Career Summary:

Patrick Gaillard

  • February 12, 1952
  • 67
  • France
  • Not Active
  • 54
  • 2
  • 7
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3.70%
  • 12.96%

Patrick Gaillard is a former racing driver from France who was active in the 1970s and 1980s in different single-seater and sports car competitions.

He reached the peak of his career in summer 1979 when he recorded five participations in Formula One World Championship Grand Prix events, failing to qualify for three races and making two starts with Ensign team. In 1980, he was sixth in the 1980 F1 Spanish Grand Prix, the race that was excluded from F1 Championship.

Patrick Gaillard

Autographed photo of Patrick Gaillard

Early career in Formula Renault and Formula 3

Born in February 1952 in Paris, Patrick Gaillard started his racing career in the mid-1970s, competing in the European Formula Renault series in 1975 and 1976. In 1977, he made a step up to Formula 3, participating in different British championships (BARC, BRDC) but also in the European championship.

Gaillard's first success came in 1978 when he won two races (Imola and Nurburgring) in the European Formula 3 Championship, driving a Chevron B43-Toyota for Chevron factory team. He finished third in the championship, behind Jan Lammers and Anders Olofsson.

Patrick Gaillard was driving the #22 Ensign in 1979

Patrick Gaillard was driving the #22 Ensign in 1979

Five attempts, two starts in 1979 Formula One season

In 1979, Gaillard stayed with Chevron to drive Hart-powered B48 in the European Formula 2 Championship. In the mid-season, he was recruited by Team Ensign to drive their #22 Ensign N179-Cosworth in Formula 1 World Championship as a replacement for Derek Daly.

Gaillard made his debut on July 1 in the French Grand Prix at Dijon but failed to qualify the car for the race. Two weeks, at Silverstone, he made it through qualifying and started the British Grand Prix in the #22 car. He finished in 13th place, three laps behind race winner Clay Regazzoni (Williams).

One more DNQ followed in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring. He then started the Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring but didn't finish the race. Gaillard's last attempt was in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, where he failed to qualify for the race. In the last three rounds, he was replaced by Marc Surer.

Racing with sports cars at Laguna Seca and Silverstone

In October 1979, Gaillard traveled to the US to participate in one race of the Can-Am Challenge. He was driving the #98 Schkee T332C-Chevrolet at Laguna Seca, finishing the race in 11th place.

In May 1980, Gaillard recorded one more attempt in sports car racing, joining Andre Chevalley Racing in the World Championship 6-hour race at Silverstone. Sharing the #1 ACR 80-Cosworth with Andre Chevalley and Francois Trisconi, he didn't finish the race.

Patrick Gaillard's #14 Ensign at 1980 Spanish Grand Prix

Patrick Gaillard's #14 Ensign at 1980 Spanish Grand Prix

Sixth place in the 1980 Spanish Grand Prix

In June 1980, Gaillard briefly returned to Formula 1 to drive the #14 Ensign N180 in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama. It was a controversial event that took place during the FISA-FOCA war. The race lost its championship status but twenty-two drivers participated in it.

Gaillard was 21st on the grid and he managed to finish the race, recovering from a collision with John Watson. Gaillard was classified sixth, five laps behind race winner Alan Jones (Williams).

Patrick Gaillard 1981 Le Mans

Gaillard was driving the #22 ACR-Cosworth at 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours

Four starts at Le Mans 24 Hours

After his last F1 start, Gaillard raced for five more years, not on a full-time basis but occasionally in Formula 2 races or sports car events. In June 1980, two weeks after Spanish Grand Prix, Gaillard made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving the #1 ACR 80-Cosworth for Andre Chevalley Racing. He didn't finish the race.

He returned to Le Mans a year later, sharing the #22 ACR 80B-Cosworth with Andre Chevalley and Bruno Sotty. They didn't finish the race again. In 1982, Gaillard skipped Le Mans but raced at Nurburgring 1000 in the #21 Cougar C01-Cosworth of Societe Team, not finishing the race.

Gaillard's third start at Le Mans came in June 1983 when he was driving #22 Porsche CK5 for Kremer Racing, sharing a car with Derek Warwick and Frank Jelinski. They retired after 76 laps.

Gaillard's last race was the Le Mans 24 Hours in June 1985. He was a member of the #41 WM-Peugeot crew, sharing a car with Pascal Pessiot and Dominique Fornage. They finished the race but the team was disqualified after the race due to an underweight car.

Patrick Gaillard helmet

Patrick Gaillard

Photos: LAT,