Didier Pironi - Death


In 1986 it looked as if Pironi would make a comeback when he tested for the French AGS team at Circuit Paul Ricard and subsequently, the Ligier JS27 at Dijon-Prenois. He proved that he was still fast enough to be competitive, but coming back to F1 was not truly practical.

His insurance policy had paid out a lot of money based on the fact that that Pironi's legs were injured so badly that he could never return to F1. Had he returned, he would have been legally obliged to pay all the money back.

Pironi decided to turn to offshore powerboat racing instead. On 23 August 1987, Pironi was killed in an accident in the Needles Trophy Race near the Isle of Wight, that also took the life of his two crew members: journalist Bernard Giroux and his old friend Jean-Claude Guenard. Their boat, "Colibri 4," rode over a rough wave caused by an oil tanker, causing the boat to flip over.

A few weeks after Pironi's death, his girlfriend Catherine Goux gave birth to twins. She named them Didier and Gilles, in honour of Pironi and Gilles Villeneuve, who died at the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix five years earlier.

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