DECEMBER 9, 1996
...but is De Cortanze leaving?
ANDRE DE CORTANZE is officially "on holiday" at the moment, which is a strange time for a technical director to be taking a break and is usually a sign that all is not well inside a team. De Cortanze joined Ligier at the end of last year as chief race engineer. He was promoted to technical director in April, replacing Frank Dernie when the TWR engineer left the team and Loic Bigois was appointed head of research & development
An Alpine engineer in the late 1960s de Cortanze first designed F3 cars and then F2 cars and sportscars for the European 2-liter sportscar championship. It was de Cortanze who in 1975 designed the Alpine A500 Renault F1 prototype. He was then put in charge of the Alpine Renault Le Mans project, which culminated in victory in 1978. He stayed with Renault until 1983 when he was appointed technical director of the new Peugeot Talbot Sport where he remained with much success until September 1993 when he moved on to become technical director of Sauber. After two years he moved to Ligier.
Disappointed that there was no money to improve the cars and in limbo waiting for Prost's moves, George Ryton has been hired to head R&D and Bigois appears to have been promoted to the chief design position.
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