Louis Charavel


Record updated 27-Feb-08

Louis Charavel
Charavel, or Sabipa as he was usually called, was born in the South of France in 1890, and started racing in 1920 when he finshed 4th in the Cyclecar GP at Le Mans in a Weler.

The following year he bought a Bugatti which he drove in minor events for the next four years. In 1925 he drove in the 12 Hour Touring Car GP at San Sebastian, winning the 1500cc class single-handed.

He was a member of the Bugatti works team in the 1926 Italian GP at Monza which he won, and in the 1927 Targa Florio he had a lucky escape when he skidded in avoiding a large boulder in the road, and ended up in a garden 50 feet below, quite unhurt.

He had another lucky escape in the 1930 French GP at Pau when he overturned and was thrown out into the road, to be narrowly missed by Birkin's Bentley which was following close behind.

During this period he was mostly to be seen at the wheel of Bugatti cars, although for the 1928 Le Mans race he drove an Itala, finishing 8th.

His last appearances in competition were at Le Mans in 1932 and 1933, when he drove an Alfa Romeo with Mme. Siko; they finished 4th in 1932.

Charavel acquired his pseudonym of Sabipa when in response to a journalist's question he answered "Je ne sais pas" (I don't know) which in his Provencal dialect sounded like "Sabe pas".