Thierry Boutsen

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Thierry Boutsen
Thierry Boutsen helmet.jpg
Boutsen's helmet on display at the Williams team's museum
Born (1957-07-13) 13 July 1957 (age 56)
Brussels, Belgium
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Belgium Belgian
Active years 19831993
Teams Arrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier and Jordan
Races 164 (163 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 3
Podiums 15
Career points 132
Pole positions 1
Fastest laps 1
First race 1983 Belgian Grand Prix
First win 1989 Canadian Grand Prix
Last win 1990 Hungarian Grand Prix
Last race 1993 Belgian Grand Prix

Thierry Marc Boutsen (born 13 July 1957 in Brussels, Belgium) is a former racing driver who raced for the Arrows, Benetton, Williams, Ligier and Jordan teams in Formula One.

Career[edit]

Junior Formulae & Sportscars[edit]

After winning the "Volant V" in 1977 at the André Pilette Racing School, Zolder, Boutsen entered the Belgian Formula Ford 1600 championship and won it in 1978 with 15 victories in 18 races.[1] He also entered the 1978 Spa 24 Hours race, the very last auto race on the old 14 km (8.7 mi) Spa-Francorchamps circuit- driving a Toyota Trueno.[2] For 1979 he moved to Formula 3, winning three races in 1980 and second place in the European title race, behind Michele Alboreto.[1] In 1981 he moved to Formula 2 and was again second in the European championship, including winning at the 14-mile Nürburgring- this time behind Geoff Lees.[1]

He also entered the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race started at 3pm – one hour earlier than usual due to the Parliamentary elections held on the same weekend. At 4:06pm Boutsen suffered a massive accident just after the Hunaudières kink, some 400 metres (0.25 mi) before the Mulsanne bosse (the "hump") when his WM P81-Peugeot was travelling at some 350 km/h (217 mph). A suspension piece had failed and the car hit the guard-rail losing the entire rear end. Boutsen was untouched, but the debris field of hurled parts and bodywork was spread over 150 metres (490 ft). Three marshals were struck by the debris. One of them, Thierry Mabillat, was killed - struck in the chest by a detached piece of the guard rail. Two of his colleagues, Claude Hertault and Serge David (who lost an arm), were seriously injured.

In 1983 Boutsen drove in the European Touring Car Championship and in World Sportscar races,[1] where he won the very first Group C race, the Monza 1000 km with Bob Wollek driving a Porsche 956. He also won the famous Daytona 24 hour race in 1985, co-driving the Porsche 956 from the Preston Henn Racing with Bob Wollek, AJ Foyt and Al Unser Sr.

Formula One[edit]

Boutsen was considered a promising driver, testing for McLaren and Brabham. He was briefly attached to the Spirit Honda F1 project before losing out to his Formula Two team-mate Stefan Johansson.

Boutsen driving for Arrows at the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix.

In 1983 he paid $500,000 for a drive in Formula One and made his debut with Arrows at his home race, the 1983 Belgian Grand Prix at the shortened 7 km (4.3 mi) Spa.[1] While he scored no points in 1983 his careful handling and close performance compared to experienced team-mate Marc Surer. With backing from Barclay cigarettes he remained with the team for a further three seasons. The first saw Arrows struggle with their difficult first turbocharged car, with powerful BMW turbo engines but poor handling. Boutsen scored points twice in the old Cosworth DFV powered A6 and once in the turbo machine. His second season saw several notable results, including 2nd place at Imola. Boutsen crossed the line third, behind Alain Prost and Elio de Angelis but after the race, Prost was disqualified because his car was 2 kg underweight. Three more points scores saw him 11th overall in the standings. A final season with Arrows saw no points for Boutsen in an uncompetitive car, but in parallel to F1 he drove for the Walter Brun team in Group C and clinched the World Championship title with them in 1986, winning Spa 1000 km.

Boutsen driving for Benetton at the 1988 Canadian Grand Prix.

He got his big chance when he switched to the works Ford F1 team, Benetton, for the 1987 season. While the package wasn't a race winner it did allow him to run regularly in the top 6. He scored points in six races, his best being awarded 3rd place in Adelaide after the disqualification of Ayrton Senna's Lotus and moved to 8th overall. For 1988 Benetton switched to normally aspirated Cosworth engines in anticipation of the banning of turbos in 1989. Boutsen's consistency, mechanical sympathy and speed saw him score points in 10 of the 16 races - with five 3rd place finishes - and place 4th overall as the best non-turbo driver in the table.

His reputation as a reliable, fast driver with good development skills saw Frank Williams sign him on a two-year contract to drive the new Williams Renault car. 1989 began with Boutsen on the back foot as veteran team-mate Riccardo Patrese had a major resurgence in form, but at the Canadian Grand Prix Boutsen drove well in wet conditions and took his maiden victory after Senna suffered a late engine failure. Three more podium finishes came before Boutsen rounded the year off with a second victory at the rain-soaked Australian Grand Prix. Boutsen had been one of the drivers protesting about the conditions at the circuit before the race.

1990 saw more consistent points scoring drives, including his third and final Grand Prix victory - a lights-to-flag victory in Hungarian Grand Prix where he took his first pole position and held off sustained pressure from Alessandro Nannini and Ayrton Senna to win. However, Nigel Mansell was available in 1991 and Williams Renault felt they needed a 'star' driver to put together a championship bid. Despite Boutsen winning three races in two years to Patrese's one they decided to keep the Italian to drive alongside Mansell.

With no vacancies among the top teams Boutsen had to drop down to the Ligier team. Despite having a sizeable budget and Lamborghini V12 engines the car was uncompetitive and Boutsen was frequently unable to disguise his disgust with the machinery given to him. The arrival of Renault engines in 1992 improved matters a little and in his final race for the team he scored 5th place, his first points since leaving Williams.

Initially he was unable to find a drive for 1993 but Barclay secured him a slot at Jordan, replacing Ivan Capelli. Boutsen was rusty, too tall for the car and largely outpaced by young team-mate Rubens Barrichello, failing to score any points in ten races. With Eddie Jordan keen to bring in younger, well-sponsored drivers to the seat the decision was taken to turn Boutsen's home race into a farewell event, though he retired on the first lap.

Sportscars[edit]

Boutsen then drove sports cars in the US, driving for Champion Racing in a Porsche GT-One, alongside Bill Adam and Hans Stuck. The trio finished 2nd in class at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1997, Boutsen won the GT-One US Championship with the Champion Racing in 1998. After a crash at Le Mans in 1999 at the wheel of a Toyota Gt-one he retired from racing altogether.[1]

Business[edit]

Today Boutsen runs his own company, Boutsen Aviation, in Monaco.[3] Its business is the "Sale and Acquisition of Business Jets". He founded the company in 1997 with his wife Daniela and up to May 2011, the company had sold 205 aircraft, ranging from Airbus Corporate Jets to Cessna Citation. He is also co-owner of Boutsen Energy Racing alongside his brother-in-law Olivier Lainé and Georges Kaczka. The team competes in the Formula Le Mans class in the Le Mans Series. Boutsen also runs cars in Formula Renault and Eurocup Mégane Trophy.

Helmet[edit]

Boutsen's helmet was black with a red, orange and yellow ribbon design surrounding the visor and the rear area. The colours used are the colours of the Belgian flag (except for orange).

Racing record[edit]

Complete European Formula Two Championship 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 11 12 13 Pos Pts
1981 March Racing Ltd. March/812 BMW SIL
Ret
HOC
Ret
THR
Ret
NÜR
1
VAL
3
MUG
Ret
PAU
2
PER
1
SPA
2
DON
12
MIS
8
MAN
4
2nd 37
1982 Marlboro Team Spirit Spirit/201 Honda SIL
12
HOC
2
THR
3
NÜR
1
MUG
4
VAL
6
PAU
2
SPA
1
HOC
Ret
DON
9
MAN
4
PER
1
MIS
6
3rd 50

Complete Formula One results[edit]

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

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1983 Arrows Racing Team Arrows A6 Cosworth V8 BRA
USW
FRA
SMR
MON
BEL
Ret
DET
7
CAN
7
GBR
15
GER
9
AUT
13
NED
14
ITA
Ret
EUR
11
RSA
9
NC 0
1984 Barclay Nordica Arrows BMW Arrows A6 Cosworth V8 BRA
6
RSA
12
SMR
5
15th 5
Arrows A7 BMW Str-4 (t/c) BEL
Ret
FRA
11
MON
DNQ
CAN
Ret
DET
Ret
DAL
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
5
NED
Ret
ITA
10
EUR
9
POR
Ret
1985 Barclay Arrows BMW Arrows A8 BMW Straight-4 (t/c) BRA
11
POR
Ret
SMR
2
MON
9
CAN
9
DET
7
FRA
9
GBR
Ret
GER
4
AUT
8
NED
Ret
ITA
9
BEL
10
EUR
6
RSA
6
AUS
Ret
11th 11
1986 Barclay Arrows BMW Arrows A8 BMW Straight-4 (t/c) BRA
Ret
ESP
7
SMR
7
MON
8
BEL
Ret
CAN
Ret
DET
Ret
FRA
NC
GBR
NC
HUN
Ret
ITA
7
POR
10
MEX
7
AUS
Ret
NC 0
Arrows A9 GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
1987 Benetton Formula Ltd. Benetton B187 Cosworth
V6 (t/c)
BRA
5
SMR
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON
Ret
DET
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
7
GER
Ret
HUN
4
AUT
4
ITA
5
POR
14
ESP
16
MEX
Ret
JPN
5
AUS
3
8th 16
1988 Benetton Formula Ltd. Benetton B188 Cosworth V8 BRA
7
SMR
4
MON
8
MEX
8
CAN
3
DET
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
6
HUN
3
BEL
DSQ
ITA
6
POR
3
ESP
9
JPN
3
AUS
5
4th 27
1989 Canon Williams Team Williams FW12C Renault V10 BRA
Ret
SMR
4
MON
10
MEX
Ret
USA
6
CAN
1
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
Ret
HUN
3
BEL
4
ITA
3
5th 37
Williams FW13 POR
Ret
ESP
Ret
JPN
3
AUS
1
1990 Canon Williams Renault Williams FW13B Renault V10 USA
3
BRA
5
SMR
Ret
MON
4
CAN
Ret
MEX
5
FRA
Ret
GBR
2
GER
6
HUN
1
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
Ret
ESP
4
JPN
5
AUS
5
6th 34
1991 Ligier Gitanes Ligier JS35 Lamborghini V12 USA
Ret
BRA
10
SMR
7
MON
7
CAN
Ret
MEX
8
NC 0
Ligier JS35B FRA
12
GBR
Ret
GER
9
HUN
17
BEL
11
ITA
Ret
POR
16
ESP
Ret
JPN
9
AUS
Ret
1992 Ligier Gitanes Blondes Ligier JS37 Renault V10 RSA
Ret
MEX
10
BRA
Ret
ESP
Ret
SMR
Ret
MON
12
CAN
10
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
7
HUN
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
POR
8
JPN
Ret
AUS
5
14th 2
1993 Sasol Jordan Jordan 193 Hart V10 RSA
BRA
EUR
Ret
SMR
Ret
ESP
11
MON
Ret
CAN
12
FRA
11
GBR
Ret
GER
13
HUN
9
BEL
Ret
ITA
POR
JPN
AUS
NC 0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1981 C 82 M WM P81
Peugeot PRV 2.7L Turbo V6
France WM A.E.R.E.M. France Serge Saulnier
France Michel Pignard
15 DNF DNF
1983 C 24 M Rondeau M482
Ford Cosworth DFL 4.0L V8
France Ford France France Henri Pescarolo 174 DNF DNF
1986 C1 19 M Porsche 956
Porsche Type-935 2.6L Turbo Flat-6
Switzerland Brun Motorsport Belgium Didier Theys
France Alain Ferté
89 DNF DNF
1993 C1 1 M Peugeot 905 Evo 1B
Peugeot SA35 3.5L V10
France Peugeot Talbot Sport France Yannick Dalmas
Italy Teo Fabi
374 2nd 2nd
1994 GT1 35 G Dauer 962 Le Mans
Porsche Type-935 3.0 L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Le Mans Porsche Team
Germany Joest Racing
Germany Hans Joachim Stuck
United States Danny Sullivan
343 3rd 2nd
1995 WSC 4 G Kremer K8 Spyder
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Porsche Kremer Racing Germany Hans Joachim Stuck
France Christophe Bouchut
289 6th 2nd
1996 GT1 25 M Porsche 911 GT1
Porsche 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Porsche AG Germany Hans Joachim Stuck
France Bob Wollek
353 2nd 1st
1997 GT1 25 G Porsche 911 GT1
Porsche 3.2L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Porsche AG Germany Hans Joachim Stuck
France Bob Wollek
238 DNF DNF
1998 GT1 29 M Toyota GT-One
Toyota R36V 3.6L Turbo V8
Japan Toyota Motorsports
Germany Toyota Team Europe
Germany Ralf Kelleners
United Kingdom Geoff Lees
330 DNF DNF
1999 LMGTP 2 M Toyota GT-One
Toyota R36V 3.6L Turbo V8
Japan Toyota Motorsports
Germany Toyota Team Europe
Germany Ralf Kelleners
United Kingdom Allan McNish
173 DNF DNF

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "DRIVERS: THIERRY BOUTSEN". GrandPrix.com. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Photo by courtesy of: Didier Steyaert (22 July 1978). "Spa 24 Hours 1978 - Photo Gallery". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  3. ^ http://www.boutsen.com/

External links[edit]