Laurent Aïello

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Laurent Aïello
Nationality France
Born (1969-05-23) May 23, 1969 (age 45)
Fontenay-aux-Roses (France)
Retired 2005
DTM
Years active 2000-2005
Previous series
1999
1998-2001
1996-1998
1996
1993
1993-1995
1991-1992
1989-1992
1988
1983-1985
BTCC
24 Hours of Le Mans
STW
Porsche Carrera Cup France
Italian Super Touring Championship
CFS
International Formula 3000
French Formula 3
Volant Avia
French Karting Championship
Championship titles
2002
1999
1998
1997
1994
1992
1983-1985
DTM
BTCC
24 Hours of Le Mans
STW
CFS
French Formula 3
French Karting Championship
BTCC record
Teams Nissan
Drivers
championships
1
Wins 10
Podium finishes 15
Poles 10
Fastest laps 5
Debut season 1999
First win 1999
Best championship position 1st
Final season (1999) position 1st (244 points)
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1998 – 2001
Teams Porsche AG
Audi Sport Team Joest
Audi Sport North America
Best finish 1st (1998)
Class wins 1 (1998)

Laurent Aïello (born 23 May 1969 in Fontenay-aux-Roses) is a French former race car driver, most notable for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in 1999, and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series in 2002.

His racing career lasted from 1988 until 2005, and, in addition to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the BTCC and DTM, saw him enter the International Formula 3000, the French Supertouring Championship (CFS), the Italian Super Touring Championship (ISTC), and the Super Tourenwagen Cup (STW), in addition to several other series. He took the CFS title in 1994, and the STW title in 1997.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Aïello won the French Karting Championship for three years in a row, in 1983, 1984, and 1985.[1] He made his car racing debut in 1988 in the Volant Avia,[2] and his professional racing debut in 1989, entering 11 rounds of the French Formula 3, driving for Daniel Gache Racing, with his best result being a solitary podium.[3] In 1990 Aïello won the Monaco Grand Prix Formula Three support race,[4] in addition to finishing fourth in the Macau GP for Bowman Racing, and fifth in the French F3 for Graff Racing, with four wins from 11 races.[3] He moved to the International Formula 3000 for 1991 and 1992 (for DAMS and Pacific Racing respectively,) but he was not successful, finishing 15th overall in both seasons.[5] He did, however, take the 1992 French Formula 3 title.[6]

1993-1996[edit]

In 1993, Aïello switched to touring car racing in the French Supertouring Championship (CFS), finishing runner up, whilst driving for the non-works team Oreca.[2] In 1993, he also entered the Italian Super Touring Championship, finishing 17th overall, with 11 points. His first title was the 1994 French Supertouring Championship, where he won five races driving for the works Peugeot team in their 405 MI-16 model.[3] Due to Peugeot's links with Jordan Grand Prix, he tested a Jordan 194 Formula 1 car in an Estoril test session, and set the tenth fastest time.[7] After a less-successful 1995 season, where he finished third overall, and won just one race, he made the switch to the Super Tourenwagen Cup (STW) in Germany for 1996, still driving for Peugeot, but in their new 406 model, following their withdrawal from the CFS.[2] He finished third overall in this first season, with 3 wins.[8] He also entered a round of the Porsche Carrera Cup France, winning the race.[2]

1997-1999[edit]

Aïello took the STW title for the first time in 1997, with 11 wins, finishing 52 points ahead of BMW's Joachim Winkelhock.[9] 1998 would be his third and final season in the STW, with 6 wins only being enough for a second place, with the Venezuelan driver Johnny Cecotto beating him by just 3 points.[10] During the 1998 season, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in a Porsche 911 GT1, his first attempt at the endurance race.[11]

For 1999, Aïello switched to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), driving for the works Nissan team in their Primera model, replacing the outgoing Anthony Reid, whom had moved to Ford.[12] He had initially been offered the drive at Renault, but rejected the offer as WilliamsF1, whom ran the team, refused to allow him to enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[13] The season would prove to be highly successful, as he took the title in his one and only season in the series,[14] with 10 wins helping him finish 16 points ahead of team-mate David Leslie, and Nissan taking a comfortable Manufacturer's and Team's championship victory.[15][16] His performances in the BTCC saw him win the National Racing Driver of the Year award in the Autosport Awards.[17] He also entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999, this time for Audi in their Audi R8R, and he finished third in class.[18]

2000-2002[edit]

Aïello at Sachsenring, 2002 DTM

Following Nissan's withdrawal from the BTCC at the end of the 1999 season, a potential drive for Honda fell through (that spot being taken by Tom Kristensen),[19] he made the switch to the new Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series, driving for the Abt Sportsline team in their Audi TT-R, a move that surprised some.[20] The first season was unsuccessful, with no victories, as the Audi TT proved to be uncompetitive against the faster Mercedes-Benz CLK and Opel Astra rivals, its best finish being Aïello's fifth place at the second Oschersleben sprint race.[21] He entered his third 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Audi, and finished second.[22]

Following heavy development on the car, 2001 would prove to be more successful: Aïello was the first member of the Abt team to win in the series, at the Nürburgring sprint race.[23] He would take 3 more victories that season, all 3 at the Nürburgring.[24] He once more returned to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi, and finished second once more.[25]

2002 would be an even more successful year — Aïello defeated reigning champion Bernd Schneider to take the title by six points,[26] winning 12 races in the process.[27] Although initially signed to drive once more for Audi in the 2002 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans,[28] he would not appear, with Christian Pescatori being entered instead.[29]

2003-2005[edit]

Abt Sportsline, and Aïello, would be much less successful in 2003, winning just one race,[30] and after switching to Opel[31] for the 2004 and 2005 seasons,[32] without any further victories (the firm's new Vectra GTS proved to be unsuccessful), Aïello announced his retirement from racing at the end of the season, aged 36,[33] finishing ninth in his final race at Hockenheim.[34] During his final season, he tested a "breathable overall" at the Nürburgring round.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Aïello is married to Geraldine, and has two children: a daughter named Marie, and a son named Tom. He has a passion for jetskis,[36] and enjoys DJing.[37]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
1991 DAMS Lola T91/50 Mugen VAL
Ret
PAU
DNS
JER
7
MUG
Ret
PER
Ret
HOC
7
BRH
9
SPA
3
BUG
Ret
NOG
Ret
15th 4
1992 Pacific Racing Reynard 92D Mugen SIL
Ret
PAU
Ret
CAT
15
PER
11
HOC
10
NÜR
5
SPA
6
ALB
15
NOG
7
MAG
Ret
15th 3

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1998 Germany Porsche AG United Kingdom Allan McNish
Monaco Stephane Ortelli
Porsche 911 GT1-98 GT1 351 1st 1st
1999 Germany Audi Sport Team Joest Italy Michele Alboreto
Italy Rinaldo Capello
Audi R8R LMP 346 4th 3rd
2000 Germany Audi Sport Team Joest United Kingdom Allan McNish
Monaco Stephane Ortelli
Audi R8 LMP900 367 2nd 2nd
2001 Germany Audi Sport North America Italy Rinaldo Capello
Italy Christian Pescatori
Audi R8 LMP900 320 2nd 2nd

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded all races) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap) (* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap – 1 point awarded)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Pos Pts
1999 Vodafone Nissan Racing Nissan Primera GT DON
1

11
DON
2

Ret
SIL
1

1
SIL
2

6
THR
1

1
THR
2

1*
BRH
1

3
BRH
2

1*
OUL
1

1
OUL
2

1*
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

2*
CRO
1

5
CRO
2

3
SNE
1

Ret
SNE
2

7
THR
1

1
THR
2

5*
KNO
1

1
KNO
2

DSQ
BRH
1

2
BRH
2

1*
OUL
1

1
OUL
2

2
SIL
1

9
SIL
2

Ret
1st 244

Complete Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DC Points
2000 Abt Sportsline Abt-Audi TT-R HOC
1

15
HOC
2

DNS
OSC
1
OSC
2
NOR
1

Ret
NOR
2

DNS
SAC
1

12
SAC
2

14
NÜR
1

11
NÜR
2

14
OSC
1

5
OSC
2

11
NÜR
1

9
NÜR
2

7
HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

DNS
16th 14
2001 Abt Sportsline Abt-Audi TT-R HOC
QR

8
HOC
CR

7
NÜR
QR

1
NÜR
CR

1
OSC
QR

2
OSC
CR

5
SAC
QR
SAC
CR
NOR
QR

10
NOR
CR

12
LAU
QR

6
LAU
CR

12
NÜR
QR

1
NÜR
CR

1
A1R
QR

4
A1R
CR

2
ZAN
QR

5
ZAN
CR

Ret
HOC
QR

Ret
HOC
CR

DNS
5th 75
2002 Abt Sportsline Abt-Audi TT-R HOC
QR

2
HOC
CR

1
ZOL
QR

1
ZOL
CR

1
DON
QR

18
DON
CR

DSQ
SAC
QR

1
SAC
CR

1
NOR
QR

4
NOR
CR

1
LAU
QR

1
LAU
CR

4
NÜR
QR

2
NÜR
CR

2
A1R
QR

3
A1R
CR

5
ZAN
QR

DSQ
ZAN
CR

6
HOC
QR

1
HOC
CR

6
1st 70
2003 Abt Sportsline Abt-Audi TT-R HOC
3
ADR
3
NÜR
3
LAU
8
NOR
6
DON
Ret
NÜR
1
A1R
4
ZAN
9
HOC
5
6th 41
2004 OPC Team Phoenix Opel Vectra GTS V8 2004 HOC
9
EST
8
ADR
6
LAU
4
NOR
Ret
SHA1 NÜR
9
OSC
6
ZAN
Ret
BRN
15
HOC
Ret
10th 12
2005 OPC Team Phoenix Opel Vectra GTS V8 2005 HOC
Ret
LAU
10
SPA
7
BRN
16
OSC
7
NOR
12†
NÜR
9
ZAN
14
LAU
4
IST
6
HOC
9
11th 12

1 – A non-championship one-off race was held in 2004, in Shanghai, China.

  • † — Retired, but was classified as he completed 90% of the winner's race distance.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lauren Aiello". Driver Database. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Laurent Aiello — Biographie". Laurent Aiello Site Non Officiel. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Lauren Aiello career statistics". Driver Database. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "Formula 3 Euro Series part of the Monaco GP weekend". Formula 3 Euro Series. 17 May 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Laurent Aiello — Driver Profile". BTCCPages.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Past Champions: Laurent Aiello". TouringCarTimes. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Jordan at Estoril tests". Motorsport.com. 8 May 1994. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "German Super Touring Car Championship 1996:: Schedule and Standings 1996". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "German Super Touring Car Championship 1997:: Schedule and Standings 1997". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "German Super Touring Car Championship 1998:: Schedule and Standings". motorsport-archive.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  11. ^ "1998 24 Hours of Le Mans Results and Competitors". ExperienceLeMans.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  12. ^ Hunston, Hugh (29 August 1998). "Reid leaves Nissan to join Ford clan". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  13. ^ Jones, Mark Alan (17 March 1999). "The F1 FAQ". Atlas Formula One Journal. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Aiello is raining touring car champ". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 20 September 1999. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "Results >> BTCC 1999 >> Championship Standings". TouringCars.net. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors: Nissan". Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Autosport Awards: Hall of Fame — F1 news". Autosport. 6 December 1999. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "BMW wins at Le Mans — Le Mans news". Autosport. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "Kristensen beats Aiello to Honda BTCC drive — BTCC news". Autosport. 9 December 1999. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Aiello in shock Abt Audi move — Other news". Autosport. 6 February 2000. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "24.09.2000 ADAC-Preis von Niedersachsen". DTM.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  22. ^ "Audi clean-sweeps Le Mans 24 Hours — Le Mans news". Autosport. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  23. ^ "Sprint race: Aiello gives Audi first win — DTM news". Autosport. 6 May 2001. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "Results: DTM (German Touringcar Masters) - Season 2001". Speedsport Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  25. ^ "Audi repeats with a dominant one-two — Le Mans news". Autosport. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Point standings: DTM (German Touringcar Masters) - Season 2002". Speedsport Magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  27. ^ "Results: DTM (German Touringcar Masters) - Season 2002". Speedsport Magazine. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Audi to chase Le Mans hat-trick — Le Mans news". Autosport. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "2002 24 Hours of Le Mans Results and Competitors". ExperienceLeMans.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  30. ^ "Results: DTM (German Touringcar Masters) - Season 2003". Speedsports Magazine. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  31. ^ "Aiello switches to Opel — DTM news". Autosport. 19 December 2003. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  32. ^ "Aiello stays with Opel — DTM News — Nov 2004". Crash.Net. 26 November 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  33. ^ "DTM: Laurent Aiello retires". TouringCarTimes. 17 September 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Hockenheim II:Race report — News". Motorsport.com. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  35. ^ "Laurent Aiello tests breathable racing overall". Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. 6 August 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  36. ^ "Home visit at DTM champion Laurent Aiello — Like God in France". autobild.de. 18 October 2002. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  37. ^ "BTCC: Aiello to retire at end of season — News". Motorsport.com. 18 September 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 

External links[edit]


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rickard Rydell
Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

1999
Succeeded by
Antônio Pizzonia
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antonio Tamburini
Monaco Formula Three
Race Winner

1990
Succeeded by
Jörg Müller
Preceded by
Frank Biela
French Touring Car Champion
1994
Succeeded by
Yvan Muller
Preceded by
Michele Alboreto
Stefan Johansson
Tom Kristensen
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1998 with:
Allan McNish
Stéphane Ortelli
Succeeded by
Pierluigi Martini
Yannick Dalmas
Joachim Winkelhock
Preceded by
Rickard Rydell
British Touring Car Champion
1999
Succeeded by
Alain Menu
Preceded by
Bernd Schneider
DTM Champion
2002
Succeeded by
Bernd Schneider