1950s Le Mans 24 Hours racer Freddy Rousselle dies aged 88

Freddy Rousselle, who has died at the age of 88, enjoyed a shortlived but successful sportscar career that might have rewarded him with a Le Mans 24 Hours podium

1950s Le Mans 24 Hours racer Freddy Rousselle dies aged 88

Sharing a works-prepared Equipe Nationale Belge Jaguar D-type with Paul Frere, he was heading for second place in the 1957 event when ignition problems temporarily stranded the car out on the circuit.

The Belgian-entered car from Jacques Swaters' team was reputedly the quickest of the D-types at Le Mans that year, but lacked the reliability of its rivals on the way to an eventual fourth place in Jaguar's one-two-three-four finish.

Rousselle had also finished fourth at Le Mans the previous year at the wheel of the same Jaguar, chassis XKD 573.

He initially went to Le Mans as a reserve, but was drafted in to share with Swaters in place of sometime grand prix driver Roger Laurent just 20 minutes before the start of the race.

A third and final Le Mans start for Rousselle in 1958 at the wheel of a ENB Lister-Jaguar ended early with engine failure.

He also drove Porsches and Ferraris under Swaters' Ecurie Francorchamps banner, took part in the 1956 Mille Miglia and in the same year finished fifth in the Liege-Rome-Liege road marathon at the wheel of a Triumph TR2 shared with Robert Leidgens.

Rousselle came into sportscar racing via motorcycle racing and then rallying.

He was inducted into the Le Mans 24 Hours drivers' hall of fame in 2013 as the oldest living Belgian to have taken part in the French enduro.

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