Voeckler Grand Prix Engineering
|Full Name||Voeckler Grand Prix Engineering|
|Team Principal(s)|| Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler|
|Technical Director||Xavier Mestelan-Pinon|
|Phillippe Nicolas||AutoReject World Series|
|Dan Greenlaw||AutoReject World Series|
|Fotis Iordanou||AutoReject 3.5|
|Kevin van Kerckhoven||AutoReject 2.0|
|Kyoko Katayama||AutoReject 2.0|
|Noted Former Drivers|
|Thomas De Bock||ARWS 2017|
|Ron Mignolet||ARWS 2016|
|André Simon||Formula 1, 1955-1958|
Voeckler Grand Prix Engineering, often shortened to Voeckler GPE or Voeckler, is a racing team based on the outskirts of Paris in Linas, France. It was founded in 1955 by wealthy businessman turned racing driver Louis-Antoine Voeckler, but today is headed up by his grandsons Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler and Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler.
Voeckler GPE have a long standing and close relationship with Groupe Renault, having made its first forays into racing with customer Gordinis and Alpines before taking on factory projects for the French marque in touring cars, and eventually expanding into single seaters and sportscars. The team is present in series including ARWS and AR 3.5, and is also responsible for the factory Nissan prototype effort in the FIA Endurance Challenge.
VGPE is also the parent company of Trueba Racing Team, whom they acquired when buying out Il Barone Rampante at the end of 2016. Trueba continues to be based in Italy, though Trueba's SEAT Leon Supercopa entry continues to be run out of VGPE headquarters in France.
- 1 History
- 2 Results
Louis-Antoine Voeckler, who had driven for the factory Bugatti grand prix team in the 1920s, founded his own racing team in 1955 to field French drivers in the Formula 1 World Championship. Initially a small privateer team run out of the family estate in Levallois-Perret, Paris, Voeckler purchased two chassis from Alfa Romeo, mating them to a pair of ex-works Jaguar JFE-2 engines which had been acquired cheaply.
The opening race of the season at Monaco was the first appearance for both the team, and the beginning of a long association with André Simon, who would go on to be synonymous with the team's early history.
The team struggled in its first year of competition, the well worn second hand equipment meaning they failed to qualify for either Monaco or France, instead making it into the race at only Spa-Francorchamps and Monza. Simon scored their first race finish in 18th and last place at Spa, while in a three car entry for the Italian Grand Prix, Jean-Louis Rosier finished 9th in his final world championship race, with Clemar Bucci 11th and Simon failing to finish.
Louis Chiron had started the year as the team's second driver, but left after the French GP following two failures to qualify. Paris-born Swiss baron Toulo de Graffenried also featured twice mid-season.
The Voeckler team changed tactic the following season, selling off all their Alfa Romeo and Jaguar equipment. Having initially flirted with the idea of becoming a Ferrari B-team, Voeckler boss Louis-Antoine instead struck a deal with the factory Gordini team to borrow a race prepared car for the French and Belgian GPs, once again for André Simon. Though both world championship appearances ended in retirement, Simon qualified comfortably for both, showing much better pace than the previous year.
Continuing their relationship with Gordini, Voeckler once again utilised an up-to-date factory-spec car, with a single entry for André Simon in an expanded schedule. Electing to skip Monaco to prepare for Reims paid dividends, as Simon scored the team's first points and podium finish, coming second in the race. It was also Simon's first podium in five years.
After a career slump in the mid 50s, Simon had rediscovered the form which made him a grand prix winner with Motorsport Bleu in 1952, allowing Voeckler to compete regularly for podiums. Unreliability scuppered the team's chances in Belgium, the Netherlands and Great Britain, but another second place followed at the team's final appearance of the season in Germany.
Voeckler finished sixth in the Entrants' Championship, beating a plethora of factory teams and strong two-car privateer outfits in the process. Simon scored three extra points while racing for the factory Gordini team late in the year, but his two podiums with Voeckler elevated him to sixth in the Drivers' Championship.
Gordini had elected to withdraw from Formula 1 at the end of the previous season, initially leaving Voeckler in the lurch. Team principal Louis-Antoine Voeckler had struck a deal with Gordini midway through 1957 to acquire all the assets of their Formula 1 team, and expanded his team to a three-car effort for the following year.
1962 - World Sprint Racing Championship
Voeckler joined the World Sprint Racing Championship in 1962, purchasing a pair of Alpine A110s to compete in the GT 1.0 class. Following the conclusion of his grand prix career, André Simon joined the team once more in their lead car, with the founder's son Jean-François Voeckler driving the second effort.
Neither driver was able to score a podium in 1962, hampered by the dominance of the factory BMW team with its 700 RS model.
2017 - GT-R World Championship
Alstom GPE: Prost GP
Alstom GPE was founded approximately a third of the way through the 2001 Prost GP season to provide team owner Jérémy-Étienne's younger brother Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler a drive in the series. Frédéric-Maxime came in to the series having most recently driven in the F1RGP2C series with mixed results.
Despite the seemingly slap-dash formation of the team, F-M Voeckler was surprisingly competitive from the outset, regularly scoring podiums straight away. His consistency saw him climb above several full-time drivers very quickly, which eventually culiminated in his first series victory in Japan.
At Round 12 in Germany, Alstom expanded to a two car operation, with team principal Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler stepping into the #4 car. The extra points scored by the team principal helped Alstom to climb the Teams' Championship standings quickly.
While others around them in the championship faltered, Alstom surged ahead with consistent points finishes, especially from lead driver Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler who regularly finished on the podium throughout the campaign. The younger Voeckler snatched the lead of the Drivers Championship at the penultimate round, and a steady second place finish at the finale in Belgium secured the title at his first attempt.
Frédéric-Maxime Voeckler's outstanding performance in the drivers championship, matched with sporadic points finishes by team principal Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler was enough for Alstom to clinch the Teams' Championship at the same time, ensuring that in Prost GP's brief history, Alstom GPE would have a 100% record for titles won.
Alstom IBR: Venture into CART
At the end of 2001, it was announced the Prost GP management would be moving their franchise to America, taking over the open-wheel CART series from 2002 onwards. With little experience in American racing, Alstom GPE initiated a partnership with former works Chevrolet constructor Il Barone Rampante. The newly formed team was named Alstom IBR, with Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler becoming team co-principal alongside Alessandro Linari. Both he and Frédéric-Maxime would remain as drivers for the newly created parternship, with Joey Alliot joining the team.
However, the beginning of the year was a disappointing one, with both Jérémy-Étienne Voeckler and Joey Alliot eventually departing, in favour of Oriol Servia and Dennis Mignolet respectively. In a much stronger second half of the year, Servia would go on to win the AltCART title, edging out team-mate Frédéric-Maxime for the honours.
However, the AltCART series folded at the end of the year, and with it Alstom GPE wound down its activities.
Complete Formula 1 Results
|1955||Alfa Romeo AR161||Jaguar JFE-2 4.5 V12||MON||FRA||BEL||GBR||SCO||SOV||ITA||0||—|
|Toulo de Graffenried||Ret||DNQ|
|Alfa Romeo AR160||Clemar Bucci||11|
|1956||Gordini Type 56||Gordini G258/A 2.5 L8||MON||FRA||BEL||GER||GDR||IRL||SCO||GBR||ITA||THA||0||—|
|1957||Gordini Type 56||Gordini G258/A 2.5 L8||MAR||MON||FRA||BEL||NED||IRL||GBR||GER||ITA||ESP||USA||12||6|
|2019 Season ARWS Constructors|
|Former ARWS Constructors|
| Acuri - AMR - ARC - ArrowTech - Autodynamics - Bangelia - Boxtel - Calinetic - CR - DGNgineering - Dofasco - FAT - Flying Fish - Foxdale - Gauthier - Hemogoblin - HRT - Horizon |
IBR - JLD - Kingfisher - KQ - Lotus - MAN - Minardi - Mitie - Pacchia - Phoenix - Prospec - Revolution - Rosenforth - SOTL - Sunshine - Tassie - Tropico - Trueba - Virgin - West Cliff - ZimSport