Monday, 11 March 2013

Margot (Marguerite) Laffite


Marguerite (usually known as Margot) Laffite was the winner of the Andros Trophée Féminin in 2005, on her first attempt. It was her first taste of motorsport, despite having grown up as the daughter of former Formula One driver, Jacques Laffite. Her elder sister Camille also competed that year. She has returned to ice racing almost every winter since then, and is one of its most recognisable and decorated female participants.
In 2006, she was part of a works Fiat female team for the Promotion class of the Andros Trophy, with Justine Monnier. Their cars were Stilos. Margot’s best finish was second, in Andorra. Sadly, her form tailed off towards the end of the short ice-racing season, and she was 23rd overall, with Justine in fourteenth.
The summer counterpart of her winter adventures revolved around some appearances in the VW Fun Cup, including the 25-Hour race at Spa.
Since then, she has raced different cars on the ice. In 2007, this was a Peugeot 206 CC, and she was 27th overall, just above her team-mate Marlène Broggi, in 29th. The following season, in a Kia Rio this time, she was back to form, despite only running a part-season. She was 20th overall, with a best finish of sixth, at Alpe D’Huez. In 2008-2009, she was very much a part-time entrant, but still managed some top-ten race positions in her Rio. She was 24th overall. 
At the same time, she became involved with the FIA GT3 Championship, driving a Morgan Aero 8 GT. This car was not the fastest or most reliable in its class, but she and her co-driver finished four races in it in 2007, at Monza and Brno, twice beating her father, Jacques Laffite. In 2008, she was paired with George Alexandre Sturdza in the Morgan. After the official tests, they entered five European GT3 meetings. Out of ten races, the Morgan made it to the end three times, twice in 22nd place (at Monza and Nogaro) and once in 27th (at Silverstone). The sister cars did not fare much better, only occasionally getting into the top twenty.
That year, she also made guest appearances in several domestic series, including the French Porsche Carrera Cup. She took part in two races at Dijon. Later in the season, she appeared at the Le Mans round of the Mégane Eurocup, and was fifteenth in both of her races. She was supported by Boutsen Ginion Racing, who also ran her cars in the Andros Trophy. In between, she drove in the MitJet silhouette series. The results for this have not been forthcoming.
In 2009, she drove in the Renault Mégane one-make series, making two appearances, again as a guest driver for the Boutsen Ginion team. She was 16th in Catalunya and twelfth at Spa. This was the limit of her summer activities.
For the 2009-2010 Andros season, she drove in the new Electric category with Marlène Broggi, and was third in the team standings. She was tenth overall, behind Marlène in seventh, despite a third place at Alpe d’Huez.
The following season, she was ninth in the Electric class, with some top-five overall finishes but no big scores. She was sixth in 2011-2012, after another third place at Isola. This year, she won her first Coupe des Dames in the Electric Trophy.
Away from the ice, she concentrated more on media and advocacy work, and her only summer racing in 2010 was two guest appearances in the SEAT Leon Supercopa in France. She finished eleventh in both of her races, at Lédenon.
In 2012, she increased her summer calendar, and ran in Clio and Mégane Eurocup events, with mixed results. She was better in the Mégane, with a seventh and an eighth at Paul Ricard and Catalunya. Her best Clio finish was 16th, . She also did two guest rounds of the Peugeot RCZ Cup in France, at Lédenon again, finishing twelfth and eleventh.
Margot’s main job now is as a presenter of Eurosport’s French-language Formula One coverage, which takes up much of her time. She has received praise for her work. Despite this, she still had time to contest the 2012-2013 Andros Electric Trophy, and earn her second Ladies’ Cup. She was fourth overall. 

In spite of her TV schedule, she was also able to take part in the Megane Trophy Eurocup again. Again, it was a somewhat up-and-down season. Her best finish was sixth, at the Red Bull Ring, but she was usually in the lower part of the top ten. She mostly stayed out of trouble, and her performances were enough to get her into twelfth place in the championship. She also had the distinction of racing alongside her father on a few occasions this year.

She was set to race in the Andros Trophy again at the end of 2013, driving a Citroen DS3. However, she crashed whilst practising for the first round, at Val de Thorens, and fractured two cervical vertebrae. She had to sit out the Trophy. Although her injuries sounded dramatic, she was expected to make a full recovery.  

She did not race in 2014, but did continue with her TV work. She also became a mother at the start of 2015. At the end of the year, she returned to motorsport, racing a Citroen DS3 in the Andros Trophy, in the Elite class. She was eighth in the championship, second of the female drivers, and just two points behind Marlène Broggi. Super-Besse was her best meeting, and she was third overall.

She was back on form for the 2016-17 Andros Trophy, in which she was fourth, driving a Mazda 3 in the Elite class. Her best results were two second places, at Alpe d'Huez and Isola 2000. 
(Picture from http://enpleinelucarne.net/2013/03/margot-laffite-joker-834)  

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