Philippe Alliot has become the latest driver to join the Grand Prix Drivers Club.
He was a product of the successful Formula Renault programme where he raced alongside his countryman Alain Prost. Indeed Philippe became Formula Renault Champion in 1978 before moving to Formula 3 and then Formula 2.
Like many young drivers of that period in the early 1980s he did a bit of sports car racing and was third at Le Mans in a Kremer Porsche. His initial move into Formula 1 with the RAM-Hart Skoal Bandit team was not a success in 1984 and in 1985 it was even worse. For 1986 he turned to F3000 but during the season Guy Ligier brought him into his team and he took a sixth place in the Mexican Grand Prix.
He spent three seasons with Gerard Larrousse’s Equipe Larrouse with Lola-Cosworths and then the Lamborghini V12 which proved unreliable. Thanks to Jean Todt he was invited to join the Peugeot team for the World sports car championship and took three wins paired with Mauro Baldi.
He had his last full season in Formula 1 in 1993, again with Larrouse and a much improved Lamborghini V12 taking 5th place in the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola that year. Thanks to his links with Peugeot he ran once in 1994 with the McLaren-Peugeot but the engine caused him to retire and shortly afterwards he had his last grand prix At spa with Larrouse, this time with the Ford HB V8 engine but again had to retire and he chose to leave Formula 1 to continue in World GT events before forming his own team.