The Piquets at Le Mans. Like father, like son.
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The Piquets at Le Mans. Like father, like son.

The story of the Piquets at Le Mans dates back to 1996 when Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet senior took the wheel of the McLaren F1 GTR, the car that had won Le Mans the previous year. The triple Formula One world champion (1981, 1983 and 1987) shared a car with Danny Sullivan and Johnny Cecotto for the Bigazzi team. The crew finished eighth in a hard-fought race.

The following year, the Brazilian contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans again, this time in the long version of the McLaren F1 GTR. Unfortunately, the car he shared with JJ Lehto and Steve Soper was forced to withdraw. After that episode, Piquet decided to focus on his son’s career, although not before finishing second at the 24 Hours of Spa and completing the 1,000 miles of Interlagos (in a McLaren F1 GTR) – which he was to race again ten years later.

Piquet’s son, Nelson Piquet Jr (30), first entered the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2006 with Team Modena, aboard an Aston Martin DBR9. He and teammates David Brabham and Antonio Garcia finished ninth overall and fourth in GT1. Since then Nelson Piquet Jr has proved himself worthy of his illustrious name, with 28 Grand Prix for Renault F1 Team and a FIA Formula E championship title under his belt.

He will no doubt attract attention at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June when he will be competing as part of Swiss team Rebellion Racing. Piquet Jr will be sharing the #12 Rebellion R-One AER with Nicolas Prost and Nick Heifeld.

David Bristol / ACO - Translated from French by Emma Paulay