.:: Jean Claude Andruet: The acrobatic "Crazy Horse" ::.

JEAN CLAUDE ANDRUET was born in France, in Montreuil on 13th August 1941. His debut in the rally world happens when he was 24 year-old, in 1965, with the conquest of the French JUNIORES Title on board of a RENAULT 8 GORDINI. JEAN-CLAUDE immediately shows his speed and acrobatic dowries, so that the press and the impassioneds give him the joky nickname of "CRAZY HORSE". We are at the end of the years '60, when the rally cars had the rear wheel drive and to drive them over the limits was a not certainly an easy job. ANDRUET however had talent and to drive hard for him was a natural fact. These innate dowries did not passed unnoticed to the rally impassioneds and in particular to the official RENAULT team that, at the beginnings of the years '70, gives him an Alpine RENAULT A110 with the colors of the mother house: the Blue. About the small French car very much has been said. It was compact, fast, conceived and built on purpose for rallies, even if the engine position and the rear wheel drive penalized it on gravel and snow. A real bomb! So invincible that only a car like the STRATOS, defined by the French "bete gagner" was able to interrupt its continuous successes.
ANDRUET with the Blue car exalted even more, showing the courage and the class that only the true champions have. In 1968 and in 1970 he is French Champion thanks also to important successes like at the TOUR DE CORSE, for a long time a binding and selective rally, that he will rewin again in 1972. The match ANDRUET-ALPINE arrives at the top in January 1973, when the French couple wins at the best the RALLY of MONTECARLO, a run that, singly, for prestige and difficulty has the same worth of a World Championship. In 1974 the great breakthrough arrives with the entry into the LANCIA official team. The ALPINE RENAULT, by now on the avenue of sunset, is dethroned by the LANCIA STRATOS, a car which we will never end to exalt the merits of. ANDRUET, also with the Italian bomb manages to do great things, always getting good positionings and a victory at the TOUR de CORSE of 1974 arriving before of the "drake" SANDRO MUNARI, number one on the Turinese car. Left the car of LANCIA, in 1975 he becomes ALFA ROMEO driver. With this car he doesn't get great successes but only good positionings like at the TOUR de CORSE in 1977 where he reaches the lowest step of the podium after having made spectacle of himself along the 10.000 curves of the Napoleon island. Always co-drived from the nice BICHE, in the same year he begins a new adventure called FIAT 131 ABARTH, car of which he was a master in the drive. With the 131 he wins the RALLY of ANTIBES and, with a great performance, also the RALLY of SANREMO, before of drivers of the caliber of MAURIZIO VERINI and TONY FASSINA.
In the following years, up to the end of 1984, ANDRUET is on board of group 4 and group B cars, maximum expression of the Rally World. In 1981 with the FERRARI 308 GTB, decidedly difficult car, he wins the TOUR de FRANCE, the RALLY of YPRES and the TARGA FLORIO and, at the end of the season he will be vice-European-Champion. In the following season he repeats on board of the FERRARI, winning again the TOUR de FRANCE, the CRITERIUM des CEVENNES and arriving at the second place end at the MONTECARLO and at the TOUR de CORSE. In 1983 he is engaged by the champion of the world MARTINI RACING team to dispute some competitions of the maximum division. With the LANCIA 037, first with the official colors and subsequently with those of the French importer CHARDONNET, ANDRUET gets great results.
"CRAZY HORSE" is again the champion of the past and immediately he arrives at the 7th place end at the RALLY of MONTECARLO showing once again that on the snows of the "MONTE" it is necessary to have class and courage to drive a rear wheel drive car. In the same season he will be however first at the RALLY du RORGUE, at the RALLYE la BAULE, at the CCRITERIUM des CEVENNES and at the RALLYE RODEZ, while he will withdraw at the TOUR de CORSE, at the TOUR de FRANCE, and in ANTIBES after a ruinous off street.
In 1984, still with the blue LANCIA RALLY 037 he imposes in the RALLYE du VAR and in the GARRIGUES while he is sixth at the TOUR de CORSE and second at the TOUR de FRANCE. During the two years to follow, the last of a career studded of successes, ANDRUET definitely leaves the LANCIA for the CITROEN, that engages him for the development of a new four wheels drive car. We are in the era of the rally SUPERCARs like the AUDI QUATTRO, the PEUGEOT 205 T16 and the LANCIA DELTA S4, too powerful cars for the little performing CITROEN BX 4TC. With this car ANDRUET classifies fourth in Sweden, still in a snowy rally done on purpose for his drive qualities, while in the remaining competitions of the championship he withdraws.
Lover of nature and life, ANDRUET has been an authentic champion of those that never surrender. He showed it during his own career, driving to the limit but with naturalness many difficult cars, all with the rear wheel drive always subdued by the hands of the champion. Let's remember him for the epic battles on board of the LANCIA STRATOS with the friend-rival DARNICHE, he also driver of great courage and talent. In 1995 ANDRUET participated once more at the RALLY of MONTECARLO on board of a small Mini COOPER 1.3 showing numbers of high acrobacy, to demonstration that in a true champion the class and the professionalism never fade.


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