Francois Delecour - Driver Profile

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Francois Delecour Career Summary

He is known as "Le Nutter", because he is crazy (in a sympathic way), always speaks his mind and doesn't hide emotions. But also he is the most unlucky driver. Or in other words, you just can't find anyone having been closer to clinch a World title without ever getting it (except Markku Alen maybe)!
- Francois wins the French Peugeot 205 Cup and Peugeot clearly feels they have found a future star to hang on to, but coinciding with the end of groupB rallying they are suddenly unable to offer a WRC career to Francois.
- Already the start of his WRC career was a weird one. First time in a 4x4 turbo works car - Monte Carlo 1991 in a Ford - and he leads throughout but loses victory on the last stage for a mechanical failure that couldn't be blamed on him.
- In 1993 his navigator Daniel Grataloup became rally world champion, but not Francois himself! Well, the reason behind that is, that drivers world champion Juha Kankkunen had to swap navigators mid season, so by points Delecour's navigator received the award - which shows that Delecour himself was right up there.
- For 1994 Francois was the clear title favourite. He actually won round1 Monte Carlo. He leads Portugal winning nearly every stage until engine failure forces him to retire. He dominated his favourite event Corsica already the year before, so Corsica 94 should have been the easiest win of the lot. But only a week before Corsica 94 Francois got involved in a road car accident caused by another driver, but which hospitalised Francois for half the season.
- When Francois returned behind the wheel later, he finished this rotten season off in style: On the RAC 1994 on the leg1 park stages Francois slips on mud and hits a forestry commission barrier in such way that the open bar drills itself straight through the windscreen and misses Francois' head by about 3 inches!!!!
- After all this Ford seems in a management mess as well and Francois doesn't compete a full season until 6 years later at Peugeot, where he stands in the shadow of new rising star Marcus Grönholm.

To that situation late in his career, below we copy part of the 2000 season write up. First however strange situation at Peugeot when they rescued Francois. In 1996 Peugeot only had a national F2 program with the 306 Maxi. Peugeot already caused for head scratching when after 1995 they sacked their clearly faster and more reliable driver Fabien Doenlen and hang on to younger Gilles Panizzi. Teaming up with Panizzi for 1996 was Francois Chatriot, so Peugeot's team was full and Francois Delecour's employment only an action of 'good will'. Delecour started off well with coming 2nd o/a and 1st F2 in Monte Carlo 1996. But surprisingly in this scenario Delecour remained in the shadow of Gilles Panizzi, who won the French Championship 1996 & 1997. While this seems like a disappointment for WRC star Delecour, to compensate for damage to his name the pair of Delecour and Panizzi was going at such speeds that the team's other 306 Maxi driver, Francois Chatriot himself a famous name as BMW, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru works driver at WRC level, quit mid 1996 saying that this was nothing short of insane and he didn't have the nerves trying to go the same pace!

Back in the WRC in 2000: Eventually Peugeot took both titles in convincing style. Peugeot was very much the story of the season. With their two titles they picked up exactly where they left 14years ago with the groupB 205 T16, what a manufacturer! But Peugeot was also the story of arguments. Poor Francois Delecour, the 2000 season looked like it could make up for Francois' unlucky old career. On the fast gravel in NZ Francois was leading ahead of Marcus Grönholm superstar until a gearbox problem sidelined him. On Corsica he was leading until team orders dictated him to 2nd place. In San Remo he was too much off Gilles Panizzi's pace to allow team orders, which led to a very public argument between the two French drivers. After Rally GB there was yet the next big argument between Francois Delecour and team manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas, which led to the surprise sacking of the driver. Francois' frustration was well understandable, since he was told that for 2001 he would lose his #1 status in the team. On the other hand the team management's point was equally as understandable, their #3 driver Marcus Grönholm became World Champion and anything else but having the reigning World Champion as #1 driver in your team just seems insane. Poor Francois, I really feel for this flamboyant, characteristic Frenchman. When he got the sack from Mitsubishi 2 years later, Francois went to the international press stating: "I really don't understand this, why do they do this to me. Mitsubishi really wasn't my fault, I really did nothing wrong. Peugeot, that was my fault, I want to apologise to them!"

Many years later Francois maybe delivers the icing on the cake. He finds a chance to drive a totally private Peugeot 207 S2000 in the IRC Rallye Monte Carlo 2011 – that is 9 years after his last start at WRC level. Francois Le Nutter has fun confusing everyone with his tyre choice at a mid event service, manages a huge stage win and finishes the event 5th, i.e. ahead of Petter Solberg in a works Peugeot. For WRC Monte Carlo 2012 Ford loans him a Fiesta WRC. This time he comes 6th, and leaving two impressions: At nearly 50 years of age he is still faster than about every semi works and youngster driver in the WRC, while his ways of erratic, humourful comments is an eye opener just how sterile politically correct the talk of modern stars are. Even for new fans to the sport, that have not seen Francois in his best days, this must have been a sympathical eye opener.

Francois Delecour Career Statistics


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Rally Honour Roll

Year Class Place Driver
2013 IRC Super 2000 4th. Francois. Delecour (75pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2012 WRC Super 2000 18th. Francois. Delecour (8pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2012 IRC Super 2000 19th. Francois. Delecour (15pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2011 IRC Super 2000 19th. Francois. Delecour (10pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2001 WRC World Rally Car 9th. Francois. Delecour (15pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2000 WRC World Rally Car 6th. Francois. Delecour (24pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1999 WRC World Rally Car 16th. Francois. Delecour (3pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1998 WRC World Rally Car 10th. Francois. Delecour (6pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1997 WRC World Rally Car 18th. Francois. Delecour (3pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1995 WRC Group A 4th. Francois. Delecour (46pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1994 WRC Group A 8th. Francois. Delecour (30pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1993 WRC Group A 66th. Francois. Delecour (112pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1992 WRC Group A 66th. Francois. Delecour (45pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1991 WRC Group A 66th. Francois. Delecour (22pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1990 WRC Group A 66th. Francois. Delecour (2pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1987 WRC Group N 66th. Francois. Delecour (7pts)

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

Career Results :

Pos Event Co-Driver # Vehicle Rego
7th. 2013 IRC Jänner Rallye D. Savignoni #3 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2013 IRC Rally Latvia D. Savignoni #3 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2013 IRC Tour de Corse D. Savignoni #3 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2013 IRC Rally Romania D. Savignoni #3 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2012 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Savignoni #8 Ford Fiesta (Mk6) WRC [UNKNOWN]
15th. 2012 IRC Tour de Corse D. Savignoni #16 Renault Mégane (3)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2012 IRC Rally Romania D. Savignoni #5 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2011 IRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Savignoni #6 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2002 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
34th. 2002 WRC Swedish Rally D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2002 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2002 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
13th. 2002 WRC Cyprus Rally D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
11th. 2002 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2002 WRC Rallye Deutschland D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Step2 [UNKNOWN]
10th. 2002 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2002 WRC Rally New Zealand D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2001 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2001 WRC Swedish Rally D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2001 WRC Rallye de Portugal D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2001 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2001 WRC Rally Argentina D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2001 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
4th. 2001 WRC Safari Rally D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
12th. 2001 WRC Rally New Zealand D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2001 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
10th. 2001 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2000 WRC Swedish Rally D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 2000 WRC Rallye de Portugal D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
7th. 2000 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
13th. 2000 WRC Rally Argentina D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 2000 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2000 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #18 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2000 WRC Cyprus Rally D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2000 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 2000 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 2000 WRC Rally Australia (WA) D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 2000 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1999 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Savignoni #19 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 1999 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN]
10th. 1998 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN]
8th. 1998 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #12 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1998 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1997 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN]
11th. 1996 WRC Swedish Rally D. Grataloup #5 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1995 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1995 WRC Tour de Corse C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 1995 WRC Rally New Zealand C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1995 WRC Rallye Catalunya C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 1994 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #6 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1994 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #5 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1993 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #6 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 1993 WRC Rallye de Portugal D. Grataloup #5 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 1993 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #3 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1993 WRC Rally New Zealand D. Grataloup #3 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 1993 WRC Rally Australia (WA) D. Grataloup #5 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
1st. 1993 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #3 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1993 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Grataloup #3 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1992 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #7 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
2nd. 1992 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #6 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
5th. 1992 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #3 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 1992 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #4 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 1991 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Pauwels #12 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
4th. 1991 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Pauwels #6 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
3rd. 1991 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #4 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
6th. 1991 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Grataloup #8 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN]
9th. 1990 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo C. Tilber #20 Peugeot 309  [UNKNOWN]
20th. 1987 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Pauwels #155 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 [UNKNOWN]
67th. 1984 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Pauwels #165 Talbot Samba  [UNKNOWN]

Career Retirements :

Pos Event Co-Driver # Vehicle Rego Reason
Ret. 2014 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Savignoni #12 Ford Fiesta (Mk6)  [UNKNOWN] SS1 throttle actuator
Ret. 2013 IRC Ypres Rally D. Savignoni #3 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN] SS0 withdrawn, budget
Ret. 2011 IRC Tour de Corse D. Savignoni #9 Peugeot 207  [UNKNOWN] SS0 did not start - tyre budget
Ret. 2008 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Giraudet #17 Peugeot 307  [UNKNOWN] SS0 withdrawn - budget
Ret. 2002 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Savignoni #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN] SS10 crash
Ret. 2002 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN] SS9 suspension
Ret. 2002 WRC Safari Rally D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN] SS4 engine
Ret. 2002 WRC Rally Argentina D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer WRC Step1 [KP51 RWO] SS7 crash
Ret. 2002 WRC Rally Australia (WA) D. Grataloup #7 Mitsubishi Lancer  [UNKNOWN] SS7 crash
Ret. 2001 WRC Rally Australia (WA) D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS13 crash
Ret. 2001 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1) WRC [UNKNOWN] SS19 fuel pump
Ret. 2001 WRC Cyprus Rally D. Grataloup #17 Ford Focus (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS12 engine
Ret. 2000 WRC Rally New Zealand D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS10 gearbox
Ret. 2000 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo D. Grataloup #9 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS6 car would not start
Ret. 1999 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS22 gearbox
Ret. 1999 WRC Rally Australia (WA) D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS12 gearbox
Ret. 1999 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS17 electrics
Ret. 1999 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS19 gearbox
Ret. 1999 WRC Tour de Corse D. Grataloup #14 Peugeot 206  [UNKNOWN] SS17 sabotage - rock placed on live TV stage
Ret. 1998 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #11 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN] SS17 fuel pump
Ret. 1997 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #8 Peugeot 306  [UNKNOWN] SS99 withdrawn - car needed illegal push start, completed stages for testing - 5th
Ret. 1995 WRC Rally of Great Britain C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS3 gearbox
Ret. 1995 WRC Rally Australia (WA) C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS18 crash
Ret. 1995 WRC Rallye de Portugal C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1995 WRC Swedish Rally C. Francois #7 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1994 WRC Rally of Great Britain D. Grataloup #3 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS7 disqualified - after crash
Ret. 1994 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #1 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS11 engine
Ret. 1994 WRC Rallye de Portugal D. Grataloup #1 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS12 engine
Ret. 1993 WRC Rallye San Remo D. Grataloup #2 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS6 crash
Ret. 1993 WRC Acropolis Rally D. Grataloup #2 Ford Escort (Mk5)  [UNKNOWN] SS32 engine
Ret. 1992 WRC Rallye Catalunya D. Grataloup #2 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS11 crash
Ret. 1992 WRC Rally of Finland D. Grataloup #8 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS11 crash
Ret. 1992 WRC Rallye de Portugal D. Grataloup #3 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS15 engine
Ret. 1991 WRC Acropolis Rally A. Pauwels #5 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS21 differential
Ret. 1991 WRC Tour de Corse A. Pauwels #5 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS22 differential
Ret. 1991 WRC Rallye de Portugal A. Pauwels #4 Ford Sapphire (Mk1)  [UNKNOWN] SS11 crash
Ret. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse C. Tilber #15 Peugeot 309  [UNKNOWN] SS11 engine
Ret. 1989 WRC Tour de Corse C. Tilber #23 Peugeot 309  [UNKNOWN] SS19 electrics
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Pauwels #132 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 [UNKNOWN] SS9 electrics
Ret. 1985 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Pauwels #125 Peugeot 205  [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine

Information may not be complete and should be used as a guide only.

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