JULY 2, 2004
Ligier back in the racing game
Former F1 team boss Guy Ligier has taken a significant shareholding in Automobiles Martini, the French single-seater racing car constructor which is based at Magny-Cours. The 74-year-old has put his son Philippe Ligier in to run the business and has appointed F1 engineer Gilles Alegoet to be technical manager. In addition former F1 man Rick Gorne has been taken on to market the company's products on the international scene. This is interesting as it seems to suggest that Automobiles Martini will be moving into the North American market where Gorne has a strong influence, having worked for both Reynard and more recently Lola. The cars are expected to be called Ligiers and the apparent aim is to sell cars to the many racing schools around the world. One cannot help but wonder however if there are not plans for the Ligier name to be seen in competitive formulae as well. The first new car which is to be called the Ligier MK84, has been developed under the direct responsibility of Tico Martini. It is a brand-new concept of inexpensive racing car design combining a very stiff and strong carbon monocoque with six-speed semi-automatic sequential F1-type gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddle shift, and inexpensive standard parts to ensure minimal maintenance costs.
The car will be presented officially at th Paris Automobile Salon in September.
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