Pierre Dieudonné

24/3/1947

Pierre Dieudonné
Pierre Dieudonné was racing driver and motoring journalist, he enjoyed success in European Touring Cars and Sportscars and as Sporting Director of ORECA, managed Mazda's victory at Le Mans, the first by a Japanese manufacturer.


Pierre Dieudonné was born in Brussels and spent a large part of his career competing in touring cars, twice finishing third in the European Touring Car Championship and winning the Spa 24 Hour race in 1974, 1975 and 1981.

In 1976 he drove a BMW 3.0 CSL mostly in the European Touring Car Championship with Xhenceval though they were joined at the Nürburgring by Hans Stuck. With 5 wins and a second they won the Championship. He had another good season in ETCC in 1977 finishing 3rd in the final standings, a feat he repeated in 1979 again with a BMW 3.0 CSi. 

He won Spa 24 Hour race in 1974 and 1975 driving a BMW 3.0 CSi and again in 1981 driving a Mazda RX-7 with Tom Walkinshaw.

He made his first visit to Le Mans in 1977 driving a BMW 3.0 CSi for Luigi Racing with Jean Xhenceval and Spartaco Dini. They finished 8th overall and 1st in the IMSA class. This was quite a task as they had just raced in the ETCC round at Brno in Czechoslovakia. They has decided that if the car was not damaged they would try to get an entry for the 24 hour race. The ACO agreed to let them go through scrutineering late due to the time it took to get from Brno. In all he made 11 appearances at La Sarthe finishing on 9 occasions.

Through the early 1980s he continued in ETCC driving a Jaguar XJS in 1982 and 1983 for TWR Jaguar Racing with Motul, and a Volvo 240 and a Mazda 727C in 1984 and '85.

In 1986 he drove a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and RS500 for Eggenberger Motorsport in the ETCC and the following year in the inaugural World Touring Car Championship with Steve Soper his regular co-driver and occasionally partnered by Klaus Ludwig. 

Driving with Steve Soper they won Bathurst 1000 but were disqualified for illegal wheel arch modifications but a week later took a win in Round 8 of the championship at the Calder Park Raceway run on a combined road course and the NASCAR-style high-banked oval. They finished fifth in the championship that year. 

Dieudonné finished third in the ETCC in the 1988 season driving for Eggenberger and also took part in one round of the 1989 British Touring Car Championship for JQMF Engineering with Chris Hodgetts in a Ford Sierra RS500. 

In 1989 he became Sporting Director of ORECA when Mazdaspeed asked de Chaunac's organisation to assist in their Le Mans and Sport-Prototypes World Championship's entries.

At le Mans he won the GTP Class in 1989 driving for Mazdaspeed with Hodgetts and David Kennedy and in 1991 he finish eighth for Mazdaspeed driving a Mazda 787 in the C2 Class.

Dieudonné also made the trip to Australia on other occasions to drive in the Bathurst 1000. After the 1987 disqualification, he returned in 1988 to drive a Sierra alongside Andrew Bagnall (Bagnall's Sierra was an Andy Rouse 'kit car', Rouse being the pioneer of racing Sierras in Europe and one of the main Sierra's rivals to the Eggenberger team). After Dieudonné qualified the car in 7th place, the car ran into overheating problems and only lasted nine of the scheduled 161 laps. 

He returned in 1989 to drive an Eggenberger built Sierra for Allan Moffat Racing with Gregg Hansford, the pair qualified 14th but the car was out after only 30 laps. Again racing for Moffat in 1990, "The Dude" (as he was known in Australia) drove both team cars, recording a DNF in the car he shared with Hansford and Niedzwiedz, and 10th in the teams lead car with Niedzwiedz and Biela in what was his last race at the Mount Panorama Circuit.

In June 1991, Team ORECA managed Mazda's famous victory at Le Mans, the first success by a Japanese manufacturer. Having moved more into a management role, Pierre stayed with ORECA when they ran the Chrysler Viper Team in 1996.

In 2014 he took on the role of Sporting Director of the highly successful Belgian WRT Audi squad in various GT3 series.


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