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This five-time Belgian motorcycle champion was a keen amateur racing driver during the early 1950s. His four-wheel debut was driving a Formula 2 Veritas RS-BMW in national events during 1949. Entered by the Ecurie Belge a year later, Roger Laurent finished third in the opening heat at Chimay before retiring.
Laurent was on the pace there again in 1951 when second behind Johnny Claes in the first heat. He led at the start of the second heat but spun and finished only seventh. He also tasted Formula 1 for the first time in 1951 – his Lago-Talbot T26C seventh in the non-championship race at Albi that May.
With the world championship switched to F2 rules for the following season, Laurent’s Talbot beat a local field to win the 1952 Elaintarha Ajot – nominally a non-championship F1 race around Helsinki’s zoo. It was his only F1 race that year although he drove an Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 500 in F2.
Sixth in the 1952 German Grand Prix
He crashed with Johnny Claes while disputing the lead on the opening lap at Chimay so Laurent hired a works HWM to finish 12th on his world championship debut in the 2 Belgian GP. The Ferrari was repaired in time for the German GP and he ran in the midfield to finish sixth – the final non-points paying position at the time. Laurent did not return to the world championship but his Ferrari was second in the Elaintarha Ajot and at Chimay during 1953.
Laurent made two appearances at Le Mans with a Francorchamps-entered Jaguar C-type. Ninth in 1953, he was fourth a year later with team patron Jacques Swaters as his co-driver. Appearances in single-seaters were less frequent by now although Laurent finished fourth at Syracuse in 1954 with his Ferrari now fitted with an F1 625 engine.
He suffered a broken leg while practising at Bari in 1955 and retired from the sport a year later.