Teddy Pilette

Full Name:
Theodore Jacques Rene Pilette
Born:
26th July 1942 (Age 76)
Brussels
Nationality:
Belgian
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

When Teddy Pilette started the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix, he became GP racing’s first third-generation driver – following grandfather Théodore and his father André.

Early racing career

Working as a mechanic for the Jim Russell Racing School, Pilette started racing in Formula Junior in 1962 and he tested a Formula 1 Bowmaker Lola Mk4-Climax at Snetterton that year. He later switched to a Fiat Abarth saloon car but his international career only gathered momentum when he joined Count Rudi van der Straten’s Racing Team VDS in 1967.

He drove an Alfa Romeo T33/2 in major endurance races a year later during which he finished fifth in the Targa Florio and fourth in the Austrian GP – both rounds of the International Championship of Makes. Also sixth in the Spa 1000Kms in 1969 and 1971, it was in the European Formula 5000 Championship that Pilette made his name.

Formula 5000 champion for VDS

Pilette initially raced in the 5000cc stockblock single-seater category from 1971 with a VDS McLaren. The team switched to a works-assisted Chevron B24-Chevrolet for 1973 and Pilette’s two victories and consistent results netted the European title. Driving VDS’s Lola T400, he repeated that success two years later in the final year of F5000.

He also raced F5000 in Australasia and North America and made the one GP start of his career by hiring a works Brabham BT42-Ford for the 1974 Belgian GP at Nivelles. 27th of the 31 drivers on the grid, he was still running in 17th position at the finish. He returned to F1 in 1977 at the wheel of the uncompetitive BRM P207 but failed to qualify for three GPs before racing the car in the following year’s Aurora British F1 championship instead.

Subsequent career

He won the 1978 Spa 24 Hours with Gordon Spice and a Ford Capri and made failed attempts to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, 1982 and 1983. The Belgian however did make a one-off start in Champ Cars at Watkins Glen in 1981 although his Mergard Racing McLaren-Chevrolet retired.

Pilette’s last major race was the 1987 Le Mans 24 Hours when his Argo JM19-Porsche was out before he could take the wheel. His passion for the sport remained undiminished though. He later competed on North American dirt tracks for fun and introduced the one-off Formula 3 Pilette that raced unsuccessfully in the German series in 1994.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1987 World Sports-Prototype Championship
Dahm Racing Cars
1 0 0 0 0
1982 World Endurance Championship 1 0 0 0 117th 1
1981 World Endurance Championship 1 0 0 0 0
1981 CART/PPG Indycar World Series
Mergard Racing
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1978 Aurora AFX British F1 Championship
Stanley BRM
10 0 0 0
0% win rate
13th 20
1977 F1 World Championship
Rotary Watches Stanley BRM
0 (3) 0 0 0 0
1976 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Racing Team VDS
7 0 1 0
0% win rate
8th 37
1975 World Championship of Makes 1 0 0 0 0
1975 ShellSport 5000 European Championship
Racing Team VDS
16 4 8 4
25% win rate
1st 174
1974 Peter Stuyvesant $100,000 Tasman Cup
Chevron Racing Team VDS
8 0 2 1
13% win rate
3rd 22
1974 Rothmans European F5000 Championship
Chevron Racing Team VDS
16 (2) 3 3 0
0% win rate
4th 108
1974 F1 World Championship
Motor Racing Developments
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1973 Rothmans European F5000 Championship
Racing Team VDS
14 1 7 2
15% win rate
1st 136
1972 World Championship of Makes
Ecurie Francorchamps
1 0 0 0 3
1972 Rothmans European F5000 Championship
Racing Team VDS
11 0 3 0
0% win rate
5th 25
1972 Tasman Cup
Racing Team VDS
8 0 2 0
0% win rate
7th 16
1971 International Championship of Makes
Racing Team VDS
2 0 0 0 1
1971 Rothmans F5000 Championship
Racing Team VDS
7 0 3 0
0% win rate
8th 18
1971 Tasman Championship
Racing Team VDS
6 0 2 0
0% win rate
6th 13
1970 International Championship of Makes
Racing Team VDS
1 0 0 0 0
1969 International Championship of Makes
Racing Team VDS
2 0 0 0 1
1968 International Championship of Makes
Racing Team VDS
3 0 0 0 3.5