Today we wish little-known F1 driver Pascal Fabre a happy 51st birthday!
Hailing from the French city of Lyon, Pascal showed promise in Formula 2 in 1982 when partnered with Philippe Streiff at AGS.
Forced to drop back to Formula 3 the following year, he suffered a loss of finances (and his drive) midway through the season, which started with equal promise.
Several more seasons were spent between F3, F2 and Formula 3000, each starting with promise, only for the momentum to falter when the inevitable financial troubles hit.
A one-car operation, AGS competed in the Jim Clark Trophy category for non-turbo runners (along with Tyrrell and fellow debutants March, Larrousse-Camels and Coloni).
Fitted with an ugly 1970s-style airbox, the JH22 challenger was unbelievably reliable, but hopelessly slow. Only once did Fabre qualify off the back of the grid (and that was just because it was an odd-numbered field), and he was almost always consigned to the rear of the field.
In the second half of the season, his lack of pace was becoming something of an issue for the little team, and when the entry list expanded to 28 cars (courtesy of Coloni’s debut and Osella and Larrousse electing to field second cars), Fabre was not struggling to qualify.
His third DNQ – this time at Mexico – brought about the death knell to his F1 adventure, and he was replaced for the final two rounds by the much quicker Roberto Moreno, who promptly scored the team’s first championship point at the Australian Grand Prix.
With his open-wheeler career now finished, Fabre took a year off and entered the sports car racing scene. Between 1988-90, he drove for the Courage Compétition Porsche team in the World Sportscar Championship, and the remainder of the decade was spent making occasional appearances in the endurance racing scene.
[Images via f1 Rejects]