12th of February – How about going to school again? Well, come to think of it, you probably never been to a school like that: 15 F1 cars, a Peugeot 905 Group C, similar to the Le Mans 24-Hour Race winning car, and a dozen of other race cars await you at AGS’ racing school in the South of France. And your instructor will be Patrick Gaillard who, by the way, is commemorating his 56th birthday today.
Patrick Gaillard entered the Formula 1 scene replacing Derek Daly at Mo Nunn’s Team Ensign from the 1979 French GP at Dijon on, but failed to qualify on thew first attempt. Always on the edge of making the grid, his first start came at Silverstone, where he finished 13th battling to the flag with his old F3-rivals de Angelis and Lammers. In the Austrian GP and was running 12th when his car suffered a suspension failure. After the Dutch GP, where he failed to qualify again, he was replaced by Marc Surer and completed his season racing in CanAm at Laguna Seca. In 1980 he came back to F1 in thedriving for Ensign in the Spanish GP. Despite finishing in 6th place he ended up not scoring that single point as the race was declared as discarded from the World Championship. After a couple of F2 and sports car outings, Gaillard became an instructor at the AGS Racing School in the south of France.
Tora Takagi was the protege of past F1 racer Satoru Nakajima and arguablt the best Oriental ever to try his hand at F1. He spend most of his time with Tyrrell in 1998 and with Arrows in 1999 learning new and a totally different culture. Immensly quick, but often beyond the limit, his race performances were frequently inconsistent. He returned to Formula Nippon in 2000, only to try America for size the CART Series in 2001 and switching to IRL in 2003.
Dennis Poore came from a military family, with links to the Scottish aristocracy, that controled the ship propeller manufacturers Manganese Bronze, he was a British Hillclimb Champion in 1950 and also funded the launch of motor sport magazine Autosport. He was briefly involved in the Connaught team and raced two Grands Prix for the team, his best result being a 4th place finish at the 1952 British GP. He later raced successfully in the Aston Martin sports car team, sold off the propeller business and tried in vain to save Britain’s motorcycle industry by buying Associated Motorcycles, the company which owned Norton, AJS and Matchless, also acquiring Villiers, Triumph and BSA. With the motorbike business having failed, Manganese Bronze developed a car component division, which Dennis ran until his death in 1987.
Born: 19th of August 1916 in London. UK.
Died: 12th of February 1987 in Kensington, UK, aged 70.