Roots of my passions - II : 1966, A man and a woman, a classic movie by Claude Lelouch : Jean-Louis Trintignant kisses Anouk Aimee on the right side, and I am the awkward little boy on the left. I never became an actor, and never wanted to, but this film with a lot of scenes in the racing car world was instrumental in making me an addict of car racing and cinema.
Here is my father, a Radio TV producer, playing model cars with famous french singer and actor Charles Aznavour. Guess what? I am now mad about cars, radio and cinema. Although I spent so many energy in my life, trying to escape my destiny by becoming a powerboat racing driver ! The picture may have been taken in the early sixties : I was just born.
29/11/2009 : This picture was taken this afternoon on the Champs-Elysees. The Renault Etoile Filante (“shooting star”) was built by Renault with a Turbomeca turbine engines and was intended to beat speed records on straights. It was sent to Bonneville salt flats (UTAH) and reached 308 kph in september 1956, which was fast but a bit disappointing. Never mind, the performance was widely advertised, and for kids such as me who grew in France during the 60 and 70’s, its Napoleonic glory was still there. And it’s still there : Renault made it the star of its Champs-Elysees show room for christmas 2009 !
“6 heures de Paris” 1979, the biggest powerboats race in the world. I was 18, and not very serious while quite determined. I managed to enter a boat for the race, but the engine was rubbish, it had a lot of parts “borrowed” by friends on leisure boats and my trailer was not insured. We completed hardly 3 laps in the race. 5 years later, I was to become national champion.
Here I can be seen in 2008 when I attended the Le Mans 24 hour race with the Peugeot team thanks of my friend Denis Autier, who can be seen on the left of the picture. I am discussing with former world champion Jacques Villeneuve and Nicolas Minassian, the latter being both the fastest driver and the nicest guy on earth.
the first time I followed the Le Mans 24 hour race, I was 7, it was in september 1968. I wrote a schoolwork about the race and got a very good mark. Now I collect models : here can be seen two contenders of the 1968 race taken in my collection. The number 22 Howmet (with a turbine engine !) driven by Heppenstal-Thomson and the Matra of Pescarolo-Servoz Gavin. None of them finished the race, but the Matra gave Henri Pescarolo the opportunity to show his courage by cruising among the top three during all the night while it rained cats and dogs and his wiper was out of order.
This is the “Funcup” I raced in Belgium this year, on the famous circuits of Spa and Zolder. Not a beetle at all, although the central engine is provided by Volkswagen !
This is the gorgeous mouth of my Classic Triumph TR3 1961. It spent most of its life in california, then I imported it in France 3 years ago and I am most happy with it.
Before the Monaco Kart race 2009. We came 6th. From R to L, Denis Autier, Arnaud De Crépy, Star French racing driver Stephane Sarrazin and myself.