R.I.P Gerard Ducarouge

Incubus

Champion Elect
The creator of some of motor racing's most iconic cars has passed away at the age of 73.

He was amongst other things the designer of the MS80 on which Jackie Stewart won his inaugural WDC for Tyrrell in 1969 as well as the cars that earned Matra 3 successive Le Mans triumphs in the 1972-74 period.

After a successful spell with Ligier and a frustating one with Alfa he then joined Lotus who subsequently enjoyed a revival in the their fortunes and helped Ayrton Senna to his first wins in F1 in the iconic black-and-gold liveried lotus.

Less well remembered is the fact that he can be considered the father of modern-day diffusers in F1, having come up with the concept with the Lotus 94T in an effort to regain some of the downforce lost when ground-effect cars became illegal.








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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Well that's a massive blow to my day. :(

He came so close to returning Lotus to it's glory days.

Coming into Lotus having been sacked by Alfa in the usual complicated mix of Italian politics and motor racing, Peter Warr gave him just six weeks to design a replacement for the utterly awful Lotus types 92 and 93T, which had so far scored just 1 point between the two cars, and retired most of the time. JPS were threatening to pull out unless they saw a marked improvement in the team by the British GP. Gerard managed to modify the old type 91 chassis with new pick ups for the Renault Turbo, and a hugely redesigned body. At the British GP Elio qualified 4th, the teams best qualifiying position up to that point while in the race Mansall finished 4th. JPS liked what they saw and signed on again. And the team went on to score 11 points in the remaining races of the season.

A great designer and his departure from Lotus marked the effective end of the team as a force in F1.

A sad loss to the motorsport world.
 
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