Pierre Eugene Alfred Bouillin, better known under the pseudonyms "Levegh" and "Pierre Levegh" (le-VAY, born 22 December 1905 in Paris, Île-de-France, France – died 11 June 1955 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, Sarthe, Pays de la Loire, France) was a French sportsman and racing driver. He was the nephew of Alfred Velghe, who was known as "Levegh", an automobile pioneer and racing driver who died in 1904. After dabbling in ice hockey and tennis, he became obsessed by the Le Mans 24 Hour Motor Race, in which he made it his ambition to drive. In 1938 he achieved this by becoming a relief driver for the Talbot team.
Levegh had limited single seater success, finishing 2nd at Pau in 1947 driving a Delage before switching to the Talbot-Lago team, for which he would drive in 1949, 1950 and 1951, accumulating six World Championship starts, but no points.
Levegh continued his fascination with Le Mans and raced the works Talbot to fourth in 1951 but was disatisfied with the cars performance.
As the rule change in Formula One for 1952 made his car exempt, Levegh spent his money preparing his own Talbot-Lago for a unique attempt on Le Mans – to drive the whole 24 hours by himself. Leading the race in the final hour, an exhausted Levegh missed a downshift, over-revved the engine, and broke a connecting rod, forcing his retirement.
He got his next chance at Le Mans victory in 1955 when Alfred Neubauer called him up to drive the factory Mercedes. After voicing his unease at the narrowness of the straight in front of the pits, Levegh would be involved in a multi-car crash early in the race, catapulting his car into the crowd and dying instantly in the incident that claimed at least 84 lives.
Formula One CareerEdit
His next start was at the French Grand Prix where Levegh, like most of the Talbot-Lago's overheated and retired with engine trouble. His final race on the year was the Italian Grand Prix at Monza where he suffered gearbox trouble on lap 29.
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||1849.1 km (1149 mi)|
|Distance Led||0 km (0 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|