Gilles Panizzi

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Gilles Panizzi
Panizzi2005.jpg
Panizzi in 2005
Personal information
Nationality France French
Born (1965-09-19) September 19, 1965 (age 48)
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alpes-Maritimes
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1990–2006
Teams Peugeot, Mitsubishi
Rallies 71
Championships 0
Rally wins 7
Podiums 14
Stage wins 91
Total points 134
First rally 1990 Monte Carlo Rally
First win 2000 Tour de Corse
Last win 2003 Rally Catalunya
Last rally 2006 Rally Catalunya

Gilles Panizzi (born September 19, 1965) is a French rally driver on the World Rally Championship circuit.

Gilles was born in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, Alpes-Maritimes. Like many of his fellow rally racing countrymen, Gilles spent a great deal of his developmental driving years participating in asphalt rally events throughout his native land.

Panizzi driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution at the 2005 Cyprus Rally.

In 1996 and 1997, Gilles won the French Championship title in a Peugeot-backed (funded) 306 kit car. It was at that point that he was nominated to drive for Peugeot as their resident asphalt (tarmac/sealed-surface) expert.

Between 1999 and 2003 Panizzi had great success in his role as Peugeots tarmac expert. He won a total of seven World Rally Championship rounds in this period - all on tarmac. However, Panizzi's inability to match his rivals pace on gravel precluded him from challenging for the world title while at Peugeot.

He is the only WRC driver to do a (famous) 360 spin at the 2002 Rally Catalunya. He was leading by around 45 seconds and decided to give the fans a little treat.

In 2004, Mitsubishi Motorsports recruited Gilles and his co-driver and brother, Hervé, to lead the company's charge back in the World Rally Championship.

In the 2005 season, Gilles was replaced in the lead car by Harri Rovanperä, and guested in the second car with Gianluigi Galli. He finished 3rd at the Monaco rally, the first event of the season, but only scored points in one other event.

In 2006, he was signed by the semi-privateer Red Bull Skoda team. Despite a strong performance in the opening rally of the season in Monte Carlo, he expressed his dissatisfaction at the performance of his car, and after a disappointing showing in Spain, he announced his departure from the team, and was replaced by his former Peugeot teammate Harri Rovanperä.

WRC victories[edit]

Gilles Panizzi at the 2005 Cyprus Rally
  #   Event Season Co-driver Car
1 France 44ème V-Rally Tour de Corse - Rallye de France 2000 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
2 Italy 42º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2000 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
3 Italy 43º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2001 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
4 France 46ème Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
5 Spain 38º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
6 Italy 44º Rallye Sanremo - Rallye d'Italia 2002 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC
7 Spain 39º Rallye Catalunya-Costa Brava (Rallye de España) 2003 Hervé Panizzi Peugeot 206 WRC

Complete WRC results[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1990 Gilles Panizzi Lancia Delta Integrale MON
16
POR KEN FRA GRE NZL ARG FIN AUS ITA CIV GBR NC 0
1993 Gilles Panizzi Peugeot 106 XSi MON SWE POR KEN FRA
Ret
GRE ARG NZL FIN AUS ITA ESP GBR NC 0
1995 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 306 S16 MON SWE POR FRA
12
NZL AUS ESP GBR NC 0
1997 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 306 Maxi MON SWE KEN POR ESP
3
FRA
3
ARG GRE NZL FIN IDN ITA AUS GBR 10th 8
1998 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 306 Maxi MON
9
SWE KEN POR ESP
6
FRA
4
ARG GRE NZL ITA
5
AUS 12th 6
Gilles Panizzi Peugeot 106 Rallye FIN
35
Subaru Impreza WRX GBR
Ret
1999 Gilles Panizzi Subaru Impreza WRC 98 MON
Ret
SWE KEN POR ESP 10th 6
Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC FRA
Ret
ARG GRE NZL FIN
33
CHN ITA
2
AUS GBR
7
2000 Peugeot Esso Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
SWE KEN
Ret
POR ESP
6
ARG GRE NZL FIN CYP FRA
1
ITA
1
AUS
Ret
GBR
8
7th 21
2001 Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
2
SWE ESP
5
ARG ITA
1
FRA
2
AUS
9
8th 22
H.F. Grifone SRL POR
12
CYP
Ret
GRE
Ret
KEN FIN
14
NZL GBR
Ret
2002 Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
7
FRA
1
ESP
1
CYP
10
ARG
Ret
KEN
6
FIN GER ITA
1
NZL
7
AUS 6th 31
Bozian Racing SWE
16
GRE
Ret
GBR
11
2003 Marlboro Peugeot Total Peugeot 206 WRC MON
Ret
SWE GER
10
FIN AUS ITA
2
FRA
6
ESP
1
10th 27
Bozian Racing TUR
5
NZL ARG GRE
7
CYP
Ret
GBR
Ret
2004 Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 04 MON
6
SWE
Ret
MEX
8
NZL
Ret
CYP
Ret
GRE
10
TUR
Ret
ARG
7
FIN
11
GER
Ret
JPN GBR ITA FRA ESP
12
AUS 13th 6
2005 Mitsubishi Motors Mitsubishi Lancer WRC 05 MON
3
SWE MEX
8
NZL ITA CYP
11
TUR GRE ARG FIN GER GBR JPN
11
FRA
Ret
ESP AUS 15th 7
2006 Red Bull Škoda Škoda Fabia WRC MON
10
SWE MEX ESP
10
FRA ARG ITA GRE GER FIN JPN CYP TUR AUS NZL GBR NC 0

Sources[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
JJ Lehto
Tommi Mäkinen
Kari Tiainen
Race of Champions
Nations' Cup

2000 with:
Régis Laconi
Yvan Muller
Succeeded by
Fernando Alonso
Jesús Puras
Rubén Xaus
Preceded by
Colin Edwards
Jeff Gordon
Jimmie Johnson
Race of Champions
Nations' Cup

2003 with:
Cristiano da Matta
Fonsi Nieto
Succeeded by
Jean Alesi
Sébastien Loeb