DRIVERS: PATRICK NEVE

Name: Patrick Neve
Nationality: Belgium
Date of birth: October 13, 1949 - Liege

Born into a well known Belgian family in 1949, Patrick Neve de Mevergnies wanted to go racing and attended the Jim Russell Racing School at Snetterton. After that he stayed on as a floor sweeper and then as instructor. Eventually his persistence paid off and the occasional Formula Ford drive allowed him to build his career to get into a situation where he could win the 1974 STP Formula Ford title.

He moved to Formula 3 in Europe in 1975 and finished fourth in the series, having raced in a variety of different machinery including Safir and Bang & Olufsen Team Michel Vaillant. In 1976 he raised the money to rent a RAM Racing Brabham at the Belgian Grand Prix. Later in the year he rented an Ensign for the French Grand Prix but was unable to make much of a mark.

For 1977, however, he was able to negotiate a works March drive for the International Trophy Formula 2 race at Silverstone. He finished an impressive third and this helped him raise money from the Belle-Vue brewery to buy himself a drive with a new team called Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which had just been set up by Frank Williams and Patrick Head. The team ran a year-old March 761 and although he did not qualify for all the races, Neve managed to finish in the top 10 on several occasions, his best result being seventh at Monza.

For 1978 Williams landed sponsorship from Saudia and hired Alan Jones. Unable to find a deal to continue in F1, Neve moved to Formula 2 but his privately-entered March team ran out of money after a few races. In 1979 he was signed to be the test driver with the Kauhsen team which wanted to break into Formula 1 but the car was not very good and Neve soon withdrew.

He later raced at Le Mans and was a regular competitor in the Belgian Touring Car Championship and at the Spa 24 Hours. In the 1990s he entered cars in races under the Patrick Neve Racing banner while also running a sports promotion agency in Brussels.

His brother Guy Neve was also a successful Belgian racing driver.

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