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8W is forix.autosport.com's motorsport history section and covers the drivers, cars, circuits, eras and technology that shaped the face, sounds and smells of motor racing.

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Patrick Gaillard profile
One wrong decision

There are some defining occasions in life. Vital decisions, job changes, unique opportunities, a special invitation… Like any other 'job' in the world, motor racing faces all these circumstances and, generally, career success depends on a multitude of factors. But what happens when, in different periods of your life, one of these countless factors has a tiny, little problem? It may have no consequences, hold back your progress, open another door, or… slowly erode your chances to be among the very great. Proof of it is a rather unknown Frenchman, Patrick Gaillard. Guilherme Ribeiro investigates his career.

Patrick Gaillard, Ensign N179, 1979 British GP

 

2016 Spa Six Hours report
Before the rain

Jason Wright/Michael Gans/Andy Wolfe, Ford GT40, 2016 Spa Six Hours

Rain was predicted all week, and in the end it did fall but only moments after the winning Ford GT40 of Jason Wright, Michael Gans and Andy Wolfe crossed the line. In fact, the spray of champagne with which the old pitlane was showered felt a lot wetter than the few drops of genuine water to come down from the heavens above the Ardennes. You’d think the 2016 Spa Six Hours was easy then, but the truth was that the attrition rate was higher than ever. Of eleven GT40s entered, only the Wright/Gans/Wolfe ran troublefree – which handed them a long-awaited victory – while many of their rivals also faltered.

 

2016 Zandvoort Historic GP report
Down to the wire

For the first time in its five-year history, spectator figures were down at the ever-growing Zandvoort Historic Grand Prix. While that may have some clear causes, the fact didn’t take anything away from the programme, which was varied as usual, with a couple of wonderful surprises added into the mix, especially in the demo section. The undoubted highlight was the appearance of Mark Donohue’s ‘fastest car ever’, the amazing CanAm Porsche 917-30, driven by Dutch F1 and Le Mans legend Gijs van Lennep, who proved that even a septagenarian can still be as happy as a child.

Gijs van Lennep, Porsche 917-30, 2016 Zandvoort Historic GP

 

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