24h Le Mans
Jean-Paul Belmondo, motor racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Jean-Paul Belmondo, who passed away aged 88 on 6 September, starred in some 80 films. He came to the 24 Hours of Le Mans several times to cheer on his son Paul, a driver and team principal.
Jean-Paul Belmondo was an avid motorsport fan. In the film Ho!, he played a racing driver and drove a Matra around the Monthléry circuit He attended the Grand Prix de Paris when it was held at the Bois de Boulogne with drivers such as Louis Chiron, Raymond Sommer and Jean-Pierre Wimille on the grid. In 1974, at the Monaco Grand Prix, he introduced Jacky Ickx to his son Paul, who embarked on a racing career in 1985 and competed in five Formula One Grand Prix races in 1992 (with March F1), and another two in 1994 (with Pacific Grand Prix Ltd).
Jean-Paul Belmondo joined racing fans at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1970s. Then in 1999 and in the early 2000, he returned to La Sarthe to cheer on his son who was there to compete as both a driver and team principal. Paul Belmondo Racing entered the French endurance classic six times between 1999 and 2006.
As a national tribute to Jean-Pierre Belmondo is held in Paris today, Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, sends his sincerest condolences to the actor’s family and loved ones.
Photo: Franck Dubray/Ouest-France