- July 27, 1954
- Not Active
Philippe Alliot is a French former racing driver who recorded 109 Formula One Grand Prix starts between 1984 and 1994, driving for four teams. Early in his career, Alliot was the French Formula Renault champion, but his most notable career results were three overall podiums at 24 hours of Le Mans and third place in the World Sportscar Championship.
First competition and first title in the Formula Renault
Philippe Alliot was born on July 27, 1954, in Voves, France. His racing career started in 1976, when he entered the French Formula Renault Championship with the Ecurie Armagnac Bigorre. In his debut season, Alliot finished 11th in the points, without victories. In 1977, he won one race in the same competition and finished 8th in the points.
In 1979, driving for BP Racing, Alliot became the Formula Renault champion, scoring five wins in fourteen races. It remained the only championship title in his career. With the same team, Alliot progressed to the French Formula 3 in 1979, finishing third. He also debuted in the European Formula 3 Championship, participating in two races with Kores Racing.
Le Mans debut and Formula 3 full season in 1980
In 1980, Philippe expanded his European F3 campaign to full season, driving the Toyota-powered Martini MK31 for Oreca team. With six podiums in fourteen races, Alliot finished fifth in the points.
In June 1980, Alliot competed for the first time at 24 hours of Le Mans, partnering Jacques Guerin in the #96 BMW M1 of the Garage du Bac. They retired after an accident.
Third place in the 1981 European F3 Championship
The season 1981 was the most successful for Alliot in the European Formula 3 Championship. He switched to Alfa Romeo-powered car and finished third in the championship after he had won two of fourteen races. He was the winner at Magny-Cours and La Charte.
Alliot returned to Le Mans in June 1981, again driving BMW M1, but this time for the BMW France-Italy team. His partners were Bernard Darniche and Johnny Cecotto. They finished 16th overall and fifth in Group 5 class. In July, Alliot participated in one more endurance race, entering the 24 hours of Spa with Belga Castrol Team. He was driving Ford Capri 3.0S, alongside Pierre Destic and Dany Snobeck, but didn't finish the race.
Second place at 1982 Monaco Grand Prix
Philippe spent one more year in the European Formula 3 Championship, winning one of nine races in the 1982 season, to finish sixth in the points. He was also successful in the Formula 3 Monaco Grand Prix, finishing second.
In 1983, Alliot moved one step further on his way to Formula One and entered Formula Two European Championship. He was driving Martini-BMW for the BMW France team. Out of ten races, he failed to muster a single win or podium, finishing 14th in the points.
Le Mans podium with Mario and Michael Andretti
The highlight of the season was Alliot's return to the Circuit de la Sarthe in June 1983. He partnered Mario and Michael Andretti in Kremer Racing's #21 Porsche 956. The French-American crew ran good and finished third overall, behind two factory-entered Porsche 956s. Later in the season, Alliot participated in one more race with Kremer's Porsche, at 1000 km of Fuji, alongside Stefan Johansson. They retired because of mechanical problems.
Philippe debuted in F1 with RAM Racing
For his debut in Formula 1 during 1984, Alliot decided to join the Skoal Bandit RAM Racing team. He debuted in March, having retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix, qualifying in the last place, nine seconds behind pole-sitter. His teammate Jonathan Palmer was even slower and didn't qualify for the race. The Hart-powered RAM 02 car was slow and unreliable, so Alliot had four retirements and two DNQ in first six races.
In the seventh round of the championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, he finally managed to finish the race in the 10th place, five laps behind the winner. Catastrophic results continued for the remainder of the season, with only two finishes. Alliot reached the finish line at Österreichring (11th) and Zandvoort (10th).
Except Formula One, the only race in which Alliot participated in 1984 was the Trans-Am race in September at Trois-Rivieres, driving the Pontiac Firebird for Oftedahl Racing. He started from pole but retired after an accident. Alliot returned to the Trois-Rivieres circuit in September 1985, participating in the Trans-Am race with 7-Eleven Ford Capri, finishing sixth.
In 1985, Alliot's teammate Winkelhock was killed
In the 1985 Formula One season, Alliot stayed with RAM Racing, scoring even worse results than the year before. He finished ninth in the season-opening Brazilian Grand Prix. It remained his only race he was classified, because later in the season he had twelve retirements and one DNQ. The tragedy struck the team in August, when Alliot's teammate Manfred Winkelhock was killed in a sportscar race, a week before the F1 Canadian Grand Prix. He was replaced by Kenny Acheson.
Move to the F3000 and F1 return with Ligier
In June 1985, Alliot had a one-off appearance in the International Formula 3000, driving for BS Automotive in Dijon. In the 1986 season, he left Formula One and joined Oreca for the full season in the F3000. He had a relatively good start, winning one of six races, but in July he returned in favor of Formula One.
Alliot was hired by Ligier as a replacement for Jacques Laffite who was injured in the British Grand Prix. Alliot debuted with Ligier JS27 (Renault) in German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring. He qualified 14th but retired after 11 laps after an engine failure. In the Hungarian Grand Prix, Alliot finished ninth. Three retirements followed and then, in the Mexican Grand Prix, Philippe finished sixth and earned his first championship point. That point placed him to the 18th place in the final classification.
Prior to his F1 return, Alliot participated at the 1986 24 hours of Le Mans. He was driving the #55 Porsche 962C for John Fitzpatrick Racing, alongside Paco Romero and Michel Trolle. They finished the race 10th overall.
Alliot joined the Larrousse team in 1987
For the 1987 Formula One season, Alliot joined Larrouse Lola team to drive #30 Cosworth-powered Lola LC87. It was his career-best F1 season, as he reached points three times. He finished sixth at Hockenheimring, Jerez and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. With three points on his account, Alliot was 17th in the final classification.
Philippe stayed with Larrouse for two more seasons. The Cosworth-powered Lola took no points in 1988, with ninth place at Spa-Francorchamps as the best result. In 1989, the team switched to the Lamborghini V12 engines, but without notable success. Alliot finished sixth in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, to take at least one point in the whole season.
One more Formula 1 season with Ligier
For the 1990 season, Alliot returned to the Ligier F1 team. In the season-opening US Grand Prix, he was excluded when a mechanic worked on the car outside of the pit area during Friday's practice. Later in the season he finished nine races, which was the biggest number of races he finished during any one season so far. He retired four times and he was disqualified at German Grand Prix because marshals helped his Ligier JS33B rejoin the race after being blocked by another car. Despite relatively good performances, Alliot finished the season without points.
In 1990, Alliot participated for the third time at Le Mans, again with Kremer Racing. The car was #11 Porsche 962CK6, co-drivers were Bernard de Dryver and Patrick Gonin. They finished 16th overall.
WSC wins and Le Mans podiums with Peugeot Talbot Sport
In 1991, Alliot left Formula One and joined Peugeot Talbot Sport in the World Sportscar Championship, including Le Mans race. Partnered by Mauro Baldi, he won his first race with #5 Peugeot 905 at Suzuka. They scored two more podiums at Magny-Cours and Mexico, to finish third in the championship points. At Le Mans, Baldi and Alliot were joined by Jean-Pierre Jabouille. They retired early, after just 22 laps.
Le Mans partners were Baldi and Jabouille
In the 1992 WSC season, Baldi and Alliot were again sharing the third place, with two wins (Donington and Magny-Cours) and four podiums. One of the podiums was the third place at 1992 24 hours of Le Mans. Their co-driver in the #2 Peugeot 905 Evo1 was again Jean-Pierre Jabouille. The winners of the race were their colleagues in the #1 Peugeot Derek Warwick, Yannick Dalmas and Mark Blundell.
In 1993, Alliot was driving for Peugeot at Le Mans only, while for the rest of the season he returned to Formula One with Larrousse. Alliot, Baldi and Jabouille competed third consecutive year together and scored second in a row podium at Le Mans. The winners were again their teammates in the #3 car.
Fifth place at San Marino GP as the best F1 result
In the 1993 Formula One season, Philippe achieved his career-best result, finishing fifth at San Marino Grand Prix with Lamborghini-powered Larrousse LH93. He had five more Top 10 results, finishing ten races in total, which was his record for one season, despite being replaced by Toshio Suzuki for the last two rounds (Japan and Australia). With two points on his account, Alliot finished 17th in the classification of his last full F1 season.
Driving for McLaren at Hungarian Grand Prix
During 1994, Alliot was the test driver for Marlboro McLaren Peugeot and he had no driving duties until the Hungarian Grand Prix in August, where he replaced Mika Häkkinen while he was suspended. Alliot qualified 14th and retired in the race after 21 laps due to a water leak.
1994 Belgian Grand Prix was the last F1 race
In the next championship round, the Belgian Grand Prix, he was invited to replace Olivier Beretta in the Larrousse's #19 car. Starting from the 19th place on the grid, he retired with engine failure after 11 laps and this proved to be his last race in F1.
Results of racing in Zhuhai with Venturi and Toyota
In 1994, he participated in one of the International GT Endurance Series races in November, at Zhuhai street circuit. He was driving Venturi 600 LM for Agusta Racing Team together with Philippe Olczyk, but they didn't finish the race. Alliot returned to Zhuhai in November 1995, to the race of the BPR Global Endurance Series. He was driving Toyota Supra GT LM together with Pierre-Henri Raphanel and they finished 11th.
Full season in the French Supertouring Championship
During 1995, Alliot competed for a full season in the French Supertouring Championship. He was driving factory-entered Peugeot 405 MI16. With one podium in 18 races, he finished sixth in the points.
Two Le Mans retirements in 1995 and 1996
In the 1995 Le Mans race, Alliot partnered Pierre-Henri Raphanel and Lindsay Owen-Jones in the #25 Gulf Racing McLaren F1 GTR. They retired after an accident on lap 78. In 1996 Le Mans race, Alliot's crew recorded one more accident retirement after they had started third on the grid. He was participating in the race alongside Didier Cottaz and Jerome Policand in the #3 Courage C36-Porsche.
Focusing on GT racing since 1999
After two years without racing, Alliot revived his career in 1999, participating in one of the French GT Championship races, driving the BMW Z3 at Valencia. During 2000, Alliot had a limited schedule in the French GT Championship and FIA GT Championship. He drove Ferrari 360 Modena for JMB Competition in three FIA GT races, and then he devoted a full season to the 2001 French GT Championship, driving the same car. With four wins in 11 races, he finished fifth in the points. His driving partner was David Hallyday.
One more Le Mans attempt in 2003
In 2002, Alliot and Hallyday switched to Ferrari 550 Maranello for the full season in the FIA GT Championship. For the last two rounds, they changed the car and were driving Chrysler Viper GTS-R. In 2003, Alliot was competing with Force One Racing's Chrysler both in the FIA GT and French GT Championship. He also entered 24 hours of Le Mans for the last time, partnering David Hallyday and Carl Rosenblad in Courage Competition's Courage C65-JPX. They retired after 41 laps.
Racing at the age of 59 is not a problem
In the following years, Alliot was combining national and international competitions with different teams and cars, including GT cars and prototypes. In 2006, he was 8th in the French GT Championship, scoring one victory at Ledenon with Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. In 2012, he raced throughout the entire season with Ligier JS53 (Honda) and finished 7th with two podiums. At the age of 59, he recorded his last racing appearance in the 2013 V de V Challenge.
YouTube video : Monaco 1988 - one of many Alliot's crashes
Photos: autonewsinfo.com, motorsportm8.com, endurance-info.com, Getty Images, automobilsport.com