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Ligier
Ligier logo.png
Full name Equipe Ligier
Base Abrest, France
Founder(s) Guy Ligier
Noted staff Ken Anderson
Loïc Bigois
Cyril de Rouvre
Frank Dernie
Richard Divila
Gérard Ducarouge
Claude Galopin
Tom Walkinshaw
Noted drivers René Arnoux
Patrick Depailler
Jacques Laffite
Olivier Panis
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix
Races competed 326
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 9
Podiums 50
Points 388
Pole positions 9
Fastest laps 9
Final race 1996 Japanese Grand Prix

Equipe Ligier is a motorsport team, best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. The team was founded in 1969 as a sports car manufacturer.[1]

Contents

Ligier in Formula One

Acquiring the Matra F1 team's assets, Ligier entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, and won a Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite in 1977. This is generally considered to have been the first all-French victory in the Formula One World Championship.[2]

Ligier JS5, Ligier's first F1 car.
Designed by Gerard Ducarouge.
The 1980 Ligier JS11/15 being demonstrated at the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Ligier used a turbo engine for the first time in 1984. Andrea de Cesaris drives the JS23 chassis at that year's Dallas Grand Prix.

The deal with Matra ceased in 1979 and Ligier built a Cosworth-powered wing-car, the Ligier JS11. The JS11 begin the season winning the first 2 races in the hands of Laffite. However, the JS11 faced serious competition when Williams and Ferrari introduced aerodynamically modified cars. The rest of the season was less successful for the French marque.

The JS11 and its successors made Ligier one of the top teams through the early 1980s. Despite substantial sponsorship from Talbot and public French companies - mainly SEITA and Française des Jeux (deals which François Mitterrand helped to put in place) - the competitiveness of the team began to decline around 1982. In the mid 1980s, the team benefitted from a "free" Renault turbo engine deal. This made them more competitive, though not a frontrunner, despite sponsorship from companies such as Gitanes, Loto and elf. When Renault left the sport in 1986, Ligier was left without a bona fide engine supplier. An abortive collaboration with Alfa Romeo (due to René Arnoux's harsh criticism on the Alfa Romeo engines) was followed by customer engine deals with Megatron (who provided them with rebadged BMW M12 engines), Judd and Cosworth and then works contracts with Lamborghini, Renault and Mugen-Honda.

Ligier's last F1 car, the JS43, on display. Driven by Olivier Panis and Pedro Diniz, it provided Panis' only F1 victory and Ligier's last, at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix.

In the last years Ligier had little public support and lacked funds. Surprisingly, the team was somewhat more competitive during this period, perhaps due to the talents of aerodynamicist Frank Dernie, whose skills had developed the Williams of Alan Jones that so regularly beat the Ligiers in the late 1970s.

The talent of the young engineer Loïc Bigois may have played some role as well. But this also brings some to think that, in previous years, Guy Ligier was more worried about making money than restoring the team competitiveness. Famous for his histrionics and boisterous pitlane explosions, the recalcitrant Guy Ligier added greatly to the character of Formula One events from the mid 1970s onward, if not through the competitiveness of his teams. As one F1 commentator famously said, "You always had the feeling that even when they were winning they didn't know why...". Certainly the team enjoyed an upswing when Guy Ligier sold the team to Cyril de Rouvre after a disappointing 1992 season when they once again failed to fulfil their potential despite being supplied with the same works Renault engines as the dominant Williams team - they scored eight podium finishes over the next four years, contrasting sharply with their failure to secure a single top three position between 1987 and 1992.

In 1990, they failed (as they always did between 1987 and 1991) to finish in the valuable Top 10 in the Constructors Championship, in 1990 as 11th, but Larrousse-Lola were disqualified because they entered as Larrousse, but it was entirely a Lola Car. That moved Ligier up into the important 10th Place which gave them Travel benefits.

In 1996, the Mugen Honda-powered JS43 turned out to be a well balanced car, if not on par with the Williams entries. It became a surprise winner as well, with the team taking the chequered flag with Olivier Panis at the Monaco Grand Prix, albeit in a race of heavy attrition. While the victory was a famous moment for French Motorsport (the first "all-French" victory at Monaco since René Dreyfus in Bugatti in 1930), it must be said it came very much against the run of play in a race in which only three cars finished.

The team was sold to Alain Prost soon after and became Prost Grand Prix in 1997. Prost GP, despite substantial financial backing by large private French companies failed to make the team competitive and went bankrupt in 2002.

The team traditionally used numbers 25 and 26.

Ligier sports car racing

After retiring from racing following the death of his friend Jo Schlesser, Guy Ligier had engineer Michel Tetu develop a sports car named JS1 (Schlesser's initials). The Cosworth-powered JS1 took wins at Albi and Monthlery in 1970, but retired at Le Mans and from the Tour Automobile de France.[3]

For 1971, Ligier had the JS1 developed into the JS2 and JS3. The JS2 was homologated for road use and used a Maserati V6 engine, while the JS3 was an open-top sports-prototype powered by a Cosworth DFV V8 engine. The JS3 won at Monthlery in 1971 but failed to finish the minimum distance in Le Mans. Therefore, it was retired,[4] and Ligier installed the Cosworth DFV in the JS2 road car, finishing second overall at Le Mans in 1975.[5] Guy Ligier then switched his efforts into F1.

In 2004, Ligier returned to motorsport after acquiring Automobiles Martini. Tico Martini had designed a Formula 3 chassis that was introduced at the 2004 Paris Motor Show[6] as the Ligier JS47, but with the F3 market cornered by Dallara, the car never raced.

In 2005 Ligier introduced a "gentlemen driver" sports car, the JS49, a sport prototype[7][8] made for the 2000 cc CN class, which can be used in the V de V Challenge.

World Championship Formula One results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1976 Ligier JS5 Matra V12 G BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA JPN 20 5th
Jacques Laffite Ret Ret 4 12 3 12 4 14 Ret Ret 2 Ret 3 Ret Ret 7
1977 Ligier JS7 Matra V12 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 18 8th
Jacques Laffite NC Ret Ret 9 7 7 Ret 1 8 6 Ret Ret 2 8 7 Ret 5
Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret
1978 Ligier JS7
Ligier JS9
Matra V12 G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 19 6th
Jacques Laffite 16 9 5 5 Ret 5 3 7 7 10 3 5 8 4 11 Ret
1979 Ligier JS11 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 61 3rd
Patrick Depailler 4 2 Ret 5 1 Ret 5
Jacky Ickx Ret 6 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret
Jacques Laffite 1 1 Ret Ret Ret 2 Ret 8 Ret 3 3 3 Ret Ret Ret
1980 Ligier JS11/15 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 66 2nd
Didier Pironi Ret 4 3 6 1 Ret 2 Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 3 3
Jacques Laffite Ret Ret 2 Ret 11 2 3 Ret 1 4 3 9 8 5
1981 Ligier JS17 Matra V12 M USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 44 4th
Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret 7
Jean-Pierre Jabouille DNQ NC Ret DNQ Ret
Patrick Tambay Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Jacques Laffite Ret 6 Ret Ret 2 3 2 Ret 3 3 1 Ret Ret 1 6
1982 Ligier JS17
Ligier JS17B
Ligier JS19
Matra V12 M RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 20 8th
Eddie Cheever Ret Ret Ret WD 3 Ret 2 10 DNQ Ret 16 Ret Ret Ret 6 3
Jacques Laffite Ret Ret Ret WD 9 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret 14 Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret
1983 Ligier JS21 Ford V8 M BRA USW FRA SMR MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 0 NC
Jean-Pierre Jarier Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 8 7 Ret 9 Ret 10
Raul Boesel Ret 7 Ret 9 Ret 13 10 Ret Ret Ret DNQ 10 DNQ 15 NC
1984 Ligier JS23 Renault V6 (t/c) M BRA RSA BEL SMR FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 3 10th
François Hesnault Ret 10 Ret Ret DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 8 7 Ret 10 Ret
Andrea de Cesaris Ret 5 Ret 6 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 7 Ret Ret Ret 7 12
1985 Ligier JS25 Renault V6 (t/c) P BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 23 6th
Andrea de Cesaris Ret Ret Ret 4 14 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Philippe Streiff 10 9 8 WD 3
Jacques Laffite 6 Ret Ret 6 8 12 Ret 3 3 Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret WD 2
1986 Ligier JS27 Renault V6 (t/c) P BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 29 5th
René Arnoux 4 Ret Ret 5 Ret 6 Ret 5 4 4 Ret 10 Ret 7 15 7
Jacques Laffite 3 Ret Ret 6 5 7 2 6 Ret
Philippe Alliot Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret 6 8
1987 Ligier JS29B
Ligier JS29C
Megatron 4 in-line (t/c) G BRA SMR BEL MON DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR ESP MEX JPN AUS 1 11th
René Arnoux DNS 6 11 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Piercarlo Ghinzani Ret 7 12 Ret Ret EX Ret 12 8 8 Ret Ret Ret 13 Ret
1988 Ligier JS31 Judd V8 G BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
René Arnoux Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret Ret DNQ 18 17 Ret Ret 13 10 Ret 17 Ret
Stefan Johansson 9 DNQ Ret 10 Ret Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret 11 DNQ Ret Ret DNQ 9
1989 Ligier JS33 Ford V8 G BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 3 13th
René Arnoux DNQ DNQ 12 14 DNQ 5 Ret DNQ 11 DNQ Ret 9 13 DNQ DNQ Ret
Olivier Grouillard 9 DSQ Ret 8 DNQ DNQ 6 7 Ret DNQ 13 Ret DNQ Ret Ret Ret
1990 Ligier JS33B Ford V8 G USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
Nicola Larini Ret 11 10 Ret Ret 16 14 10 10 11 14 11 10 7 7 10
Philippe Alliot EX 12 9 Ret Ret 18 9 13 DSQ 14 DNQ 13 Ret Ret 10 11
1991 Ligier JS35
Ligier JS35B
Lamborghini V12 G USA BRA SMR MON CAN MEX FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
Thierry Boutsen Ret Ret 7 7 Ret 8 12 Ret 9 17 11 Ret 16 Ret 9 Ret
Érik Comas DNQ Ret 10 10 8 DNQ 11 DNQ Ret 10 Ret 11 11 Ret Ret 18
1992 Ligier JS37 Renault V10 G RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 6 7th
Thierry Boutsen Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 12 10 Ret 10 7 Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 5
Érik Comas 7 9 Ret Ret 9 10 6 5 8 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
1993 Ligier JS39 Renault V10 G RSA BRA EUR SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 23 5th
Martin Brundle Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 6 5 5 14 8 5 7 Ret 6 9 6
Mark Blundell 3 5 Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret Ret 7 3 7 11 Ret Ret 7 9
1994 Ligier JS39B Renault V10 G BRA PAC SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR JPN AUS 13 6th
Éric Bernard Ret 10 12 Ret 8 13 Ret 13 3 10 10 7 10
Johnny Herbert 8
Franck Lagorce Ret 11
Olivier Panis 11 9 11 9 7 12 Ret 12 2 6 7 10 DSQ 9 11 5
1995 Ligier JS41 Mugen Honda V10 G BRA ARG SMR ESP MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR EUR PAC JPN AUS 24 5th
Martin Brundle 9 Ret 10 4 Ret Ret 3 Ret 8 7 Ret
Aguri Suzuki 8 Ret 11 6 Ret DNS
Olivier Panis Ret 7 9 6 Ret 4 8 4 Ret 6 9 Ret Ret Ret 8 5 2
1996 Ligier JS43 Mugen Honda V10 G AUS BRA ARG EUR SMR MON ESP CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN 15 6th
Olivier Panis 7 6 8 Ret Ret 1 Ret Ret 7 Ret 7 5 Ret Ret 10 7
Pedro Diniz 10 8 Ret 10 7 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret Ret

Notes

  1. ^ "F1 News - Grandprix.com > GP Encyclopedia > Constructors > Ligier (Equipe Ligier)". Grandprix.com. 2007-03-10. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/con-ligie.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  2. ^ Chassis, engine and driver were French. The gearbox was British (Hewland) and the tyres American (Goodyear). Alain Prost and Renault had later victories with an all-Renault car and Michelin tyres.
  3. ^ "1969 - 1970 Ligier JS1 - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/2294/Ligier-JS1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  4. ^ "1971 Ligier JS3 Cosworth - Images, Specifications and Information". Ultimatecarpage.com. 2004-11-23. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/2144/Ligier-JS3-Cosworth.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  5. ^ "Le Mans Register - 1975". Formula2.net. http://www.formula2.net/1975.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  6. ^ "News channel". Motorsport.com. http://www.motorsport.com/news/article.asp?ID=173637&FS=F3. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  7. ^ Sam Collins (2007-11-29). "Ligier JS49 VdeV CN | Sportscar". Racecar Engineering. http://www.racecar-engineering.com/articles/sportscar/164601/ligier-js49.html. Retrieved 2009-10-24.  
  8. ^ http://www.frenchrendezvous.cc/ligier/ligier-js49/default.htm

External links

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