- December 04, 1944
- January 29, 2012
- Not Active
Francois Migault (1944-2012) was a French racing driver who recorded thirteen starts in the Formula One World Championship between 1972 and 1975 with three different teams.
Migault was born in Le Mans and he participated 25 times at Le Mans 24 Hours between 1972 and 2002. In the overall classification, he was on a podium three times, adding three more class podiums. His best overall result was the second place in 1976.
Formula One debut at 1972 Austrian Grand Prix
Born in December 1944 in Le Mans, Francois Migault started his racing career in 1970 in the French Formula 3. In the following two seasons, he participated in different F3 and F2 competitions before making Formula One debut with Darnvall Connew team in the 1972 Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring. He was driving the #29 Connew PC1-Cosworth, retiring after 22 laps.
Le Mans debut with Ferrari 365 GTB/4 in 1972
Migault made his sports car racing debut in 1971, driving a Taydec-Cosworth prototype for Tom Clapham Racing. In September 1971, he was also driving a Porsche 911 S at Tour de France. In 1972, Migault was sharing a Chevron B21 with Brian Robinson in few races of the World Sportscar Championship and then, in June, he made a debut at 24 hours of Le Mans.
His car at Le Mans debut was Charles Pozzi's Ferrari 365 GTB/4 which he was sharing with Daniel Rouveyran. They retired after just 22 laps with a broken clutch. In September 1972, Migault and Rouveyran finished second at Tour de France in a Ferrari.
1973 – overall podium at Daytona, class podium at Le Mans
The season 1973 was marked by two great results in endurance races with North AmericanRacing Team (NART). In February, Migault and Milt Minter finished second overall (1st in GT+2.0) at Daytona 24 Hours in a Ferrari 365 GTB/4.
A few months later, at Circuit de la Sarthe, Migault scored the first of his six Le Mans podiums. He and Luigi Chinetti Jr finished 13th overall and third in the GT5.0 class in the #38 NART Ferrari 365 GTB/4.
1974 Formula One season with Team BRM
Francois Migault returned to Formula One in 1974, joining Team Motul BRM to drive the #37 BRM 160E. He spent the almost full season with the team, recording ten starts and one DNQ. In two races, he was using a BRM P201 race car.
In ten races, Migault recorded DNFs five times. His best result was 14th place in the French Grand Prix at Dijon. The highlight of the season was fifth place in the non-championship BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone.
Third place at 1974 Le Mans 24 Hours
While Migault's results in Formula One were disappointing, he continued to score good results in sports car races. Over the season, he was participating in WSC races with Maserati-powered Ligier JS2, sharing a car with Guy Chasseuil.
In June, Migault came to Le Mans with Equipe Gitanes. He and Jean-Pierre Jabouille were driving the #9 Matra MS670C, finishing in the third place.The race winners were their teammates in the #7 Matra, Henri Pescarolo and Gerard Larrousse.
In July 1974, Migault and Chasseuil participated at Spa 24 Hours in a Maserati-powered Citroen SM, not finishing the race.
Two more F1 starts in 1975 with Embassy Hill
In 1975, Migault recorded his last two Formula One starts, driving for Embassy Hill in the Spanish Grand Prix and Belgian Grand Prix. In the Spanish race at Montjuic Circuit, Migault was not classified at the end because he made an insufficient number of laps in the #23 Hill GH1-Cosworth.
In the Belgian race at Zolder, Migault retired in the #22 car after 57 laps with broken suspension. It was the end of his F1 career. Later in the season, he appeared with Frank Williams' team in the French Grand Prix but he didn't start the race.
Second place at 1976 Le Mans 24h
In the 1975 sports car racing season, Migault stayed with Ligier Gitanes Racing Team, driving a Ligier JS2 in the World Championship races. His partners were Jean-Pierre Jarier and Jean-Louis Lafosse. At Le Mans, Migault was sharing the #6 Ligier JS2 with Henri Pescarolo. They retired after 146 laps.
In 1976, Migault spent part of the season in the Formula 2, driving for Osella Squadra Corse, but the highlight of the season was his podium at Le Mans. He was driving the #10 Mirage GR8-Cosworth for Grand Touring Cars team, sharing a car with Jean-Louis Lafosse. They finished second, behind Martini Racing Porsche's Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep.
Two more Le Mans attempts in a Ferrari 365 GTB/4
In 1977, Migault came to Le Mans in a Ferrari 365 GTB/4, sharing a car with Lucien Guitteny. They finished in 16th place. In 1978, Migault and Guitteny returned to Le Mans in a Ferrari, finishing 16th overall and third in the IMSA+2.5 class.
In 1979, Migault joined Alain de Cadenet to drive his De Cadenet Lola LM prototype. They finished second at Silverstone 6 Hours and then retired at Le Mans. In 1980, Migault and De Cadenet returned together to Le Mans, finishing seventh overall and third in the S+2.0 class.
1981 – third Le Mans podium for Migault
For the 1981 Le Mans race, Migault joined Jean Rondeau's team to drive his Rondeau M379C prototype together with Gordon Spice. They finished third overall behind factory-entered Porsche 936 and another Rondeau M379.
Migault came one more time to Le Mans with Rondeau, driving an M382 prototype together with Gordon Spice and Xavier Lapeyre. This time, they retired after 150 laps.
Six DNFs at Le Mans between 1983 and 1990
In the following years, from 1983 to 1990, Migault recorded six consecutive DNFs at Le Mans. In those six attempts, he was driving five different cars – Ford C100, Lola T610-Cosworth, WM P86-Peugeot, Courage C22-Porsche and ALD C289-Cosworth.
In those six attempts, some of his co-drivers were David Kennedy, Paul Belmondo, Ukyo Katayama and Gerard Tremblay.
Nine more Le Mans attempts from 1991 to 2002
Migault finally reached the finish line at Circuit de la Sarthe in 1991, driving a Cougar C26S-Porsche for Courage Competition. His co-drivers were Lionel Robert and Jean-Daniel Raulet. They finished 11th overall.
During the 1990s, Migault competed at Le Mans in Spice SE90C-Cosworth, Porsche 962CK6, Dodge Viper RT/10, Marcos Mantara LM600 and Ferrari 333 SP. He took a sabbatical from Le Mans race in 1999 and 2000, returning two more times in 2001 (Pilbeam MP84-Nissan) and 2002 (Dome S101-Judd). Migault's last Le Mans attempt was with Japanese team Kondo Racing.
Competing in different sports car championships
For many years Migault was participating at Le Mans only, but in 1990 he entered the full World Sportscar Championship season with ALD (Automobiles Louis Descartes). In 1991, he was driving for Courage Competition in the WSC, finishing best in the sixth place at Nurburgring.
In 1992, he participated in the IMSA GTP Championship with Tom Milner Racing. He scored one podium, finishing third at Road Atlanta Grand Prix in an Intrepid RM-1 (Chevrolet). In 1993, Migault spent most of the season driving Kudzu DG-2 for Scandia Engineering in the WSC class of the IMSA Championship. From 1994 onwards, Migault was having Le Mans race exclusively in his programme, ending his career in 2002.
Photos: asag.sk, Paul Kooyman, autohebdo.fr, lemans-history.com,