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Willy Mairesse

Willy Mairesse, 1961. Copyright LAT Photographic (www.latphoto.co.uk), 2010. Used with permission.

Willy Mairesse, 1961. Copyright LAT Photographic 2010. Used with permission.

Born:

01 Oct 1928
Momignies

Died:

02 Sep 1969
Ostend

Nationality:

Belgium

Grands Prix:

12 (1960-1965)

With his top-line career ended by injury, Mairesse committed suicide in his hotel room in Ostend. Fast, tough and wild, Willy was a good driver who did well in sportscars, winning the 1962 and 1966 Targa Florio, the 1963 Nurburgring 1000kms. Mairesse was the son of a timber merchant and this allowed him the necessary capital to start racing, initially in rallies, in the early 1950's. He won the 1956 Liege-Rome-Liege rally in 1956 in a Mercedes 300SL which he then piloted in sportscars. He impressed Ferrari enough in sportscars to get a chance with the team in Grand Prix's but his career was littered by crashes which he was lucky to survive.

Biography last updated 17 Jan 2016