Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, two-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, has died at the age of 84, the race organisers, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), announced Thursday.
Jaussaud won his first Le Mans in an Alpine Renault A442 in 1978, driving with Didier Pironi, who died in a motorboating accident in 1987.
He triumphed again two years later in 1980, sharing the wheel of a Rondeau M379 with Jean Rondeau, the constructor of this prototype car which they proudly said was 100 percent "made in France" and built close to the track at Le Mans.
"Papy Jaussaud has passed away, but the memories will remain intact," said Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO, in a press release.
"His emotion at the podium in 1978 marked a generation of enthusiasts.
"His victory in 1980 with his teammate and friend Jean Rondeau will forever remain as one of the greatest achievements of motor sport."
Unlike many of his contemporaries, such as Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Gerard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo, he never got the chance to drive in Formula One.
His only F1 experience was as a test driver during the development of Renault's first turbo single-seater at the end of the 1970s and a victory at Nogaro, one of his favourite circuits, during a vintage F1 race, with a Surtees.
However, he had a successful single-seater career with a victory in the Monaco Formula 3 Grand Prix in 1968, the national title in that category in 1970 before becoming European Formula 2 runner-up in 1972 in a Brabham.
In 13 participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1966 and 1983, he also finished third in 1973, 1975 and 1976.
Jaussaud also took part in the 1982 Paris-Dakar rally-raid in a Mercedes and finished on the podium.