Lucien Bianchi ( born November 10, 1934 in Milan, Italy, † March 30, 1969 in Le Mans, France) was a Belgian racing driver who once won the 24 - hour race at Le Mans and was renowned for his versatility in the motor sports.
Youth and origin
Bianchi was born the son of a Alfa Romeo mechanic in northern Italy. However, the family moved with the young people in 1950 to Belgium, where his father for the law known amateur racing driver Johnny Claes worked.
Rallies and sports car racing
Both his younger brother Mauro and Lucien were soon engaged in motorsport. So the Elder started from 1951/52, even on the side of Claes at the Alpine Rally and other tests. At the Tour de France for sports car he cut off the end of the 1950s, very remarkable, since he was able to win on a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta at the Olivier gendering Biens page in the GT class there from 1957 to 1959 alone three times. In the two subsequent years, he won the prestigious sports car race from Paris, which was more than 1000 kilometers and for which was also attended some current or former Formula 1 pilot.
Sporadic appearances in Formula 1 (1960-1965)
After winning in 1959 in the Formula 2 on the airfield circuit of Zeltweg a fourth place, he thus recommended for the higher class race car. During the 1960 Formula 1 season, he raced for the first time with an outdated Cooper T 51, where he could at least occupy the sixth place in his first race at his home track. In 1962, he first went with a yellow Emeryson, which was used by the Ecurie Nationale Belge. After not qualified due to the weak engine, the team was soon a Lotus one with which you figured yourself a better chance, but again, no luck it was granted, he was forced to retire with technical problems again. A change to the UDT Laystall Racing team brought no improvement. In Formula 1 remained from 1963 to 1965 greater success, since he participated only sporadically with changing teams and vehicles ( 17 races in nine years, among other things, Lola, BRM) at each race. His sense of achievement Bianchi won in all other motorsport classes, regardless of whether it was touring cars, sports cars or rally cars.
Victories at Le Mans and more success (1962-1968)
His greatest success was certainly the victory in the 24 - hour race at Le Mans in 1968 with a Ford GT40, which he contributed, together with Pedro Rodríguez. After all, it was his 13 " start-up " on this race. In 1963, he was gone, for example, together with Phil Hill on a special version of the Aston Martin DB4 GT at the start, which was indeed extremely fast, but also very susceptible to defects. Right after winning the difficult 12 - hour race at Sebring is mentioned that he had already decided six years earlier with Joakim Bonnier on a Ferrari Testarossa for themselves. In 1964 he again won the Tour de France, this time on a Ferrari 250 GTO.
In the curious London - Sydney Marathon race he lay with his Citroën in, as he unhappily collided with a normal road users and had to retire. In 1961 he had won with the Citroën DS 19 on the side of George Harris the legendary Liège- Sofia -Liège Rally, where they could dissociate supposedly stronger opponents such as the Austin Healey 3000, the Mercedes 220 SE or the Porsche Carrera. On 28 July 1963 he won the Solitude race at Abarth 1000 GT in the corresponding class.
His experimentation in terms of motor sport drove him even in the United States. There he tried to like some other Formula 1 driver in 1967 at the 500 miles of Indianapolis unsuccessful, as he with a Vollstedt touched the curve 1 by the official preschool.
Successes in Formula 1 and death
In 1968 he had first signed the Cooper - BRM team for a full season. A third place at the Grand Prix of Monaco and a sixth rank in Spa promised more for the future, but as the Formula 1 1968 season held him next regular starting places most of the defect devil. Bianchi had as a racer, not the unconditional qualifying speed, but the necessary stayer qualities in order to achieve better rankings even with a weaker material. Just this Upstanding qualities of the man with the Menjou mustache you had known to appreciate in sports car racing.
Bianchi lived in Brussels, where he operated an auto repair shop that had focused on the tuning of sports cars.
In the spring of 1969 he came with his Alfa Romeo T33 died when he at the end of the Mulsanne straight crashed into a telegraph pole at the preschool for 24 - hour race at Le Mans. With him died one of the last pilots to show particular success both on rally cars, sports cars and single-seaters. Such versatility should no longer be seen in the coming generations.