Podcast number 359 now online.
Special interview: A conversation, Nasir Hameed speaks with Jean Pierre Beltoise.
Jean-Pierre Maurice Georges Beltoise : born 26 April 1937 in Paris, France is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver who raced for the Matra and BRM teams.
Beltoise won 11 national motorcycle titles in three years. He competed in international Grand Prix motorcycle racing from the 1962 to 1964 seasons in the 50, 125 and 250 cc classes. His best finish was a sixth place in the 1964 50 cc World Championship.
In 1963 he was racing a 1.1-litre Rene Bonnet sports car. His career almost ended with a huge crash in the Reims 12-hour sports car race, in which he suffered a broken arm. Beltoise raced to a win in the 1965 Reims Formula 3 race, after which he graduated to Formula 2 for the following season.
He had good seasons in 1966 and 1967 and entered Formula 1 in a V12-engined Matra, and scored a great second place in the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix. In 1969 he was recruited by Ken Tyrrell to the Matra team, driving alongside Jackie Stewart, finishing second in the 1969 French Grand Prix. In 1971, racing in the Matra sports car team, he was involved in the accident which killed Ignazio Giunti in Buenos Aires, and his international racing license was suspended for some time. In 1972 he joined the BRM team and won what turned out to be BRM’s final Formula One victory at the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix under heavy rain. He finally retired from Formula 1 at the end of the 1974 season.
He later did most of the testing for the Ligier F1 team and later turned his attention to touring car racing in France and won the French title twice for BMW before entering rallycross in an Alpine-Renault with which he won the French title. In 1981 he returned to touring cars and raced for Peugeot throughout the 1980s. He is also a regular ice racer. He has two sons who are both race drivers.
In fiction, Beltoise frequently appeared in the Michel Vaillant series of comic books, amongst others being part of the winning Vaillante Le Mans team.