Olivier Grouillard

Olivier Grouillard

2/9/1958

Grouillard won the French Formula 3 championship in 1984. He moved up to F3000 in 1985 and to F1 with Ligier in 1989, scoring a point with a 6th plcae finish in the French Grand Prix. Tried his hand in Champ cars but returned to Europe to race sports cars.

Olivier Grouillard was born in Fenouillet in France. He participated in 62 grands prix, debuting on March 26, 1989. He scored 1 championship point.

A product of the French academy of motor racing, Grouillard was one of many whose early career was nurtured by the giant Elf petroleum company.

He started racing karts at the age of 14, graduating to single seaters in 1981 in the Volant Elf (the Elf Racing School championship), before progressing to Formula Renault in 1982, winning the title.

In 1983 he was signed by the ORECA team to race a Martini Mk 39 Alfa Romeo in French F3, where he came 4th.

He won the French Formula 3 championship the following year, 1984, from which he progressed to Formula 3000 where he competed from 1985 to 1988 with mixed results. He was not competitive for the first few seasons, but improved in the 1988 championship.

Adding some variety to his racing career, in 1987 and 1988 he had also raced in works BMW touring cars, driving in the European Touring Car Championship, with moderate success. He raced in the Bathurst 1000km classic in 1987, sharing an M3 with Winni Vogt and Altfrid Heger They started 16th and finished 12th, however 8 laps down on victor Peter Brock. Throughout 1988, he also campaigned an M3, but this time alongside ex-F1 star Jacques Laffite.

The following year Grouillard moved into Formula 1 with Ligier replacing the disgruntled Stefan Johansson as team-mate to René Arnoux. He made his debut in Brazil. The high point in his Grand Prix career was sixth place in France 1989. He subsequently drove for Osella and its successor Fondmetal as well as AGS and Tyrrell.

He then followed Nigel Mansell across the Atlantic to race in the CART PPG World Series in America with little success.

Unable to establish himself in America, he returned to Europe in 1994 to race sports cars in the BPR Global GT series. He continued in sports cars until 2000 when Grouillard make his last competitive start for the Pescarolo Sport team in the American Le Mans Series.

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