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Philippe Étancelin (December 29, 1896 - October 13, 1981) was a French Grand Prix motor racing driver who joined the new Formula One circuit at its inception.

Biography

Born in Rouenmarker, Seine-Maritimemarker, in Normandy, he began racing with a Bugattimarker in 1926, making an immediate impact by winning the Grand Prix de Reims.

He worked as a merchant in the winterand raced cars during the summer.

His wife, Suzanne, served as his pit manager. Their three children were placed in a school in Rouen while she traveled with her husband to races around the world. She communicated with Etancelin through French sign language as he raced around the speedway. Suzanne told a reporter that Etancelin bought aracing car to celebrate the birth of their second child, Jeanne Alice. He did not intend to race the car but merely use it for pleasure driving around the countryside. The couple once drove it up to a speed of 125 miles per hour. After two years of recreational motoringEtancelin decided to enter a race.

Etancelin lost the lead to Giuseppe Campari on the final lap of the 1933 French Automobile Club race in Paris, Francemarker. The 19th annual event was 500 kilometers. Nicknamed "Phi-Phi," he teamed up with Luigi Chinetti to win the 24 hours of Le Mansmarker in 1934.

Etancelin was victorious in the 1936 Pau, Francemarker Grand Prix, driving an Alfa Romeo. He negotiated the 100laps of the Grand Prix De Pau in 3 hours, twenty-two minutes, and 22seconds. Etancelin qualified 6th for the George Vanderbilt Cup, which wasraced over 300 miles near Westbury, New Yorkmarker, in October 1936.Drivers qualified over a 20 mile distance of hairpin turns and a mainstraightaway at 150 miles per hour on a new 4 mile circuit. This was the million dollar Roosevelt Raceway. By this time he had won theMarnemarker Grand Prix three times.

Étancelin participated in twelve World Championship F1 Grands Prix, debuting on May 13, 1950. He scored a total of 3 championship points.

His fifth place in the 1950 Italian Grand Prix made him the oldest driver ever to score championship points.

In 1953 the government of France awarded him the Legion of Honor in recognition of his contribution to the sport of automobile racing that spanned four decades.

He died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1981.

Major career wins:

Complete European Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)
Year Entrant Make 1 2 3 4 5 EDC Points
1931 Private entry Bugattimarker ITA

Ret
FRA

Ret
BEL

34= 21
1932 Private entry Alfa Romeo ITA

FRA

Ret
GER

16= 21
1935 Scuderia Subalpina Maseratimarker BEL

GER

Ret
SUI

Ret
ITA

Ret
ESP

17 34
1936 Private entry Maseratimarker MON

Ret
GER

SUI

Ret
ITA

18= 28
1938 Talbot-Darracq Talbot FRA

Ret
GER

SUI

ITA

24= 29
1939 Talbot-Darracq Talbot BEL

FRA

4
GER

SUI

16= 28


Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 WDC Points
1950 Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot
Straight-6
GBR
8
MON
Ret
500

SUI

Ret
ITA

5
18th 3
Automobiles Talbot-Darracq Talbot-Lago T26C DA BEL
Ret
Philippe Étancelin FRA
5 *
1951 Philippe Étancelin Talbot-Lago T26C DA Talbot Straight-6 SUI

10
500

BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR

GER

Ret
ITA

ESP
8
NC 0
1952 Escuderia Bandeirantes Maseratimarker A6GCM Maseratimarker Straight-6 SUI

500

BEL

FRA
8
GBR

GER

NED

ITA

NC 0


* Indicates shared drive with Eugène Chaboud


References

  1. World's Best Drivers Vie For $60,000 In Cup Race, Washington Post, October 12, 1936, Page X15.
  2. Campari Wins Paris Auto Race, New York Times, June 12, 1933, Page 22.
  3. Wins Grand Prix, Olean, New York Times Herald, March 2, 1936, Page 13.
  4. Nuvolari Tops Qualifiers for Auto Race, Washington Post, October 8, 1936, Page X19.
  5. Vite! Vite! To Victory, Or-, Edwardsville, Illinois Intelligencer, March 13, 1939, Page 5.



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