not from long-time headquarters Boreham, but by Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport in Cumbria, which ran a third, alternatively liveried Ford Focus RS WRC 01 for Delecour. A shunt, nearly crippling for co-driver Daniel Grataloup, on his final outing in Australia threatened to marr his time at the team. But despite otherwise again proving a regular scorer, he was once again to change teams come the following year, this time to Mitsubishi to drive their still young first World Rally Car, he and Alister McRae being drafted in as replacements for both outgoing four-time World Champion, Tommi Makinen and his teammate Freddy Loix.

Unfortunately, both he and McRae were to suffer as the Japanese marque's competitiveness continued to wane. During this time Delecour again suffered a massive shunt during that year's Rally Australia. This time the accident had effectively ended Grataloup's top line career due to injuries he sustained as a result of the accident.[3][4] Delecour, despite his accident, would go on to compete at the next event in Great Britain. This event was noted as Delecour's Mitsubishi left the road in the middle of the event causing him to lose his temper at his replacement co-driver Dominique Savignoni.[5][6] After a comparatively unsuccessful season, Mitsubishi announced a sabbatical from the series until 2004, effectively bringing Delecour's world championship career to a close.

Later career and comeback in Monte Carlo[edit]

Delecour in Lyon-charbonnière Rally 2007

After WRC career Delecour did rally-raid with SMG V8 buggy and some racing with Porsche 996 GT3 RS.[7] In 2011, 100th year of Monte Carlo rally, he returned to rallying with Peugeot 207 Super 2000 and finished on 5th place in Rallye Monte Carlo, which was part of IRC-Championship.[8]

Delecour in Monte-Carlo Rally 2012

In December 2011 it was announced that Delecour would make a comeback to WRC. He ran the latest-spec Fiesta WRC in 2012 Monte Carlo Rally.[9] In the rally Delecour finished 6th and drove some top 3 stage times during the event.[10]

In 2012 Delecour also returned to the IRC-championship in Rally Corsica, in which he drove a Visit Romania-backed Renault Mégane RS in IRC Production Cup and IRC 2WD Cup. Delecour finished third in his class and said he would like to do more IRC rallies in the future.[11][12] Delecour competed in 2012 in the Romanian Rally Championship, winning 5 rallies on the way to the title and also finishig third among the IRC drivers in the Sibiu Rally with his Peugeot 207 S2000, the Romanian event being part of the IRC championship[13] Late 2012 Delecour announced he would take part in European Rally Championship with Peugeot 207 S2000 in 2013 and he will be co-driven by Dominique Savignoni. Delecour will also defend his Romanian Rally Championship title.[14]

In December 2013 it was announced that Delecour, after winning the Romanian championship for the second time, would take part in Rally Monte Carlo 2014 with M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC.[15] Unfortunately, he was forced to retire on the first stage because of a broken accelerator.[16]

European Rally Championship 2013[edit]

In the first event of ERC 2013 in Jännerallye, Delecour finished seventh, after suffering a time penalty due a timing error by the crew[17] and a spin and a puncture.[18] In following event in Latvia, Delecour finished third.[19] Delecour - sponsored by Visit Romania and therefore prioritizing his campaign in Eastern Europe over his ERC rallies if the events clash - decided to skip the ERC event Rally Islas Canarias El Corte Inglés in order to contest the Romanian Rally Championship Tess Rally Braşov which he won.[20] Next ERC event for Delecour was Rally of Corsica, in which he finished fifth.[21] In Sibiu Rally Romania Delecour scored his second podium of his ERC season by finishing second, behind Jan Kopecký, while scoring top points for Romanian rally championship.[22] He did not compete in other ERC events that year, but finished 4th in the Championship.[23]

WRC victories[edit]

 #&nbsp Event Season Co-driver Car
1 Portugal 27° Rallye de Portugal 1993 Daniel Grataloup Ford Escort RS Cosworth
2 France 37ème Tour de Corse – Rallye de France 1993 Daniel Grataloup Ford Escort RS Cosworth
3 Spain 29° Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 1993 Daniel Grataloup Ford Escort RS Cosworth
4 Monaco 62ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo 1994 Daniel Grataloup Ford Escort RS Cosworth

Career results[edit]

Complete WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 WDC Points
1984 François Delecour Talbot Samba MON
67
SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN ITA CIV GBR NC 0
1985 François Delecour Peugeot 205 GTi MON
Ret
SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN ITA CIV GBR NC 0
1986 François Delecour Peugeot 205 GTi MON
Ret
SWE POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN CIV ITA GBR USA NC 0
1987 François Delecour Peugeot 205 GTi MON
20
SWE POR KEN FRA GRE USA NZL ARG FIN CIV ITA GBR NC 0
1990 Peugeot France Peugeot 309 GTI MON
9
POR KEN FRA
Ret
GRE NZL ARG FIN AUS ITA CIV GBR NC 0
1991 Q8 Team Ford Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4 MON
3
SWE POR
Ret
KEN FRA
Ret
GRE
Ret
NZL ARG FIN AUS ITA
4
CIV ESP
3
GBR
6
7th 40
1992 Ford Motor Co. Ltd. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4 MON
4
SWE POR
Ret
KEN FRA
2
GRE
5
NZL ARG FIN
Ret
AUS ITA
3
CIV ESP
Ret
GBR 6th 45
1993 Ford Motor Co. Ltd. Ford Escort RS Cosworth MON
2
SWE POR
1
KEN FRA
1
GRE
Ret
ARG NZL
2
FIN AUS
3
ITA
Ret
ESP
1
GBR
4
2nd 112
1994 Ford Motor Co. Ltd. Ford Escort RS Cosworth MON
1
POR
Ret
KEN FRA GRE ARG NZL FIN
4
ITA
Ret
GBR
EX
8th 30
1995 R.A.S. Ford Ford Escort RS Cosworth MON
2
SWE
Ret
POR
Ret
FRA
2
NZL
6
AUS
Ret
ESP
4
GBR
Ret
4th 46
1996 Ford Motor Co. Ltd. Ford Escort RS Cosworth SWE
11
KEN IDN GRE ARG FIN AUS ITA ESP NC 0
1997 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 306 Maxi MON SWE KEN POR ESP
EX
FRA
4
ARG GRE NZL FIN IDN ITA AUS GBR 19th 3
1998 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 306 Maxi MON
10
SWE KEN POR ESP
8
FRA
2
ARG GRE NZL FIN ITA
Ret
AUS GBR 10th 6
1999 François Delecour Ford Escort WRC MON
4
16th 3
Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC SWE KEN POR ESP FRA
Ret
ARG GRE
Ret
NZL FIN
9
CHN ITA
Ret
AUS
Ret
GBR
Ret
2000 Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
SWE
7
KEN POR
5
ESP
7
ARG
13
GRE
9
NZL
Ret
FIN
6
CYP
3
FRA
2
ITA
2
AUS
3
GBR
6
6th 24
2001 Ford Motor Co. Ltd. Ford Focus RS WRC 01 MON
3
SWE
5
POR
5
ESP
6
ARG
7
CYP
Ret
GRE
5
KEN
4
FIN
Ret
NZL
12
ITA
6
FRA
10
AUS
Ret
GBR 9th 15
2002 Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer WRC MON
9
SWE
34
FRA
7
ESP
9
CYP
13
ARG
Ret
GRE
11
KEN
Ret
NC 0
Mitsubishi Lancer WRC2 FIN
Ret
GER
9
ITA
10
NZL
9
AUS
Ret
GBR
Ret
2012 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC MON
6
SWE MEX POR ARG GRE NZL FIN GER GBR FRA ITA ESP 18th 8
2014 François Delecour Ford Fiesta RS WRC MON
Ret
SWE MEX POR ARG ITA POL FIN GER AUS FRA ESP GBR NC* 0*

* Season in progress.

IRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos. Points
2011 Enjolras Sport Peugeot 207 S2000 MON
5
CAN COR UKR YPR AZO ZLI MEC SAN SCO CYP 19th 10
2012 Renault Sport Technologies Renault Mégane RS AZO CAN IRL COR
15
ITA YPR SMR 25th 15
Munaretto Sport Peugeot 207 S2000 ROM
3
ZLI YAL SLI SAN CYP

European Rally Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos. Points
2013 Kronos Racing Peugeot 207 S2000 JÄN
73
LIE
38
CAN AZO COR
56
YPR
DNS
ROM
29
ZLÍ POL CRO SAN VAL 4th 75

References[edit]

  1. ^ Francois Delecour – WRC Driver Profile Rallye-Info.com. Retrieved 11 January 2008
  2. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU0_er0pkK8
  3. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxeqZF36CYc&feature=related
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhXP86mNQ30&feature=related
  5. ^ http://www.rallybase.nl/index.php?type=profile&driverid=22
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe-_U_DteQY
  7. ^ Auto123.com – Francois Delecour returns Retrieved 22 February 2011
  8. ^ autosport.com – Bouffier clinches Monte Carlo victory Retrieved 22 February 2011
  9. ^ MaxRally – Delecour secures Ford seat for Monte Retrieved 7 December 2011
  10. ^ Crash.net – STOP PRESS: Loeb wins Rallye Monte Carlo Retrieved 22 January 2012
  11. ^ IRC - Delecour prepares for IRC return in Corsica Retrieved 16 May 2012
  12. ^ Motorsport Nexten-Auto.com - IRC - Delecour keen on more IRC action Retrieved 16 May 2012
  13. ^ Crash.net - IRC: Mikkelsen returns to winning ways in Romania Retrieved 23 July 2012
  14. ^ Crash.net - WRC » ERC: Delecour, Kronos unite for new-look series Retrieved 20 December 2012
  15. ^ autosport.co.uk - Francois Delecour seals Monte Carlo Rally return with M-Sport Retrieved on 18th of December 2013
  16. ^ MAXRALLY - Delecour: pedal to the metal Retrieved 18th of January 2014
  17. ^ Crash.net - ERC: Kopecky leads after day one in Austria Retrieved 5 January 2013
  18. ^ FIA European Rally Championship - ERC Jännerallye day two report: Kopecký wins by half a second Retrieved 5 January 2013
  19. ^ FIA European Rally Championship - After SS15: Černý wins stage, Ketomaa wins rally Retrieved 3 February 2013
  20. ^ FIA European Rally Championship - Romania victory for ERC hero Delecour Retrieved 28 March 2013
  21. ^ autosport.com - Corsica ERC: Bryan Bouffier clinches victory from Jan Kopecky Retrieved 18 May 2013
  22. ^ ERC European Rally Championship - After SS14: Kopecký fastest on Superspeciala to win Sibiu Rally Retrieved 27 July 2013
  23. ^ ERC European Rally Championship - Standings Retrieved 26th of November 2013
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Didier Auriol
Race of Champions
Champion of Champions

1995
Succeeded by
Didier Auriol