PEOPLE: JEAN-PIERRE BOUDY

Name: Jean-Pierre Boudy
Nationality: France

Jean-Pierre Boudy was born in the Dordogne department in southwest France just as the country was being liberated from the Germans in July 1944. He spent his student years at France's most famous engineering schools - the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers - first in Bordeaux and then in Paris. His passion was designing racing engines and, after graduating in 1969, he joined France's most famous competition engine builder Amedee Gordini.

A year later Gordini was taken over by Renault and Boudy was put to work designing a V6 rally engine for Renault. When that job was completed he teamed up with two other Renault-Gordini rising stars - Francois Castaing and Bernard Dudot - to design a two-liter V6 engine. This engine went on to win the European two-liter sportscar championship for the Alpine team; and was modified to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and several European Formula 2 titles. As this success was unfolding Boudy was away from the race tracks, researching cylinder head designs. In 1975, however, he was back with Dudot again, designing the prototype Renault F1 turbo engine. This made its race debut in 1977, driven by Jean-Pierre Jabouille.

As the Renault Sport team grew to become one of F1's leading players Boudy ran the engine research and development department. At the end of 1983, Jean Todt offered him the chance to be head the engine department of the new Peugeot Talbot Sport organization. Boudy jumped at the chance and in the years that followed his engines enjoyed remarkable success in rallying - winning the 1985 and the 1986 World titles and the Trans-Sahara Paris-Dakar raid on several occasions. Boudy's engines even won America's Pike's Peak hillclimb.

In 1989 Peugeot set its sights on victory in the Le Mans 24 Hour race and Boudy designed the V10 engine which went on to power Peugeot 905 sportscars to victory at Le Mans in 1992 and 1993. Inevitably, Peugeot decided it was time for F1, and so Boudy designed a new V10 engine which was raced in 1994 by the McLaren team. He became technical director of Peugeot Sport but after the operation was taken over by Asiatech he was replaced but later reappeared workin back at Renault Sport.

Print