Roger Laurent

Roger Laurent

21/2/1913 - 6/2/1997

Ex-Belgian motorcycle champion who switched to cars and in 1952, drove in two Grands Prix for Ecurie Francorchamps, finishing sixth in the Germany.

Roger Laurent was born in Liège, Belgium. He started racing motorcycles and was the Belgian motorcycle champion on five occasions.

He switched to cars and became a member of the Ecurie Belgique, initially racing the team's Veritas RS, before switching to their new Lago-Talbot in 1951, finishing seventh at Albi.

In 1952 he traveled to Helsinki and took a win in a non-championship F1 race against local opposition, none of whom were driving F1 cars.

That year the team, now renamed Ecurie Francorchamps, ran a yellow Ferrari T500, but for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, the car was assigned to Charles de Tornaco, so Laurent hired an HWM for the race. For the German Grand Prix it was Roger's turn in the Ferrari, finishing in a respectable sixth place.

He continued to race the T500 on occasion and in 1953 finished a fine second at Chimay and took a fourth at Syracuse in 1954.

Laurent also drove the team's Jaguar XK120 in sports car races. The XK120 was replaced by a C-Type in 1954 with Roger finishing third in the Dutch Sports Car Grand Prix, sharing the car with Jacques Swaters, the team owner. He also finished third at Reims and fourth at Le Mans.

In 1955 he crashed in practice for a race at Bari, sustaining a broken leg. He returned to racing and in 1956 once again finishing fourth at Le Mans, this time in a Jaguar D-Type shared with fellow Belgian, Freddy Rouselle.

He retired at the end of the year.

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