André Boillot

André Boillot

8/8/1891 - 8/6/1932

André Boillot was the younger brother of Georges Boillot. He won many races after WW1 including the Targa Florio, the Coppa Florio. He was killed in a crash at the Ars-Le Châtre hillclimb in France.

André Boillot was the younger brother of Georges Boillot, the great French racing driver who was shot down during WW1. André himself was wounded in action but survived the war.

In  1919 after the war, the Targa Florio was restarted. The circuit was shortened to 67 miles but the race was increased to four laps for a total of 268 miles.

André Boillot was driving a 2 1/2 liter Peugeot originally built before the war. The weather for the November race was terrible and Antonio Ascari disappeared into a ravine from which he had to be rescued after the race.

The circuit was muddy, but Rene Thomas in a Ballot was comfortably in the lead until alerted by his crew that Boillot was closing rapidly. Alas too late and the Peugeot of Boillot ocertook him. Exhausted Boillot braked too late for the final corner and the the car spun and hit the grandstand. He was just thirty feet from the finish line.

Dazed and bleeding they were pushed free and crossed the line in reverse. There was a prostest but Ernest Ballot, the owner of the second place car, convinced Boillot to go back to where he crashed and re-cross the line in the right direction. Ernest Ballot's decision met with the approval and André Boillot was declared the winner and fainted. Ernest Ballot was prepared to forgo a victory in order to see fair play.

Andre qualified for three Indianapolis 500 races, 1919, 1920 and 1921, driving a Peugeot in 1919 and 1920 and a Sunbeam in 1921. He started and finished in the middle of the field in all three 500s. 

In November of 1922 Andre won the Coppa Florio driving a 1914 Grand Prix Peugeot powered by a 3.8-liter sleeve-valve engine. His average speed was 37.5 mph/60.4 kph.

Since the Coppa Florio was originally intended to be decided for the results of seven races with the overall winner being the manufacturer who won the most races. Unfortunately by 1925 all seven had been won by different cars (Panhard, Itala, Fiat, Isotta-Fraschini, Berliet, Nazzaro and Peugeot).

It was thus deceided to run an eigth race with only the makes that had won the Coppa before eligable to participate. The Nazzaro Company had already closed down and four of the others declined to enter, which left only Peugeot or Itala.

The 1925 Targa Florio was run over five laps around the Madonie in Sicily and it was decided to run also this final Coppa Florio concurrently with the Targa with the results of the Coppa deceided after the fourth lap. André Boillot was in the lead at that point and the Coppa Florio thus belonged to Peugeot.

In 1926 he won the 24 Ore di Monza in a Peugeot. Driving with Tattini they covered a distance of 2614.739 km. He also won the Spa 24 Hour race.

In 1927 the French GP meeting, Andre won the Coupe de la Commission Sportive support race in a sleeve-valve engined 14 HP Peugeot by a mere margin of 4/10 of second. In the race cars were allowed only permitted to use up to 11 kg of fuel and oil per 100 km. His margin of victory was just margin of 4/10 of second as he had to ease up on his last lap so as not to run out of fuel.

In 1931 he came 6th in the Gran Prix de Monaco in a Peugeot 174S. He was racing under his non de vollant 'Dribus'

A few days after having established several international records on the circuit of Miramas, near Marseilles, at the wheel of Peugeot 301 C, André, although tired, took part in Ars-Le Châtre Hillclimb (1,3km) near Chateauroux as a favour to the organisers who were friends.

During his third practice run on the 5th June 1932, he lost control of his Peugeot 201 X on the exit of one of the corner at over 100 Kph. The car hit a tree and caught fire. Boillot was extracted with difficulty and taken to the Hospital of La Châtre. He had suffered multiple fractures and succumbed to his injuries on 10 June 1932.

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