26/2/1917 - 1/7/2015
Record updated 08-Mar-23
Robert La Caze participated in races and rallies mainly in North Africa though he did compete at Le Mans in 1957. He drove in one Grand Prix, the Moroccan GP in 1958, finishing 3rd in the F2 class. He was the first driver to race in Formula One under an African licence and the only driver to race under a Moroccan licence.
Robert La Caze was born in Paris, the grandson of a French diplomat. He moved to Moroccan when he was quite young and lived and raced there, becoming a leading figure in North African motor sport mainly rallying, taking part in events across North Africa. He also became the Moroccan national skiing champion.
He participated in races and rallies driving various Renaults, a Lancia and a Delahaye to great effect in the early part of the decade.
In 1954 he won the Moroccan International Rally in a Simca. He also raced a Mercedes 300SL in 1956 and appeared at Le Mans in a works Gordini the following year.
With Morocco given the honour of hosting a round of the F1 World Championship in 1958, La Caze was invited to take part. With Ken Tyrrell making his debut as a Team Manager in the World Championship, the two car team consisted of Guelfi and La Caze, both of them being 'managed' by Jabby Crombac. He qualified fourth out of the F2 entries and in the race La Caze drove his Formula 2 Cooper T45 steadily to finish third in class behind the works cars of Brabham and McLaren. Sadly, the race was marred by Stuart Lewis-Evans's accident which ultimately proved to be fatal, and the Moroccan Grand Prix would not return.
La Caze then raced with Jean Kerguen, who had also been part of the Moroccan Grand Prix F2 field, at le Mans in 1959. They also raced in theTour de France, finishing fourth overall in the latter. In 1960, they drove to 14th overall in the Rally Isla de Gran Canaria before returning to Le Mans with a Porsche 718 retiring with camshaft failure.
La Caze won the Rallye du Maroc for the second time in 1967 and drove again in 1968 but retired after an accident.
Following his motorsport career, La Caze ran a garage and a youth sports association in Marrakech. He was the oldest living World Championship driver from the death of Paul Pietsch in May 2012 until his own death in July 2015.