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Jean-Marc Gounon

1st January 1963 (Age 57)
Aubenas, Rhone-Alpes
Most recent race (in database):

Steady rather than spectacular in single-seaters, Jean-Marc Gounon started nine Grands Prix with back-of-the-grid outfits.

Early racing career

That career began in 1985 with three promising seasons in Formula Renault. Runner-up to Erik Comas a year later, he was a strong favourite for 1987 but Gounon fell short once more when narrowly beaten by Claude Dégremont.

Fourth in the 1988 French Formula 3 Championship with a Promatecme Dallara F388-Alfa Romeo, Gounon joined ORECA for the following season as it chased a seventh successive title. 1989 was no different and Gounon’s Reynard 893-Alfa Romeo won five times to claim the championship with ease.

His Formula 3000 debut in 1990 was with a Mansell Madgwick Reynard 90D-Mugen. Initially outpaced by team-mate Andrea Montermini, he recovered to finish third at Hockenheim. They were team-mates again in 1991 with 3001 International’s Ralt RT23-Cosworths. Victory on the streets of Pau was the highlight as Gounon finished sixth in the championship.

Formula 1 with Minardi and Simtek

He moved to DAMS for his third F3000 campaign when another win in the Magny-Cours finale rescued an otherwise disappointing year and secured sixth overall once again. Gounon tested for the Larrousse Formula 1 team in 1993 and replaced Christian Fittipaldi in a Minardi M193-Ford for the year’s final two GPs only to retire in both Japan and Australia.

A hoped-for move to March failed to materialise so Gounon started 1994 in French Supertourisme. However, he replaced Montermini at Simtek for seven GPs when his former team-mate was injured in Spain. Ninth on his comeback in France was Gounon’s (and Simtek’s) best result in F1 before his funds ran dry.

Subsequent career

Gounon then competed in saloons, sports cars and ice racing for the next few seasons. It was in the new Sports Racing World Cup that he was successful once more. He won four races during 1999 with a DAMS Lola B98/10-Judd and shared victory at Spa-Francorchamps two years later with Marco Zadra and a BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 333SP.

The Frenchman continued as an endurance racing "gun-for-hire" for the rest of the decade and his ORECA Audi R8 was fourth in the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours.