Porsche 904

Paul Frère (30 January 1917 – 23 February 2008) was a racing driver and journalist from Belgium. He participated in eleven World Championship Formula One Grands Prix debuting on 22 June 1952 and achieving one podium finish with a total of eleven championship points. He drove in several non-Championship Formula One races, winning the 1952 Grand Prix des Frontières and 1960 VI South African Grand Prix.

He also won the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving for Ferrari with fellow Belgian teammate Olivier Gendebien.


Frère was born at Le Havre in 1917.

He drove for the Ferrari works team, with Peter Collins.[1]

After retiring from active racing in 1960, he worked as an automotive journalist based in Europe (he was the European Editor for Road & Track magazine). He had numerous acquaintances amongst vehicle design engineers, especially in Japan at Honda and Mazda and also worked as a consultant to automobile manufacturers. He also had the opportunity to test numerous road and racing cars as a journalist, one of the highlights being the Audi R8 which he tested and demonstrated during a break in the proceedings of the Test Day of the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans. At the time he was 86 years old, making him the oldest racing driver to drive a then-current sportscar.[2]

Frère, along with Piero Taruffi and Denis Jenkinson, was one of the first writers to treat motor racing as a skill that could be analyzed, explained, and taught. His 1963 book, Sports Car and Competition Driving is still a standard reference in the field. It influenced the development of competition driving schools, such as those founded by Jim Russell, Bob Bondurant and many others.

Frère was an expert on Porsche cars, in particular the Porsche 911, writing the definitive book on this series, The Porsche 911 Story. He maintained a close relationship with Porsche over the years. He was also considered an advisor and expert on the 911 by Alois Ruf, a respected Porsche tuner and manufacturer as head of Ruf Automobile, who consulted Frère during the development of Ruf's RGT8 Model.[3]

In 1967, Frère had a cameo appearance in The Departure, a Belgian film about a car-obsessed young man trying to get possession of a Porsche 911 for a race.

Only weeks before his 90th birthday in January 2007, he was badly injured in an accident near the Nürburgring and was hospitalized for 14 days in intensive care.[citation needed]

Frère died on 23 February 2008 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France). Turn 15 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, formerly the first part of the Stavelot corner, has been renamed in his honour.[4]

Rowing champion

Frère was also a successful rower winning three Belgian championships. In 1946 and 1947 he won the national title in a coxless four. In 1946, he also won it with the coxed four.

Racing record

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 WDC Points
1952 HW Motors Ltd HWM 52 Alta 2.0 L4 SUI 500 BEL
16th 2
Ecurie Belge Simca-Gordini T15 Gordini 1.5 L4 NED
1953 HW Motors Ltd HWM 53 Alta 2.0 L4 ARG 500 NED BEL
1954 Equipe Gordini Gordini T16 Gordini 2.0 L6 ARG 500 BEL
1955 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 555 Ferrari 106 2.5 L4 ARG MON
500 BEL
NED GBR ITA 15th 3
1956 Scuderia Ferrari Lancia Ferrari D50 Lancia Ferrari DS50 2.5 V8 ARG MON 500 BEL

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1953 West Germany Porsche KG West Germany Richard von Frankenberg Porsche 550 Coupé S1.5 247 15th 1st
1954 United Kingdom Aston Martin Lagonda United States Carroll Shelby Aston Martin DB3S S3.0 74 DNF
(Front axle)
1955 United Kingdom Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd United Kingdom Peter Collins Aston Martin DB3S S3.0 302 2nd 1st
1956 United Kingdom Jaguar Cars Ltd. United Kingdom Desmond Titterington Jaguar D-Type S5.0 2 DNF
1957 Belgium Equipe Nationale Belge Belgium Freddy Rousselle Jaguar D-Type S5.0 310 4th 4th
1958 West Germany Porsche KG East Germany Edgar Barth Porsche 718 RSK S1.5 290 4th 1st
1959 United Kingdom David Brown Racing Dept France Maurice Trintignant Aston Martin DBR1/300 S3.0 322 2nd 2nd
1960 Italy Scuderia Ferrari Belgium Olivier Gendebien Ferrari 250 TR59/60 S3.0 314 1st 1st

Complete 12 Hours of Sebring results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1957 France Renault Company France Jean Lucas Renault Dauphine T1.0 134 NC


  1. ^ "Paul Frere 1917–2008. An obituary by Mark Walton". Car Magazine. 26 February 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Paul Frère in the Audi R8". motorsport.com. 4 May 2003. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  3. ^ Interview with Alois Ruf. 6 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 December 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
  4. ^ "In memory of Paul Frere". grandprix.com. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
  5. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 145. ISBN 0851127029.
Sporting positions
Preceded by Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
With: Olivier Gendebien
Succeeded by