Olivier Grouillard

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Olivier Grouillard
Born (1958-09-02) 2 September 1958 (age 56)
Fenouillet, France
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality France French
Active years 19891992
Teams Ligier, Osella, Fondmetal, AGS, Tyrrell
Races 62 (41 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 1
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last race 1992 Australian Grand Prix

Olivier Grouillard (born 2 September 1958 in Fenouillet) is a racing driver from France. He started racing go-karts from the age of fourteen competing in events such as the Volant Elf. He progressed to Formula Renault winning the title before Grouillard competed in F3000 from 1985 to 1988 taking two wins. He also participated in the Birmingham Superprix but did not start the race.

In 1989, Grouillard joined the Ligier Formula One team before joining the Osella team for 1990 and 1991 when the team was renamed Fondmetal. His last season came in 1992, when Grouillard drove for Tyrrell. He left the sport following the year without receiving offers for a drive in 1993. After leaving Formula One, Grouillard raced in the CART PPG World Series, competing in the Indianapolis 500 for which he did not qualify but showed consistency. Grouillard became well known for driving in Sports Cars between 1994 and 2001 having success. During his time in Sports Cars, he raced in the BPR Global GT Series, the FIA GT Championship, the Daytona 24 Hours, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the American Le Mans Series. He retired from motorsport at the end of 2001.

Career[edit]

Pre-Formula One[edit]

Grouillard started racing karts from the age of 14 and competed in the Volant Elf in 1981 and progressed to Formula Renault in 1982 and took the title. In 1983, Grouillard went into French F3 and drove for the ORECA team racing a Martini Mk39 Alfa Romeo to finish 4th scoring 33 points. Driving a Martini Mk42 brought him the title and scored 108 points. For 1985, Grouillard competed in the inaugural season of F3000 spending the year mostly confined to qualifying in the midfield but delivered good races along with reliability. In 1986, he left ORECA to join Formula Team Ltd driving a Lola T86/50 Cosworth. At Mugello, Grouillard finished 4th despite taking an early lead. At the Osterrichring he took 6th and overall scored 4 points despite limited participation as the team was short on funding. Grouillard returned to ORECA for 1987 in a March 87B Cosworth. His performances dropped despite having impressive qualifying record throughout the season. For 1988, Grouillard moved to the GBDA Motorsport driving a Lola T88/50 Cosworth. He once again showed potential during qualifying and was regularly scoring points along with wins.[1] Grouillard was slightly injured in a crash during the 1988 Birmingham Superprix sustaining bruised ankles although observers initially thought that Grouillard had broken both his legs. Grouillard was able to start the race but had to run to the pit lane for the spare car after his car suffered a failure with the engine. Grouillard however, did not start the race.[2]

Olivier also raced a series of works and semi-works BMW M3's for BMW in the 1987 World Touring Car Championship and the 1988 European Touring Car Championships

Formula One[edit]

1989[edit]

Grouillard joined Ligier to fill in the seat left by Stefan Johansson and was the team-mate to René Arnoux for 1989. Grouillard qualified 22nd in Brazil and finished 9th. At Imola, he overcame spinning his car to start in 10th but was disqualified when mechanics worked on his car during a red flag stint caused by the accident of Gerhard Berger at Tamburello. He started outside the top 20 at Monaco and Mexico finishing 8th in the latter and was unable to qualify in Phoneix and Montreal. He started from 17th at the French GP and drove to 6th despite have issues with the tyres and gearbox, scoring his only World Championship point. For the last six races, Grouillard failed to start higher than 20th but did not start in Portugal. In qualifying for Belgium, Grouillard impeded Nelson Piquet by staying on the racing line whilst the Brazilian was on his last flying lap, Piquet on the dirty line subsequently spun off and shook his fist at Grouillard as he passed by. This cost Piquet his chances of qualifying the race and it was to be the first of such incidents involving Grouillard's misuse of his mirrors. At Adelaide, he spun which followed up a heavy crash in the rain.[3]

1990[edit]

Grouillard joined the Osella team taking the seat of Nicola Larini who in return took Grouillard's seat at Ligier. He was not partnered for 1990 as Osella scaled back their operations meaning Grouillard had to pre-qualify for the races. He managed to qualify in 8th in Phoneix ahead of Nigel Mansell and Alessandro Nannini which amazed many people in Formula One. During the race, Grouillard was hit by Riccardo Patrese's Williams at the second corner and was eventually retired after a second collision with the Swiss driver Gregor Foitek. At Brazil, he retired after another collision involving Michele Alboreto. By Imola, the car was upgraded but did not help the team as Grouillard retired (not before blocking Mansell in qualifying and ruining the Ferrari's qualifying run, earning the Frenchman a fist wave from Mansell, and not for the last time). He also failed to qualify at Monaco. Two consecutive finishes outside the top 10 at Canada, Mexico followed up with a poor run in Pre-Qualifying for Magny-Cours ending up not qualifying for the race and at Silverstone where he also failed to qualify along with another DNP1 at Hungary. Grouillard finished 16th at Spa with retirements at Monza and Jerez with wheel bearing problems that plagued the Frenchman throughout the year. At Adleaide, Grouillard finished 13th and held up Nigel Mansell which led to the British driver shaking his fist at the Frenchman in front of the on-board camera.[3]

1991[edit]

Grouillard remained with Osella which had been brought out and renamed by Fondmetal. The team had to use with the car used for the two previous years which led to Grouillard not able to get past Pre-Qualifying at Phoneix or Interlagos. A new car was built but did not change Grouillard's season as he had a further three more did-not pre qualifys. A change of fortune did come at Mexico where he qualified 10th but was forced to start from the pit lane after suffering from mechanical problems in the car and eventually succumbed to engine failure after 14 laps. He retired in France with an oil leak with a further DNPQ's at Silverstone and Hockenheim. Grouillard managed to get into the main qualifying event but could no start. At Spa, he finished a lap down in 10th and managed to finish 26th at Monza despite a blown engine. Grouillard failed to qualify in Portugal and had to take a spare gearbox with the old one failing to work. Grouillard refused to let the car use a new gearbox and was sacked a few days later by team boss Gabriele Rumi. Grouillard managed to join AGS in the seas vacated by replacement at Fondmetal, Gabriele Tarquini. For the race at Spain, Grouillard was the slowest in Pre-Qualifying behind new team-mate Fabrizio Barbazza with AGS folding before the pair could get to Japan and Australia.[3]

1992[edit]

Grouillard was taken on by Ken Tyrrell to drive the Ilmor powered 020B chassis and was partnered by Andrea de Cesaris. Grouillard was learning from de Cesaris' experience and often qualified in the midfield. His car had the share of mechanical problems but managed to finish in San Marino, Canada, France and Britain but a collision with a wall in Spain along with a collision Karl Wendlinger's March in Hungary, a spin on the opening lap at Spa, a collision with Pierluigi Martini's Dallara in Adelaide had brought himself unrepentant about his manners whilst racing. Grouillard eventually was not wanted by other teams and left Formula One at the end of the season.[3] Grouillard and other lead French drivers lobbied for leading Motor Sport events such as the French motorcycle Grand Prix to be saved with the newly enforced anti-tobacco laws in France which was brought in by Claude Evin.[4]

CART[edit]

Grouillard arranged to drive with the Indy Regency Team in a Lola T92/00 for 1993 in the CART PPG World Series following Nigel Mansell in the series. His first race was the Indianapolis 500, where he did not qualify. After the 500, Grouillard showed consistency and had a reliable car finishing in eight out of 11 events with only one mechanical retirement at Michigan and a collision with Arie Luyendyk at Vancouver. Overall, Grouillard finished 28th overall taking four points.[5]

Sports Car racing[edit]

1994-2001[edit]

Unable to make a success in CART, he returned to Europe in 1994 and raced sports cars in the BPR Global GT series. He had previous experience in 1990 where he and co-drivers Martin Donnelly and Kenny Acheson qualified 5th at Le Mans but gearbox problems prevented the trio from starting. He came 16th in a Venturi 400 Trophy with Herve Pulain coming in 4th in GT5 class before driving five races in an Agusta Racing Team Venturi 600LM with Christophe Bouchut taking 2nd at Montlehry and 5th at Vallelunga and also raced at Le Mans in a Jacadi Racing Venturi 600Lm with Michel Ferté and Michel Neugarten with engine problems ending their race.[5]

The Jacadi connection remained in 1995 with Grouillard joined by Fabien Giroix in a Giroix Racing Team Jacadi McLaren F1 GTR for 3 rounds in the BPR series with a 5th at Jarama and 2nd at the Nurburgring. The pair were joined by Jean-Denis Deletraz at Le Mans, where they finished 5th. Grouillard departed for Mach One Racing joining Andy Wallace winning all three rounds the new pairing entered. Grouillard scored 91 points and finished 14th overall.[5] In the first qualifying race at Nogaro, Grouillard's car suffered a faulty shock absorber.[6]

He remained with Mach One, and Harrods came on board as sponsor. Retirements plagued the team for the first four rounds were remedied by victory at Silverstone and a 6th at Le Mans where they were joined by Derek Bell. Further finishes came at Anderstorp, Suzuka and Brands Hatch where he came 4th, 3rd and 2nd respectively. Grouillard failed to qualify at Spa in a Friesinger Motorsport Porsche 911 GT2 Evo shared with Wolfgang Kaufmann and at Nogaro driving a BBA Competition Mclaren F1 GTP with Jean-Luc Maury-Lariberre, he failed to finish. Grouillard finished 8th with 106 points. Throughout the season, he also competed in other events such as the Daytona 24 Hours with Derek Hill and Gildo Pastor Pallanca with a transmission problem forcing the trio out.[5]

Grouillard entered the FIA GT Championship in 1997 in a Dave Price Racing Panoz GTP Ford, teamed up with David Brabham and Perry McCarthy and also competed in Japanese GT finishing 2nd at Suzuka in a Toyota Supra with Masami Kageyama. For that year's Le Mans race, Grouillard drove in a Courage Compétition C36 Porsche with Mario Andretti and his son Michael, but retired after fifteen and a half hours.[5]

He returned to the race in 1998, driving a La Filiere Courage C36 Porsche with Henri Pescarolo and Franck Montagny managing to finish 16th. Grouillard's other entry was the International Sports Racing Series at Misano, but did not compete as his entrant failed to attend the race.[5]

For 2000, Grouillard raced in the American Le Mans Series driving a Courage C52 Peugeot with Sebastien Bourdais coming 6th at Silverstone and entered the Nurburgring round but did not take part in practice. At Le Mans, he finished 4th.[5]

In 2001, Grouillard looked to join Pescarolo Sport at Le Mans but was replaced by Boris Derichebourg ending Grouillard's motorsport career.[5]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

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

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1985 Oreca Motorsport SIL
THR
8
EST
6
VAL
4
PAU
4
SPA
Ret
DIJ
7
PER
8
ZEL
8
ZAN
DON
12th 7
1986 Hotz-Formula Team Ltd. SIL
VAL
PAU
SPA
IMO
MUG
4
PER
ZEL
6
BIR
Ret
BUG
JAR
8
16th 4
1987 Oreca Motorsport SIL
7
VAL
Ret
SPA
DNQ
PAU
4
DON
12
PER
Ret
BRH
15
BIR
6
IMO
Ret
BUG
Ret
JAR
Ret
17th 4
1988 GBDA Motorsport JER
5
VAL
3
PAU
Ret
SIL
Ret
MNZ
Ret
PER
2
BRH
Ret
BIR
DNS
BUG
1
ZOL
1
DIJ
3
2nd 34

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1989 Ligier Loto Ligier JS33 Cosworth V8 BRA
9
SMR
DSQ
MON
Ret
MEX
8
USA
DNQ
CAN
DNQ
FRA
6
GBR
7
GER
Ret
HUN
DNQ
BEL
13
ITA
Ret
POR
DNQ
ESP
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
26th 1
1990 Osella Squadra Corse Osella FA1M Cosworth V8 USA
Ret
BRA
Ret
NC 0
Osella FA1ME SMR
Ret
MON
DNQ
CAN
13
MEX
19
FRA
DNPQ
GBR
DNQ
GER
DNQ
HUN
DNPQ
BEL
16
ITA
Ret
POR
DNQ
ESP
Ret
JPN
DNQ
AUS
13
1991 Fondmetal F1 SpA Fomet FA1M-E90 Cosworth V8 USA
DNPQ
BRA
DNPQ
NC 0
Fomet F1 SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
MEX
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
DNPQ
GER
DNPQ
HUN
DNQ
BEL
10
ITA
Ret
POR
DNPQ
Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives AGS JH27 ESP
DNPQ
JPN
AUS
1992 Tyrrell Racing Organisation Tyrrell 020B Ilmor V10 RSA
Ret
MEX
Ret
BRA
Ret
ESP
Ret
SMR
8
MON
Ret
CAN
12
FRA
11
GBR
11
GER
Ret
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
JPN
Ret
AUS
Ret
NC 0

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1990 Japan Nissan Motorsports International United Kingdom Kenny Acheson
United Kingdom Martin Donnelly
Nissan R90CK C1 0 DNF DNF
1994 France Jacadi Racing France Michel Ferté
Belgium Michel Neugarten
Venturi 600LM GT1 107 DNF DNF
1995 France Giroix Racing Team France Fabien Giroix
Switzerland Jean-Denis Délétraz
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 290 5th 4th
1996 United Kingdom Harrods Mach One Racing
United Kingdom David Price Racing
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
United Kingdom Derek Bell
McLaren F1 GTR GT1 328 6th 5th
1997 France Courage Compétition United States Mario Andretti
United States Michael Andretti
Courage C36-Porsche LMP 197 DNF DNF
1998 France Courage Compétition France Henri Pescarolo
France Franck Montagny
Courage C36-Porsche LMP1 304 15th 4th
2000 France Pescarolo Sport France Sébastien Bourdais
France Emmanuel Clérico
Courage C52-Peugeot LMP900 344 4th 4th

CART results[edit]

(key)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
1993 Indy Regency Australia
SRF
United States
PHX
United States
LBH
United States
IND
DNQ
United States
MIL
12
United States
DET
Ret
United States
POR
13
United States
CLE
11
Canada
TOR
DNS
United States
MIC
Ret
United States
NHA
12
United States
ROA
16
Canada
VAN
Ret
United States
MDO
16
United States
NAZ
18
United States
LS
20
28th 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Olivier Groulliard - Before Formula One". F1 Rejects. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Collins, Sam (November 2009). Superprix: The Story of Birmingham's Motor Race. Veloce Publishing. pp. 56–57. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Olivier Grouillard - Formula One". F1 Rejects. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Minister put under pressure". New Straits Times. 16 December 1992. p. 45. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Olivier Grouillard - After Formula One". F1 Rejects. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Le Soulan, Bernard (2000). Nogaro: Les Grands Prix G.T. p. 16. ISBN 9-782913-493209. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Michel Ferté
French Formula Three
Champion

1984
Succeeded by
Pierre-Henri Raphanel