13/4/1926 - 24/9/2005
André Testut was a racing driver from Monaco. He entered 2 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, both in Monaco, in 1958 and 1959. On both occasions he drove his Maserati 250F and both times he failed to qualify. André Testut died 17 years ago, he was 79 , He would have been 96.
André Testut was born in Lyon, France, but was based in Monte Carlo. His first race came in September, 1956, at the Course de Cote de Vuillafans-Echevanne. Both he and fellow Monégasque Louis Chiron were entered driving OSCAs, Chiron in a single-screened metal tonneau OSCA and André in a OSCA MT4 Roadster (1154). Chiron took the win closely followed by André in 2nd. Testut then finished 3rd Coupe d'Automne at Circuit de Linas-Montlhéry. During the winter of 1956 the nose of Chiron's OSCA was modified in ‘300S’ style and sold to André.
The following year he partnered Louis Chiron driving a Citroën DS19 in the tragic 1957 Mille Miglia which saw the terrible crash of Alfonso de Portago that took his life, that of his American navigator Edmont Nelson and ten spectators, including 5 children. That terrible event brought to an end the competetive running of the Mille Miglia.
On the 30th May he entered the 6 Heures du Forez du Planfoy and a further 11 meetings that year mostly in France. He finished 3rd in the Coupes du Salon at Linas-Montlhéry but his season’s highlight was finishing 1st overall at Vuillafans-Echevannes. He made a couple of overseas appearances, racing the Osca in the UK at Silverstone and in Caracas at the Venezuelan GP, a round of the World Sportscar Championship, finishing 11th overall, third in the 1.5 litre class. He shared the driving with Umberto Masetti under the Equipo Montecarlo banner. For Umberto Masetti it was a rare appearance on 4 wheels as he was better know as a Moto GP rider winning the 500cc World Championship in 1950 and 1952.
Following his sucess in 1958, André stepped up to Formula 1, acquiring a Maserati 250F (#2521). He made his debut at the Syracusse Grand Prix but, after being slowest in qualifying, he ran at the back until engine failure put him out of the race. He then entered the Monaco Grand Prix but failed to qualify. He did race the 250F again that year in the Côte du Col de la Faucille, a hillclimb, in the early part of September finishing 2nd.
The 250F was rebodied before appearing at the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix where once again he failed to qualify, 14 seconds off the time required to get onto the back of the grid. In June that year he briefly became an Osca works driver at Le Mans where he shared an OSCA S750 with Jean Laroche. Gearbox failure on the 88th lap saw the end of his only appearance at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
He died in Lyon in 2005.