Matra Sports Racing History


In the mid-1960’s Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and F2 racing with (especially) its MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships.
In 1967, Jacky Ickx famously amazed the F1 establishment by clocking in the 3rd-fastest qualifying time of 8:14” on the German Nürburgring in his 1600 cc MS5 F2, which was allowed to enter alongside the 3000 cc F1 cars. In the race, he failed to finish due to a broken suspension.

Matra entered Formula One in 1968 when Jackie Stewart was a serious contender, winning several Grands Prix in the Tyrrell-run Matra MS10 which competed alonside the works team.
The car’s most innovative feature was the use of aviation-inspired structural fuel tanks. These allowed the chassis to be around 15 kg lighter, while still being stronger than its competitors.
The FIA considered the technology to be unsafe and decided to ban it for 1970.

Matra CEO Jean-Luc Lagardère made a radical strategic decision for the 1969 championship: The Matra works team would not compete in Formula One. Matra would instead focus its efforts on the Tyrrell team (renamed Matra International) and build a new DFV powered car with structural fuel tanks, even though it would only be eligible for a single season.
The decision was even more radical given that Matra was seeking a partnership with Simca, then a subsidiary of the American company Chrysler, which would preclude using Ford-branded engines for the following year.
Stewart won the 1969 title easily with the new Cosworth-powered Matra MS80, which corrected most of the weaknesses of the MS10. Stewart’s title was the first won by a French chassis, and the only one won by a chassis built in France.
It was a spectacular achievement from a constructor that had only entered Formula One the previous year, but it had little impact on the French general public because the British contribution was too large to fulfil nationalistic pride.

For 1970 following the agreement with Simca, Matra asked Tyrrell to use their V12 rather than the Cosworth. Stewart tested the Matra V12 and found it inferior to the DFV.
As a large part of the Tyrrell budget was provided by Ford, and another significant element came from French state-owned petroleum company Elf, which had an agreement with Renault that precluded supporting a Simca partner, the partnership between Matra and Tyrrell ended.

The firm was also successful in endurance racing with cars powered by the V12 engine. The Matra 670 won le Mans in 1972, 1973, and 1974.


F1 Drivers


Jackie Stewart
25 GP
11 Victories
World Champion 1969
Jean-Pierre Beltoise
47 GP

Chris Amon
23 GP

Henri Pescarolo
15 GP



Matra Sports Records - 1965 to 1974

   - 334 Formula Races
   - 124 Victories
   - 104 Records of the Turn

1965  Title of Champion of F3 France - Beltoise
1966  Title of Champion of F3 France - Beltoise
 Title of Champion of F1-F2 France - Beltoise
1967  Title of Champion of F3 France - Beltoise
 Title of Champion of F1-F2 France - Beltoise
 Trophie of Europe of F2 - Ickx
1968  Title of Champion of F1-F2 France - Beltoise
 Trophie of Europe of F2 - Beltoise
 Title of Champion of F1-F2 France - Beltoise
 Trophie of Europe of F2 - Servoz-Galvin
 Title of Champion of the World - F1 Drivers - Jackie Stewart (Ms 80)
 Title of Champion of the World - F1 Manufacturers - International Matra-Elf
1970  Title of Champion of F1-F2 France - Pescarolo
1972  24 Hours of Mans - Matra-Simca
1973  24 Hours of Mans - Matra-Simca
Title of Champion of the World - Manufacturers Sport-Prototypes - Matra-Simca
1974  24 Hours of Mans - Matra-Simca
 Title of Champion of the World - Manufacturers Sport-Prototypes - Matra-Simca




 Jaussaud-Pescarolo on MS 620 (8th hour)
 Rees-J. Schlesser on MS 620 (9th hour)
 Beltoise-Servoz-Gavin on MS 620 (ab. 13rd hour)

1967  Jaussaud-Pescarolo on MS 630 (ab. 8th hour)
 Beltoise-Servoz-Gavin on MS 630 (ab. 12nd hour)
1968  Pescarolo-Servoz-Gavin on MS 630 (ab. 22nd hour)
 H. Muller-Servoz-Gavin on MS 630/650 (ab. 12nd hour)
 4th Beltoise-P. Courage on MS 650: 4945 km
 5th Ticket window - Vacarrella on MS 630: 4834 km
 7th Galli-Widdows on MS 630/650: 4443 km
1970  Brabham-Cevert on MS 660 (ab. 7th hour)
 Beltoise-Pescarolo on MS 660 (ab. 7th hour)
 Depailler-Jabouille on MS 650 (ab. 7th hour)
1971  Amon-Beltoise on MS 660 (ab. 18th hour)
1972  Amon-Beltoise on MS 670 (ab. 1st hour)
 Hobbs-Jabouille on MS 660 CS (ab. 24th hour)
 1ST G. Hill-Pescarolo on MS 670: 4691 km
 2nd Cevert-Ganley on MS 670: 4554 km
1973  Depailler-Wollek on MS 670 (ab. 8th hour)
 Beltoise-Cevert on MS 670 BS (ab. 12nd hour)
 1st Larousse-Pescarolo on MS 670 BS: 4853 km
 3rd Jabouille-Jaussaud on MS 670 BS: 4526 km
1974  Beltoise-Jarier on MS 680 BS (ab. 9th hour)
 Wollek-Jaussaud on MS 670 (ab. 9th hour)
 1st Larousse-Pescarolo on MS 670: 4606 km
 3rd Jabouille-Migault on MS 670: 4429 km