Paul Frère

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Paul Frère
Born (1917-01-30)30 January 1917
Le Havre, France
Died 23 February 2008(2008-02-23) (aged 91)
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Belgium Belgian
Active years 19521956
Teams HWM, Gordini, Ferrari
Races 11
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 1
Career points 11
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1952 Belgian Grand Prix
Last race 1956 Belgian Grand Prix
Porsche 904

Paul Frère (30 January 1917 – 23 February 2008) was a racing driver and journalist from Belgium, born in Le Havre (France). He participated in eleven World Championship Formula One Grands Prix debuting on 22 June 1952 and achieving one podium finish with a total of eleven championship points. He drove in several non-Championship Formula One races.

He also won the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Ferrari with fellow Belgian teammate Olivier Gendebien.

After retiring from active racing in 1960, he worked as an automotive journalist based in Europe (he was the European Editor for Road & Track magazine). He had numerous acquaintances amongst vehicle design engineers, especially in Japan at Honda and Mazda and also worked as a consultant to automobile manufacturers. He also had the opportunity to test numerous road and racing cars as a journalist, one of the highlights being the Audi R8 which he tested and demonstrated during a break in the proceedings of the Test Day of the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the time he was 86 years old, making him the oldest racing driver to drive a then-current sportscar.[1]

Frère, along with Piero Taruffi and Denis Jenkinson, was one of the first writers to treat motor racing as a skill that could be analyzed, explained, and taught. His 1963 book, Sports Car and Competition Driving is still a standard reference in the field. It influenced the development of competition driving schools, such as those founded by Jim Russell, Bob Bondurant, and many others.

Frère was an expert on Porsche cars, in particular the Porsche 911, writing the definitive book on this series, The Porsche 911 Story. He maintained a close relationship with Porsche over the years. He was also considered an advisor and expert on the 911 by Alois Ruf, a respected Porsche tuner and manufacturer as head of Ruf Automobile, who consulted Frère during the development of Ruf's RGT8 Model.[2]

Only weeks before his 90th birthday in January 2007, he was badly injured in an accident near the Nürburgring, and was hospitalized for 14 days in intensive care.[3]

Paul Frère died on 23 February 2008 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France). Turn 15 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, formerly the first part of the Stavelot corner, has been renamed in his honour.[4]

Rowing champion[edit]

Paul Frère was also a successful rower winning three Belgian championships. In 1946 and 1947 he won the national title in a coxless four. In 1946, he also won it with the coxed four.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1952 HW Motors Ltd HWM 52 Alta 2.0 L4 SUI
500
BEL
5
FRA
GBR
GER
Ret
16th 2
Ecurie Belge Simca-Gordini T15 Gordini 1.5 L4 NED
Ret
ITA
1953 HW Motors Ltd HWM 53 Alta 2.0 L4 ARG
500
NED
BEL
10
FRA
GBR
GER
SUI
Ret
ITA
NC 0
1954 Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 2.0 L6 ARG
500
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
GER
Ret
SUI
ITA
ESP
NC 0
1955 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 555 Ferrari 106 2.5 L4 ARG
MON
8
500
BEL
4
NED
GBR
ITA
15th 3
1956 Scuderia Ferrari Lancia Ferrari D50 Lancia Ferrari DS50 2.5 V8 ARG
MON
500
BEL
2
FRA
GBR
GER
ITA
7th 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul Frère in the Audi R8". motorsport.com. 2003-05-04. Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
  2. ^ Interview with Alois Ruf. 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  3. ^ "Paul Frere dies". forumula1.net. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2008-02-25. 
  4. ^ "In memory of Paul Frere". grandprix.com. 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Carroll Shelby
Roy Salvadori
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1960 with:
Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by
Olivier Gendebien
Phil Hill