Bertrand Gachot ( born December 23, 1962 in Luxembourg ) is a former Belgian- French race car driver. He started among others between 1989 and 1995 in Formula 1, winning the 1991 Mazda 24 - hour race at Le Mans.
Gachot is often reported in the literature only as a Belgian. The reason is that he grew up in Belgium and always took with a Belgian racing license. He sees himself not least because of its French parent as a Frenchman, but admits to be difficult to assign a single nation. He therefore often chose the flag of the European Union, for example, on his helmet. As far as is known, Gachot has both the Belgian and French nationality.
Gachot started his career as a kart driver. His path to Formula 1, he found about the British Formula 3 and Formula 3000th In his first years in the premier class of racing he was rarely used until he moved to the Jordan team in 1991 and achieved pleasing results.
Also in 1991, he won along with Johnny Herbert and Volker Weidler the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Wankel -powered Mazda 787B. This was the first and only victory for a Japanese engine manufacturer in this traditional race and at the same time Gachots greatest success. After an attack with tear gas on a London taxi driver in the same year he was serving a two-month prison sentence. During this time, Michael Schumacher took over the cockpit, which debuted so in Formula 1.
Gachot then drove for short periods of time in changing racing series. He, in 1995, the Pacific team as co-owner and drove the season itself In November 1995, he ended his racing career and sold his shares in Pacific.
After a year break, he was active again in 1997 in motorsport and drove at the 24 Hours of Le Mans team of Erwin Kremer a Porsche GT1 class. Another placement among the top in this long-distance race was the fourth place overall in the 24 -hour race in 1992. This time he went together with Johnny Herbert, Volker Weidler and Brazilian Maurizio Sandro - Sala a Mazda MXR -01.