Ex-Matra and BRM Formula One driver Jean-Pierre Beltoise passed away from a stroke while on vacation in Dakar, Senegal, according to reports. Beltoise's career in racing started in Motorcycle Grand Prix, went to F1, and included fourteen appearances at Le Mans. He was 77.
The high point of Beltoise's Formula One career was BRM's only win in 1972: the Monaco Grand Prix in 1972.
At Le Mans, Beltoise made his first appearance in a Renet Bonnet Aerojet. His best finish in the world's most grueling endurance race came in 1969, where he and teammate Piers Courage finished fourth in a Matra.
After retiring from F1 in 1974, he did most of the testing for the Ligier team and dabbled in a little bit of everything: touring cars, rallycross and even ice racing. According to Daily Sportscar, he tested a privateer Porsche 962 for Le Mans as recently as 1993. A kart track he operated near Paris bears his name to this day.
Characters like Beltoise who will race a little bit of everything are a real gem in motorsports, and we are deeply saddened to hear of this loss. Our thoughts are with Beltoise's friends and family.
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