Piëch marked the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with his enthusiasm and ingenuity for many years and his influence is still felt today. After completing his engineering studies, the son of Anton Piëch and Louise Porsche, and the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, became involved in the family firm’s racing programme and played a part in its maiden triumphs at Le Mans, especially in 1970 with the 917K. After joining Audi and the VW Group in 1972, he masterminded the marque’s revival through the development of the Quattro four-wheel drive system that brought Audi tremendous success on the racetrack and in the marketplace. Piëch backed the manufacturer’s investment in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999 which eventually resulted in 13 wins for the Ingolstadt-based firm.
The engineer and business magnate brought such prestigious names as Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche under the VW Group’s umbrella. Ferdinand Piëch passed away on Sunday 25 August at the age of 82.
Pierre Fillon, president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest: Ferdinand Piëch was a strong-willed, ingenious figure and a true personality of the motoring world. He enjoyed a stellar career in the fields of motorsport and business. As racing team boss and captain of industry, he has left an indelible mark on the history of our sport and our race. His passing brings home the value of his contribution. On behalf of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, I present my most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.
Photo (ACO): In 2001 as Chairman of the Board of the Volkswagen AG Group, Ferdinand Piëch, pictured here with ACO President Michel Cosson, was official starter of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.