Matra Company's sports division under the name of Matra Sports, Equipe Matra Elf and Equipe Matra Sports (after a takeover by Simca in 1969 as Matra-Simca Division Automobile) was formed in 1965 and based at Champagne-sur-Seine (1965–1967), Romorantin-Lanthenay (1967–1969) and Vélizy-Villacoublay (1969–1979). In 1979 the sports division was taken over by Peugeot and renamed as Automobiles Talbot.
|Equipe Matra Sports|
|Base||Vélizy-Villacoublay, Paris, France|
|Team principal(s)||Jean-Luc Lagardère|
|Noted staff||Gérard Ducarouge|
|Noted drivers||Johnny Servoz-Gavin |
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||1967 Monaco Grand Prix|
|Final entry||1972 United States Grand Prix|
In the mid-1960s, Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and F2 racing, particularly with the MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships. In 1967, Jacky Ickx surprised the F1 establishment by posting the third-fastest qualifying time of 8:14" at the German Nürburgring in his 1600cc Matra MS7 F2, which was allowed to enter alongside the 3000cc F1 cars. In the race, he failed to finish due to a broken suspension.
The F1 team was established at Vélizy-Villacoublay in the southwestern suburbs of Paris, France. The car's most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks. These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg (33 lb) lighter, while still being stronger than its competitors. The FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970.
Matra CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère made a strategic decision for the 1969 championship: the Matra works team would not compete in Formula One. Matra would instead focus its efforts on Ken Tyrrell's team (renamed Matra International) and build a new DFV powered car with structural fuel tanks, even though it would only be eligible for a single season. The decision was even more radical given that Matra was seeking a partnership with Simca, which would preclude using Ford-branded engines for the following year. Stewart won the 1969 title easily with the new Cosworth-powered Matra MS80, which was designed by Gérard Ducarouge and Bernard Boyer, and corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10. It was a spectacular achievement from a constructor that had only entered Formula One the previous year. France became only the third country (after the United Kingdom and Italy) to have produced a winning constructor, and Matra became the only constructor to have won the Constructors' Championship without running its own works team.
Like Cosworth, Lotus and McLaren, Matra experimented with four wheel drive during the 1969 season. Johnny Servoz-Gavin became the one and only driver to score a point with a 4WD car, finishing sixth with the Matra MS84 at the Canadian Grand Prix. The MS84, along with Brabham's BT26A, was one of the last spaceframe cars to compete in Formula One.
For 1970 following the agreement with Simca, Matra asked Tyrrell to use their V12 engine rather than the Cosworth. Stewart got to test the Matra V12, but since a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant sponsor was French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, the partnership between Matra and Tyrrell ended.
The firm was also successful in endurance racing with cars powered by the V12 engine. The sportscar team was based at first at Vélizy-Villacoublay and then moved to Le Castellet, near Marseille, France.
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|Matra Sports||MS7||Ford Straight-4||D G||Johnny Servoz-Gavin||Ret|
|Matra Sports||MS11||Matra V12||D||Henri Pescarolo||Ret||DNS||9|
|Ford Cosworth DFV||D||5|
|Ford Cosworth DFV||D||Jackie Stewart||1||1||Ret||1||1||1||2||1||Ret||Ret||4|
|Equipe Matra Elf||MS120||Matra V12||G||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||4||Ret||Ret||3||5||13||Ret||Ret||6||3||8||Ret||5|
|Equipe Matra Sports||MS120B||Matra V12||G||Jean-Pierre Beltoise||6||Ret||9||7||7||Ret||8|
|Matra V12||G||Chris Amon||Ret||15||Ret||6||6||3||4||15||5||Ret||6||15|
1 In the 1968 Constructors' Championship, Matra-Ford finished 3rd (45 points), Matra(-Matra) finished 9th (8 points)
| Formula One Constructors' Champion
The 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 35th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 10 and 11 June 1967. It was also the seventh round of the World Sportscar Championship.
Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt won the race after leading from the second hour, becoming the first (and to date, only) all-American victors - car, team and drivers - of the race. Ferrari were second and third, and these top-three cars all broke the 5000 km mark in total distance covered for the first time. All overall records were broken – fastest, furthest, a new lap record and biggest engine to win, along with a number of class records.1968 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 36th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 28 and 29 September 1968 on the Circuit de la Sarthe, in Le Mans, France.
Originally scheduled for the weekend of 15 and 16 June, the race had to be delayed until September due to protests, strikes, and civil unrest in France during the summer of 1968. The rescheduled race increased the chances of the Prototypes against the Sports, as the new Prototype cars had matured during the season. It also increased the amount of darkness that drivers would be racing in compared to June, by about three hours: a total of 11 hours. Its new date made it the tenth and final round of the 1968 World Sportscar Championship of a tense and close championship between Ford and Porsche.
The winners were Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi, in the J.W. Automotive Gulf-Oil Ford GT40. Despite Porsche finishing second and third, the victory was enough to give Ford the manufacturer's title.
There were also two major accidents during the race ending the racing careers of Willy Mairesse and Mauro Bianchi (Lucien's younger brother), who both suffered severe burns in the crashes.1971 Formula One season
The 1971 Formula One season was the 25th season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 22nd World Championship of Drivers and the 13th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers which were contested conurrently over eleven races between 6 March and 3 October. The season also included a number of non-championship races open to Formula One cars.
The World Championship of Drivers was won by Jackie Stewart, driving a Tyrrell Ford, and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers was won by Tyrrell Ford.
After the death of 1970 World Champion Jochen Rindt the previous year, Lotus had a desultory season, with young and inexperienced drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi appearing in the cars. The team spent a lot of time experimenting with a gas turbine powered car, and with four wheel drive again. Using their own chassis heavily inspired by the Matra MS80 but with conventional tanks, Tyrrell and Jackie Stewart easily took success in 1971. Of the eleven World Championship races, Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx, Jo Siffert, Peter Gethin and François Cevert won one race each, while Stewart won the other six races.
Jo Siffert and Pedro Rodríguez, who had an intense rivalry driving for John Wyer's Gulf-sponsored works Porsche endurance sportscar team, both lost their lives racing in 1971. Rodriguez died driving a Ferrari 512 sports car at an Interserie race at the Norisring, Germany, in July, while Siffert died in a fiery crash at the World Championship Victory Race non-championship Formula One event at Brands Hatch, in October.
The battle of the 12 cylinder cars (Ferrari with their Flat-12 boxer engine, BRM and (to a lesser extent) Matra with their V12 engines) against the lighter Ford Cosworth DFV V8-powered cars proved to be the main theme throughout this season. Dunlop, one of the manufacturers supplying tyres to F1 teams, withdrew from Formula One and left the American giants Goodyear and Firestone to battle it out for this season.
This was the first season where at least 22 cars started every Championship race, except the Monaco Grand Prix, where 18 cars started.
The maximum race distance for World Championship Grand Prix races was reduced from 400 km to 325 km.1971 Questor Grand Prix
The Questor Grand Prix was a non-championship race for Formula One and Formula 5000 cars held on 28 March 1971 to inaugurate a new racing facility in California, the Ontario Motor Speedway.
In deference to the smaller fuel tanks of the F5000 cars, the race was run in two heats of 32 laps, and the final result decided by a points system. Jackie Stewart qualified on pole for Heat 1 and finished runner-up behind Mario Andretti. Chris Amon set fastest lap. Stewart and Andretti again finished first and second in Heat 2 and Pedro Rodriguez set fastest lap, quicker than Amon's time in Heat 1. Mario Andretti was declared the winner; with Stewart in second place and Denny Hulme third. Mark Donohue was the best-placed F5000 finisher in Heat 1, and Ron Grable best in Heat 2. Grable was also the best-placed F5000 driver on aggregate.
Hopes for a regular fixture rapidly faded due to financial problems; the Questor Grand Prix remained a one-off event and the Ontario Motor Speedway was never again host to Formula One cars.1972 Formula One season
The 1972 Formula One season was the 26th season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 23rd World Championship of Drivers, the 15th International Cup for F1 Manufacturers and numerous non-championship Formula One races. The World Championship season commenced on 23 January and ended on 8 October after twelve races.
For 1972 Team Lotus focused again on the type 72 chassis. Imperial Tobacco continued its sponsorship of the team under its new John Player Special brand. The cars, now often referred to as 'JPS', were fielded in a new black and gold livery. Lotus took the championship by surprise in 1972 with 25-year-old Brazilian driver Emerson Fittipaldi who became the youngest world champion at that point. Stewart came second in the championship.
This was the first year where all the races were run on circuits with safety features on them, and considerable progress had been made since 1968, the last year where all races were run on circuits with no safety features.
The British Racing Motors (BRM) team took its last victory when Jean-Pierre Beltoise won the rain-affected 1972 Monaco Grand Prix in a BRM P160.
The Dutch Grand Prix was cancelled this year because of safety arrangements that were not completed for the race. It was supposed to be held between the Belgian and French Grand Prix's at the usual location, Zandvoort. Also, a second American motor race called the United States Grand Prix West, originally supposed to be held in April at the Ontario Motor Speedway near Los Angeles, was cancelled. The Mexican Grand Prix was scheduled to be the last race of the season, but it was cancelled after local interest dissipated after the death of Pedro Rodríguez.Chris Amon
Christopher Arthur Amon (20 July 1943 – 3 August 2016) was a New Zealand motor racing driver. He was active in Formula One racing in the 1960s and 1970s and is widely regarded as one of the best F1 drivers never to win a championship Grand Prix. His reputation for bad luck was such that fellow driver Mario Andretti once joked that "if he became an undertaker, people would stop dying". Former Ferrari Technical Director Mauro Forghieri stated that Amon was "by far the best test driver I have ever worked with. He had all the qualities to be a World Champion but bad luck just wouldn't let him be".Apart from driving, Chris Amon also ran his own Formula One team for a short period in 1974. Away from Formula One, Amon had some success in sports car racing, teaming with co-driver Bruce McLaren to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966.Guy Ligier
Guy Camille Ligier (12 July 1930 – 23 August 2015) was a French racing driver and team owner. He maintained many varied and successful careers over the course of his life, including a racing driver and Formula One team owner.Henri Pescarolo
Henri Jacques William Pescarolo (born 25 September 1942) is a former racing driver from France. He competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record 33 times, winning on four occasions, and won a number of other major sports car events including the 24 Hours of Daytona. He also participated in 64 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one podium and 12 championship points. Pescarolo also drove in the Dakar Rally in the 1990s, before retiring from racing at the age of 57. In 2000 he set up his eponymous racing team, Pescarolo Sport, which competed in Le Mans until 2013. He wore a distinctive green helmet, and wears a full-face beard that partially covers burns suffered in a crash.Jean-Pierre Beltoise
Jean-Pierre Maurice Georges Beltoise (26 April 1937 – 5 January 2015) was a French Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver who raced for the Matra and BRM teams. He competed in 88 Grands Prix achieving a single victory, at the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix, and a total of eight podium finishes.Johnny Servoz-Gavin
Georges-Francis "Johnny" Servoz-Gavin (18 January 1942 – 29 May 2006) was a motor racing driver in both sportscars and single seaters.
He participated in 13 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix between 1967 and 1970, failing to qualify in one. He achieved one podium, and scored a total of nine championship points. He drove for the Tyrrell Formula One team, mainly as Jackie Stewart's teammate.List of 24 Hours of Le Mans fatalities
This is a list of 24 Hours of Le Mans fatal accidents, which consists of all the drivers who have died during a 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend, or in pre-race testing or practice sessions in preparation of the event. It does not include track marshals and spectators other race attendees, including the 1955 disaster which claimed the lives of 83 spectators. In all, a total of 22 drivers have died in and around the Circuit de la Sarthe, with more than half occurring along the circuit's Mulsanne Straight. Sixteen during the race itself, five during pre-race practice and testing sessions, and one en route to the race.
André Guilbert was the first driver to die in June 1925 during the race's third year, although this was due to a collision with a van while en route to the race, but is classified by race historians and authors of the official yearbooks, Christian Moity and Jean-Marc Teissedre. Marius Mestivier was the first race fatality, occurring only a few hours after Guilbert's death. The most recent death is Allan Simonsen, who died in the race of 2013. In total, two drivers died in the 1920s, another two in the 1930s, one in the 1940s, five in the 1950s, six in the 1960s, two in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, one in the 1990s, none in the 2000s, and one in the 2010s.Matra-Simca MS630
The Matra-Simca MS630 was a Group 5 prototype race car introduced in 1967 for the World Championship for Makes. The MS630 replaced the previous Matra MS620. The car was initially designated as the Matra MS630, but when Simca sponsored Matra in 1969, it was renamed as the Matra-Simca MS630.Matra (disambiguation)
Matra or MATRA may refer to:
Matra, a French company covering a wide range of activities mainly related to automobile, aeronautics and weaponry
Equipe Matra Sports, Matra's sports car division, former Formula One constructor
Matra R550 Magic
Mátra, a mountain range in Hungary
Matra, Haute-Corse, a commune of the Haute-Corse department in France, on the island of Corsica
Matra (music), a beat in Indian classical music
Matra, a horizontal line found in Devanagari and other members of the Brahmic family of scripts
MATRA, the acronym used by the Maesgeirchen & Tan y bryn Residents Association
MATRA Systems, a point of sale developer for theme parks around the worldMatra MS120
The Matra MS120 was the fifth and final Formula One car produced by Matra (following the MS9, MS10, MS11, MS80 and MS84).Matra Sports V12 engine
The Matra Sports V12 engine is an automotive internal combustion engine for motor racing and Formula One.
Although World Championship races held in 1952 and 1953 were run to Formula Two regulations, constructors who only participated during this period are included herein to maintain Championship continuity.
Constructors whose only participation in the World Championship was in the Indianapolis 500 races between 1950 and 1960 are not listed.