Louis Rosier

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Louis Rosier
Louis Rosier.jpg
Nationality Flag of France French
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1950-1956
TeamsTalbot-Lago, Ferrari, Maserati (mostly as privateer)
Races38
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums2
Career points18
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First race1950 British Grand Prix
Last race1956 German Grand Prix

Louis Rosier (born in Chapdes-Beaufort, 5 November 1905 - died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, 29 October 1956 [1]) was a racing driver from France.

Career highlights

He participated in 38 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 13 May 1950. He achieved 2 podiums, and scored a total of 18 championship points. He won the Dutch Grand Prix twice in consecutive years between 1950 and 1951, the Circuit d'Albi, Grand-Prix de l'Albigeois and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his son Jean-Louis Rosier. Rosier owned the Renault dealership of Clermont-Ferrand.[2]

Formula One & sports car competition

Rosier finished 4th at Silverstone in a Talbot, in October 1948. The event was the RAC International Grand Prix, the first grand prix to be held in England since 1927.[3] He drove a 4.5 liter, unsupercharged Talbot-Lago to 3rd place at the 1949 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. He was a lap behind the winner with a speed of 76.21 miles per hour (122.65 km/h).[4] Rosier won an International Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in June 1949. He piloted a Talbot in the 500-kilometre (310 mi), 32 lap event, achieving a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes, and 17 seconds. He assumed the lead after 23 laps, coming across the finish line ahead of Luigi Villoresi.[5] Rosier won the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans in a blue Talbot. He finished one lap ahead of Pierre Meyrat who drove a car of the same marque. Rosier covered 256 laps, 2,163 miles (3,481 km), in 23:54:2.2.[2] Rosier captured the Grand Prix d'Albi in Albi, France in May 1953. He drove a Ferrari, covering the 18 laps of the finals, 160 kilometres (99 mi), in 56:36:8. He average 160 kilometres per hour (99.42 mph).[6] Rosier placed second in a Ferrari at a Grand Prix in Aix-Les-Bains, in July 1953. His time was 2:24:48.1.[7] In April 1956 Rosier finished 4th in a Maserati, in a 201 mile race at Aintree. Stirling Moss drove a blue Maserati to victory in the 67 lap event for Formula One cars, with an average speed of 84.24 miles per hour (135.57 km/h).[8] Rosier finished 5th at the 1956 German Grand Prix behind the wheel of a Maserati.[9]

Ecurie Rosier

Louis Rosier was the owner and manager of a famous racing team, the "Ecurie Rosier". It specialized in Talbot-Lago T26s, and later Maserati 4CLT and 250Fs, as well as Ferrari 500s. This racing team allowed other drivers such as Henri Louveau, Georges Grignard, Louis Chiron, Maurice Trintignant, André Simon and Robert Manzon to find a competitive and well supported cars.

Circuit Louis Rosier

Louis Rosier was one of the key sponsors of the Charade race track. After WWII, Jean Auchatraire (president of the racing section of the local Automobile Club) and Louis Rosier promoted the idea of a race track around Clermont-Ferrand.

A set of preliminary designs were drawn up for a circuit of a length between 4 and 6 km, meeting the latest safety regulations with large parking capacity at a location just outside the city limits on a hilly landscape.

The Le Mans disaster (death toll: 135 lives) on 11 June 1955 brought the project to a halt. All race events were postponed. No further events were allowed to take place on temporary urban tracks. Racing events were only to be allowed on dedicated race-tracks, providing that they met a new set of rules. In Clermont-Ferrand, as was the case for many other new race tracks, new safety devices were being imagined and discussed, reviewed and assessed. But the concept of a "mountain race track" moved forward. It would be the only one of its kind in France.

Auchatraire, Rosier and Raymond Roche (the manager of Reims-Gueux race track) worked together to get the project accepted by the political community before searching for funding. But Rosier was killed at Montlhéry on 26 October 1956 and would not witness his project come to fruition. The racetrack was opened on 27 July 1958, with the name of its famous founder "Circuit de Charade Louis Rosier". Soon after, several champions participated in racing events on the track, each of them, including Stirling Moss, making very positive statements about the track and its surrounding.

Car manufacturer

Rosier's Renault dealership in Clermont-Ferrand was one of the largest Renault dealerships in France. Rosier's dealership also sold other industrial and farming equipment. The building housing this important business has been destroyed[10].

In 1951, Louis Rosier designed a prototype based on the 4CV Renault[11][12].

In 1953, using the concept of a barchetta that he raced at Le Mans[13], Rosier, together with Italian coachbuilder Rocco Motto, designed a cabriolet[14], still using 4CV Renault sub assemblies. This model was built in a quantity of about 200 units by Brissonneau[15]. It was even introduced at a car show in New York.

Some time later he designed a roadster using Renault Frégate elements with an aluminum body developed by Rocco Motto, on a multi-tubular frame. The engine was seriously revised, the body was lightened, the results was an interesting 950 kg for 80 hp[16].

Death

Louis Rosier died of injuries he sustained in a crash at the Montlhéry track, south of Paris, France, on 7 October 1956.[17]

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1950 Ecurie Rosier Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot-Lago Straight-6 GBR
5
MON
Ret
500
ITA
4
4th 13
Automobiles Talbot-Darracq SA Talbot-Lago T26C-DA SUI
3
BEL
3
FRA
Ret
Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago T26C FRA
6*
1951 Ecurie Rosier Talbot-Lago T26C-DA Talbot-Lago Straight-6 SUI
9
500
BEL
4
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
8
ITA
7
ESP
7
13th 3
1952 Ecurie Rosier Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 SUI
Ret
500
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
GER
NED
ITA
10
NC 0
1953 Ecurie Rosier Ferrari 500 Ferrari Straight-4 ARG
500
NED
7
BEL
8
FRA
8
GBR
10
GER
10
SUI
Ret
ITA
16
NC 0
1954 Ecurie Rosier Ferrari 500/625 Ferrari Straight-4 ARG
Ret
500
BEL
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
8
SUI
NC 0
Officine Alfieri Maserati Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ITA
8
Ecurie Rosier ESP
7
1955 Ecurie Rosier Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
MON
Ret
500
BEL
9
NED
9
GBR
ITA
NC 0
1956 Ecurie Rosier Maserati 250F Maserati Straight-6 ARG
MON
Ret
500
BEL
8
FRA
6
GBR
Ret
GER
5
ITA
19th 2
* Indicates shared drive with Charles Pozzi
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Luigi Chinetti
Peter Mitchell-Thomson
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1950 with:
Jean-Louis Rosier
Succeeded by
Peter Walker
Peter Whitehead


References

  1. Jenkins, Richard. "The World Championship drivers - Where are they now?". OldRacingCars.com. http://www.oldracingcars.com/bydriver/watn.asp?letter=R. Retrieved on 29 July 2007. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rosier First In Auto Race, New York Times, June 26, 1950, Page 36.
  3. Grand Prix To Villoresi, New York Times, October 3, 1948, Page S10.
  4. De Graffenried Annexes Grand Prix Auto Classic, New York Times, May 15, 1949, Page S6.
  5. Rosier Captures Auto Race, New York Times, June 20, 1949, Page 24.
  6. Frenchman Wins Automobile Race, Los Angeles Times, June 1, 1953, Page C4.
  7. Bayol Takes Auto Race, New York Times, July 27, 1953, Page 22.
  8. Moss' Maserati Takes 201-mile Aintree Race, April 22, 1956, Page 205.
  9. Fangio Captures Race In Germany, New York Times, August 6, 1956, Page 37.
  10. [1] (fr) Rosier dealership
  11. [2]Logo louis rosier
  12. [3] Coach Rosier
  13. [4] Barchetta Rosier
  14. [5] The Rogue
  15. [6] Cabriolet Brissoneau
  16. [7] Frégate Rosier
  17. French Driver Dies, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1956, Page C4.