Franck Montagny

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Franck Montagny
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityFrance French
Active years2003, 20052006
TeamsRenault, Jordan, Super Aguri
Entries7
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry2006 European Grand Prix
Last entry2006 French Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years1998–2002, 2005–2006, 2008 -
TeamsCourage Compétition, DAMS, Team Oreca, Pescarolo Sport, Team Peugeot Total
Best finish2nd (2006), (2009)
Class wins0

Franck Montagny (born 5 January 1978 in Feurs, Loire) is a French motor racing driver. He briefly raced for the Super Aguri Formula One team in 2006.

Early career

Montagny started racing karts there in 1988, winning the cadet class in the French Karting Championship in 1992, and the National 1 class the following year.

He made his debut in cars in 1994, aged 16, promptly winning the French Renault Campus championship. The next two years were spent in Formula Renault, with finishes in fourth (the highest-finishing rookie that year) and sixth (despite missing half the season with multiple fractures obtained in an accident at Le Mans) respectively, before transferring up to French Formula Three in 1997 with the La Filière Martini team, debuting with another fourth place championship finish.

Formula Three breakthrough

Montagny had a breakthrough year in Formula Three in 1998, including a pole position at the Spa-Francorchamps race ahead of much more experienced drivers including Mark Webber, Luciano Burti, Enrique Bernoldi and Peter Dumbreck. He repeated the feat in the Zandvoort Masters in Holland later that year, beating then German Formula Three champion Nick Heidfeld. He consistently outpaced long-time team-mate Sébastien Bourdais and ended the season with 10 wins from 22 races, including 12 pole positions, finishing the championship as runner-up behind David Saelens.

Formula 3000 and sports cars

Montagny moved up to Formula 3000 in 1999, driving for the DAMS team which was falling from its peak by then. One podium finish at the Hungaroring was his main success; he totalled only 6 points and tenth place that season. He however ended the year with success in the Elf Masters Karting at Paris-Bercy.

A repeat of his unsuccessful year in Formula 3000 prompted a move to World Series by Nissan in 2001, signing for the Epsilon by Graff team. He won 8 races out of a possible 16, and beat Tomas Scheckter to the championship. He changed teams for 2002 to Racing Engineering, but was beaten into second place in the championship by Ricardo Zonta. He supplemented this with a sixth place finish for Oreca at the Le Mans 24 hours.

Formula One

Renault and Jordan

Montagny returned to the World Series by Nissan in 2003 with Gabord Competicion, and secured his second championship title with nine victories, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. This performance earned him a test with the Renault Formula One team, in which he impressed sufficiently to earn a contract as a test driver in 2003, moving up to become third driver during the 2004 & 2005 seasons. He did an impressive one-off for Jordan as third driver on the Friday of the 2005 European Grand Prix, clocking a quicker time than Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro, the official Jordan drivers.

In mid-2004, as part of his Renault F1 testing duties, Montagny became the chief test and development driver for the new GP2 Series, which would be powered by Renault engines. Montagny was the first driver to take the wheel of the car, and along with former F1 driver and ex-Renault F1 tester and Friday driver Allan McNish, divided testing duties between them, before the GP2 Series was officially launched in 2005. Much of the success of the championship and the drivability of the car has been placed on the development skills of Montagny. This was further evidenced at the start of the 2006 GP2 Series season, when Montagny was called in to test for the newly created FMS International team, to aid them and their drivers in understanding the complexities of the car, at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain, where Montagny had put in hundreds of testing laps in his time with Renault F1.

Super Aguri

Montagny driving for Super Aguri at the 2006 French Grand Prix.
Montagny driving for Pescarolo Sport during practice for the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans.

For 2006, Super Aguri took Montagny on as third driver; however, he was promoted to full race driver in May after it was announced that Yuji Ide was to drop back into testing; Ide was demoted at the behest of the governing body who considered him insufficiently experienced for Formula One. Montagny hence competed in his first Grand Prix, the 2006 European Grand Prix on 7 May, qualifying last and retiring with a hydraulics problem. He did not finish his second race 2006 Spanish Grand Prix: after a great start, enabling him to gain 3 positions, he retired on lap 10 with a mechanical failure. It was third time lucky for him at the Monaco Grand Prix, when he finished the 78-lap race in 16th place, three laps behind the leader.

During the break between the British Grand Prix and the Canadian Grand Prix, Montagny was able to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing second for Pescarolo Sport behind only the dominating Audi factory R10s. He was the first active Formula One driver to also participate at Le Mans in the same year since Bertrand Gachot in 1994.

On 12 July, Super Aguri announced that Sakon Yamamoto would replace him from the German Grand Prix onwards. Montagny did not appear in his role as third driver for the next two weekends as only two Super Aguri SA06s were available but a third chassis was prepared during the summer break enabling him to reprise this role at the Turkish Grand Prix.

Toyota

Montagny tested for Toyota F1 in September 2006 at Silverstone. A month later, Toyota confirmed that he would join the team as test driver for the 2007 season, as Olivier Panis and Ricardo Zonta were leaving the team. After spending 2007 as a test driver, Montagny left the team after a test at the Circuit de Catalunya in November.[1] He is still interested in gaining a ride in F1,[2] and has been linked with the Renault F1 team for the 2010 season.[3]

After Formula One

Montagny competed in the final Champ Car World Series race, held at the Long Beach circuit on April 19, 2008. He finished second in his first appearance in a race in the United States, five seconds behind Australian Will Power. In June, he drove the Peugeot 908 at the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished in the third place with Ricardo Zonta and Christian Klien.

Montagny made his debut in the American Le Mans Series with Andretti Green Racing at the 2008 Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in July 2008, driving an Acura ARX-01B.[4]

He made his IndyCar Series debut in 2009 at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway with Andretti Green Racing.

Racing record

Career summary

Season Series Team Name Races Poles Wins Points Final Placing
1994 Formula Renault Campus France ? ? ? 3 ? 1st
1995 Formula Renault France La Filière 14 ? 1 70 4th
1996 Formula Renault France La Filière ? ? 2 74 6th
1997 French Formula Three ? ? ? 4 129 4th
British Formula Three La Filière 1 0 0 12 18th
Macau Grand Prix La Filière 1 0 0 N/A NC
Masters of Formula Three ? 1 0 0 N/A 14th
1998 French Formula Three La Filière 22 12 10 226 2nd
Le Mans 24 Hours Courage Compétition (LMP1) 1 0 0 N/A 5th
Macau Grand Prix Equipe de France 1 0 0 N/A NC
Masters of Formula Three ? 1 0 0 N/A 6th
1999 International Formula 3000 DAMS 10 0 0 6 12th
American Le Mans Series ? (LMP) 1 0 0 0 NC
Le Mans 24 Hours DAMS (LMP) 1 0 0 N/A NC
2000 International Formula 3000 DAMS 10 0 0 5 15th
Le Mans 24 Hours DAMS (LMP900) 1 0 0 N/A 9th
2001 Open Telefónica by Nissan Epsilon by Graff 18 8 7 221 1st
Le Mans 24 Hours Oreca (LMP900) 1 0 0 N/A NC
2002 World Series by Nissan Racing Engineering 18 3 4 222 2nd
FIA Sportscar Championship Oreca (SR1) 1 0 0 15 15th
Le Mans 24 Hours Oreca (LMP900) 1 0 0 N/A 6th
2003 World Series by Nissan Gabord Competición 17 4 9 241 1st
2004 Formula One Renault Test driver
2005 Formula One Renault Test driver
Jordan
Le Mans 24 Hours Oreca (LMP1) 1 0 0 N/A 4th
2006 Formula One Super Aguri 7 0 0 0 27th
Le Mans 24 Hours Pescarolo Sport (LMP1) 1 0 0 N/A 2nd
2007 Formula One Toyota Test driver
2007-08 A1 Grand Prix France 4 0 0 118* 4th*
2008 Champ Car World Series Forsythe/Pettit Racing 1 0 0 N/A† N/A†

* Includes points scored by other Team France drivers.
† Championship merged into the IndyCar Series after one race.

Complete Formula One results

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2003 Renault F1 Team Renault R23 Renault V10 AUS
MAL
BRA
SMR
ESP
AUT
MON
CAN
EUR
FRA
TD
GBR
GER
HUN
ITA
USA
JPN
- -
2005 Jordan Grand Prix Jordan EJ15 Toyota V10 AUS
MAL
BHR
SMR
ESP
MON
EUR
TD
CAN
USA
FRA
GBR
GER
HUN
TUR
ITA
BEL
BRA
JPN
CHN
- -
2006 Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA05 Honda V8 BHR
MAL
AUS
SMR
EUR
Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
16
GBR
18
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
FRA
16
27th 0
Super Aguri SA06 GER
HUN
TUR
TD
ITA
TD
CHN
TD
JPN
TD
BRA
TD

References

  1. ^ "Toyota bids au revoir to Montagny". itv-f1.com. 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  2. ^ Formula One news: Montagny ready for the next step - GPUpdate.net Formula One
  3. ^ Montagny confirms Renault Talks F1-Live.com 21/10/2009
  4. ^ ALMS News: ANDRETTI, MONTAGNY IN AGR ACURA AT LIME ROCK

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antonio García
Open Telefónica by Nissan
Champion

2001
Succeeded by
Ricardo Zonta
Preceded by
Ricardo Zonta
Superfund World Series Champion
2003
Succeeded by
Heikki Kovalainen