Tuesday 4 March 2014

Matra goes Racing

In the 1960’s, the French high-tech company Matra decided to start building racing cars as a way to promote their capabilities in a very public way.

They started designing and building Formula 3 and Formula 2 cars which relied on Matra’s knowledge of aeronautics and aircraft building methods.

These new racers quickly met with success, which encouraged Matra in 1968 to after the top level of racing, Formula 1.

With Scottish driver Sir Jackie Stewart at the wheel, they took 3 races in the season.

Pen&ink and markers on blue archival paper
© Paul Chenard

For 1969, they introduced a new car, and Stewart took the Championship.

With this first mission accomplished, they expanded into sports car racing, with the goal of winning at the 24 heures du Mans and the World Championship for Makes.

Latex house paint on oak plywood
© Paul Chenard

They won at Le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974, and took the Championship for 1973 and 1974. Driving home those 3 wins was French driver Henri Pescarolo, partnered with Graham Hill (Great Britain) the first year in a Matra MS670, and Gérard Larousse (France) for the next two, diving the Matra MS670B, then the MS670C.

Pen&ink and markers on watercolour paper
© Paul Chenard

After 1974, they stopped building racecars, and instead focused on racecar engine development and design.

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