The death of Jean-François Robin yesterday at the age of 81 is a sad blow to the endurance racing family across the globe, but particularly to French motorsport. He was an unassuming yet playful man with a wonderfully eclectic spirit who found great success in a variety of disciplines. He was a major contributor to the extraordinary legacy of Matra, then Renault Sport, with a host of wins in both endurance and Formula 1. With Matra, the engine specialist's track record is unforgettable: victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, 1973 and 1974 as well as two World Manufacturers Champion titles. He collaborated with some of the top drivers in the world thanks to his true technical artistry and his dedicated focus on the "human machine."
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest: "Passionately driven and involved, Jean-François Robin was a brilliant engineer who never shied away from a challenge, a sensitive man whose mind was always open and curious. At Le Mans, and in the world of endurance racing, Matra's reign was a legendary era that each of us remembers through visual memories of course, but also olfactory and especially sound. How could one forget the roar of the Matra V12? Jean-François Robin was a pillar of that team and of such a revolutionary period. He always paid attention to the evolution of motorsport. On behalf of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones."