19/5/1913 - 7/6/1953
A very handy amateur sports car driver. He started out racing in a Talbot but switched to Ferrari taking a number of good wins in his short carrer that ended in a fatal crash in the 12 Hour race at Hyeres in France. Pierre Boncompagni died 69 years ago, he was 40
Pierre Boncompagni was born in Nice, France. He was a wealthy amateur driver who raced under the non de vollant of 'Pagnibon'. He raced Talbot and Ferrari sports cars in races in France.
Though a sports car driver he did sample single seaters driving a Deutche and Bonnet in a few French 500cc F3 races. At the Circuit de Draguignan, Toulon, he finished second in the second heat. He also raced one at Montlhéry that year. He also drove a Talbot T-150C SS in which he won the Mt. Ventoux and Draguignan hillclimbs and finished 4th in the Coupe du Salon at Montlhéry.
In 1951 he won in Nice, Orleans and the Circuit de Bressuire in a Talbot T150SS. With Europe returned to normality after World War II, the Automobile Club de Nice resurrected the Tour de France Automobile that year. The race attracted entries from Aston Martins and Jaguar as well as from a new sports car manufacturer, Ferrari. The team of Pagnibon and Alfred Barraquet won the race in a Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta Touring (0078E) hired from Luigi Chinetti. He took another win in Agen in the Talbot.
In 1952 he bought a Ferrari 212 (0141T). With it he won the Coupe de Vitesse, production car race at Montlhéry on March 30th and later the same day finished second behind Jean Blanc in the Coupe de Vitesse GT race. A week later he took a class win at Nice followed by second in the Coupe d'Printemps production car race at Montlhéry behind Lucien Farnaud.
He switched to driving a Ferrari 225S in May and took a win in the Circuit International de vitesse at Bordeaux and a sixth in the sports car Grand Prix de Monaco was followed by a DNF at Le Mans driving with Tom Cole from the USA. After another DNF at the Grand Prix de Reims, he came second in the Tour de France Automobile sharing the Ferrari 225S with Adolfo Macchieraldo. Another podium for second place at the Circuit d'Agen in September and a class win in the Coupes du Salon de l'Auto production sports car race at Montlhéry rounded out a very successful season. He also won the Val de Cuech Hill Climb that year.
Late in 1952 he aquired a right hand drive 340 MM Berlinetta PF (0236MM), and in 1953 he won the Rallye du Soleil with it. Then in February he came second in the Agadir Grand Prix in Morocco, second again in the Circuit de Nîmes in March and second in the Coupe de Vitesse de Montlhéry for sports cars in April, setting the fastest lap on the way. Then, later in the month he took a win at the 3 Hours of Algeria.
He then bought the ex-Giuseppe Farina/Luigi Parenti Mille Miglia Superleggera 340 MM Touring Spyder. With it he won first time out taking the Coupe de Printemps at Montlhéry. For the race, a French blue nose band had been added. The following weekend June 7th 1953, Boncompagni raced it at the Hyères 12 hour race in the South of France. Once again his season was looking very good but, after setting the fastest lap, the Frenchman lost control and crashed. He was thrown from the car and, tragically, Boncompagni died. 0268AM was returned to Italy where the damage, primarily to the front end, was fully repaired.
There is still a memorial to him at the Hyeres Hippodrome roundabout (thanks Jörg Kugler for this information).