John French (racing driver)

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John French (born 28 November 1930) is an Australian retired racing driver.

French was born in Millaa Millaa, Queensland,[1] and his long career lasted from the 1960s to the early 1980s. He won the 1962 Australian GT Championship driving a Centaur-Waggott and in 1969 French paired with Allan Moffat to win the Sandown Three Hour race in a Ford Falcon GTHO Phase I. French was well known multi-franchise car dealer selling BMC vehicles, Alfa Romeo, Renault, Peugeot and Subaru in Brisbane. Many of the marques he sold featured prominently in his professional racing career.

Nationally however he is best remembered as Dick Johnson's co-driver to win the crash-shortened 1981 Bathurst 1000 (French was driving the #17 Ford XD Falcon when the race was stopped, but wasn't one of the cars in the accident).[2] He regularly drove the works Ford Falcon GTHO's alongside Allan Moffat, and also drove Moffat's and Ian Geoghegan's Improved Production Ford Falcon GTHOs in the Australian Touring Car Championship rounds when Moffat and Geoghegan were driving their Mustangs.

Gallery[edit]

Career results[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1962 Australian GT Championship 1st Centaur Waggott GP Cars Racing Team
1964 Australian Touring Car Championship 8th Morris Cooper S
1966 Australian Touring Car Championship 6th Morris Cooper S
1967 Australian Touring Car Championship 8th Morris Cooper S
1969 Australian Touring Car Championship 10th Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV Alec Mildren Racing
1970 Australian Touring Car Championship 12th Morris Cooper S
1971 Australian Touring Car Championship 6th Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III Allan Moffat Racing
Geoghegans Sporty Cars
1972 Australian Touring Car Championship 23rd Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III Bryan Byrt Ford
1974 Australian Touring Car Championship 10th Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
1975 Australian Touring Car Championship 9th Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
1980 Australian Touring Car Championship 24th Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV
1982 Australian Endurance Championship NC Ford XE Falcon Palmer Tube Mills
1983 Australian Endurance Championship NC Nissan Bluebird Turbo Nissan Motor Co. Australia P/L
1984 Australian Endurance Championship NC Ford XE Falcon Palmer Tube Mills
1985 Australian Endurance Championship NC Holden VK Commodore Alf Grant
1986 Australian Endurance Championship NC Holden VK Commodore SS Group A Dulux Auto Colour
1987 World Touring Car Championship NC Mitsubishi Starion Turbo Ralliart Australia

Complete World Touring Car Championship 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 DC Points
1987 Australia Ralliart Australia Mitsubishi Starion Turbo MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA BNO SIL BAT
DND*
CLD WEL FJI NC 0

* French was listed as a driver in the #16 Ralliart Australia Starion, though he did not drive in the race.

Complete Phillip Island/Bathurst 500/1000 results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1960 Australia Australian Motor Industries Australia Norm Beechey Standard Vanguard D 162 5th 2nd
1964 Australia Ron Hodgson Motors Pty Ltd Australia Ron Hodgson Ford Cortina Mk.I GT C 127 5th 4th
1965 Australia BMC Australia John Harvey Morris Cooper S C 24 DNF DNF
1966 Australia BMC Australia Australia Steve Harvey Morris Cooper S C 127 8th 8th
1967 Australia BMC Works Team Finland Timo Makinen Morris Cooper S C 127 7th 3rd
1968 Australia Alec Mildren (Qld) Australia Frank Gardner Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV E DSQ DSQ
1969 Australia Alec Mildren Alfa Romeo Australia Doug Chivas Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV E 0 DNF DNF
1971 Australia Ford Motor Co of Australia Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III E 129 5th 4th
1972 Australia Bryan Byrt Ford Pty Ltd Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III D 129 2nd 1st
1973 Australia Bryan Byrt Ford Australia Bob Skelton Ford XA Falcon GT Hardtop D 91 DNF DNF
1974 Australia John French Pty Ltd Australia Dick Johnson Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 1301 – 2000cc 71 DNF DNF
1978 Australia Bryan Byrt Ford Australia Warwick Brown Ford XC Falcon GS500 Hardtop A 57 DNF DNF
1979 Australia Thompson Ford Australia Colin Bond Ford XC Falcon GS500 Hardtop A 23 DNF DNF
1980 Australia Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XD Falcon 3001-6000cc 17 DNF DNF
1981 Australia Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XD Falcon 8 Cylinder & Over 120 1st 1st
1982 Australia Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XE Falcon A 160 DSQ DSQ
1983 Australia Nissan Motor Co. Australia P/L Australia Fred Gibson Nissan Bluebird Turbo A 134 22nd 20th
1984 Australia Palmer Tube Mills Australia Dick Johnson Ford XE Falcon Group C 107 DNF DNF
Australia Dick Johnson Ford Mustang GT Group A - DNS DNS
1985 Australia Alf Grant Australia Alf Grant Holden VK Commodore C 0 DNF DNF
1986 Australia Dulux Auto Colour Australia Alf Grant Holden VK Commodore SS Group A C 11 DNF DNF
1987 Australia Ralliart Australia Australia Gary Scott
Japan Akihiko Nakaya
Mitsubishi Starion Turbo 1 154 5th
(DND)*
4th
(DND)

* In 1987 French was listed to drive and qualified the #16 Ralliart Starion, but never got to drive in the race

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tuckey, Bill, ed. (1984/85). "James Hardie 1000". 4. BFT Publishing Group Pty Ltd: 335. ISSN 0811-546X.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "James Hardie 1000 Mount Panorama, Bathurst 4th October, 1981". Unique Cars and Parts. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Roberts
Bob Watson
Winner of the Sandown 500
1969
(with Allan Moffat)
Succeeded by
Allan Moffat
Preceded by
Peter Brock
Jim Richards
Winner of the Bathurst 1000
1981
(with Dick Johnson)
Succeeded by
Peter Brock
Larry Perkins