Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Guy Ligier takes Chequered flag



Former F1 Team Owner Guy Ligier has died at the age of 85 in France. As Ligier's zenith in Formula 1 with Jacques Laffite came before my baptism with thy pinnacle 'O motorsports, Nye Grand Prix circus, 'Wayback in the late 1970's when Laffite actually led the F1 championship before the team eventually finished third overall.

Yet it's hard to believe that I actually watched Ligier's Team's final victory on thy Telie' A-L-L those years ago, when Oliver Panis was the last man standing at Monaco when a record low three cars finished the race in the Principality in 1996.
           
As I can only guess the words came from Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward 'bout Panis driving like a Rat Up a Drainpipe! Although I remember more vividly Olivier's massive shunt at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve the following year where he broke both legs after crashing into a concrete abutment, presumably a Walkover bridge support Colum Me Thinks?

And just to put the '96 Monaco Grand Prix into its perspective timeframe, thy Great Michael Schumacher started from Pole in his debutant season at la Scuderia, nee Ferrari, whilst Jos "THE BOSS!" Verstappen, father of current rookie Toro Rosso F1 phenom Max "Dutchboy" Verstappen was driving for Arrows and was the only driver to start the wet race on slicks!

Panis, who started from a disappointing 14th, eventually led home McLaren's David Coulthard wearing a Michael Schumacher helmet after he'd experienced misting problems with his own crash bucket! With the two uncompetitive Sauber's of Johnny Herbert and "Heinz 57" (Heinz-Harald Frentzen) the only further cars finishing the race, albeit Frentzen was in the Pits at the finish. As the race ended some 3-laps short due to running up against the two hour time limit.

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