Today we wish former Grand Prix driver Patrick Gaillard a happy 60th birthday!
A graduate of Formule Super Renault, Paris-born Gaillard made his name in Formula 3 with a Chevron, finishing third overall in the 1978 European championship, claiming two wins.
He graduated to Formula 2 in 1979, but his Formula 1 opportunity came when Derek Daly vacated his seat at Ensign mid-season.
Making his debut on home soil at Dijon, Gaillard struggled in the awful-handling N179, and he only made the grid on two occasions in five attempts. He was replaced by Marc Surer before the year was out.
With no full-time ride in the offing, he made one more appearance at the 1980 Spanish Grand Prix, which was stripped of its World Championship. He finished sixth, driving Ensign’s considerably better N180 (pictured top), although he was the last of the runners to see the chequered flag in a race of attrition.
Thereafter, he enjoyed the occasional outings in Formula 2, CanAm, sports cars and the 24 Hours of Le Mans before he retired from competition. He later went on to become a racing instructor.
[Image via F1 Nostalgia]