Latest News / Headline

Philippe Gurdjian, 1945 - 2014

30 Aug 2014

Former French Grand Prix promoter Philippe Gurdjian has passed away at the age of 69. Born in the suburbs of Paris in 1945, Gurdjian also helped establish a number of new F1 events, including those in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

Gurdjian began his career in advertising and was a keen gentleman racer, competing several times in the famed Le Mans 24 Hours in the 1970s and ‘80s. He took charge of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in 1985 and in 1991 oversaw its transfer to Magny-Cours, where it remained until 1998.

He went on to organise the Spanish Grand Prix for a time, and played a major role in bringing Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit to the F1 calendar in 1999 and 2009 respectively.

Among Gurdjian’s other notable achievements was overseeing the transformation of Paul Ricard into a high-tech testing facility, earning the venue the first FIA Institute Centre of Excellence Trophy for its outstanding safety standards. He was awarded a prestigious French Order of Merit in 2006.