One of the most accomplished men in motor sport
Gerard Larrousse was born May 23rd, 1940.
He studied at the ESCP, the Parisian School of Commerce.While he was a student he began taking part in rallies from 1961-65 and competed in the French Rally Championship at the wheels of an Aronde, a Dauphine and an R8 Gordini.
1966 was all decisive in that he became professional, NSU-France took him on as their works driver. The following year, he moved up a step when he became the official Renault-Alpine driver, winning eight rallies and finishing 2nd in the French National Rallying Championship.
In 1968, he continued his rallying activities with Renault, and also competed in a few circuit races in Formula France. He won at Albi.
From 1969-71, Gerard Larrousse was a member of the Porsche Rally Team, especially in the Sport Prototype group. He obtained numerous victories and was much respected for the eclecticism of his driving.
Notable wins included the Tour de Corse, the Sebring 12 Hours in 1969 and the Nurburgring 1000 km
In 1971. He also raced at the wheel of a BMW in Tourisng Car Racing and took part in hill climbs in a Chevron.
In1972 was a transitional period in his career. He was the Bonnier works driver in Prototypes and drove for Ford Cologne in the Tourist Car category while continuing hill climbing in the Chevron.
Larrousse won the French Rally championship with an Alpine A110 before focusing on closed track racing.
In a team with Vic Elford in 1971, Larrousse won the 12 Hours of Sebring with a Porsche 917K and the 1000km Nürburgring in a Porsche 908/03. He would follow this with victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1973 and 1974 alongside Henri Pescarolo for Matra-Simca.
The next important stage in his life was ’73 when he signed for 2 years with Matra winning Le Mans 24 with Pescarolo. At same time ran a Swiss team in 2-litre prototype racing.
He participated in two Grands Prix, debuting on May 12, 1974, scoring no championship points. He drove Brabham BT42s for Scuderia Finotto.
He entered Alpine-Renault in the ’74 and ended up working for Renault full time.
In ’76 he was made Renault’s competition director ending his driving career.
October 31st, 1984, Lorrous resigned from his post at Renault and took charge of the Ligier F1 team.
Larrousse also shared ownership of a Formula One team with various partners, and under various names, from 1987 to 1994.