“An Award in his name” …
His legacy as a gentleman driver lives on through the “Philippe Charriol Award” Stéphane Ratel, creator and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group, introduced – to the 850 guests attending the ceremony at Bellagio Hotel on October 20th, the new Award dedicated to Philippe Charriol – the pilot that motorsport’s world has lost on February 27 2019 on the French racing track Le Castellet.
He further explained the meaning of that new award and the particular relationship they have been maintaining over 3 decades :
“ I owe Philippe an eternal gratitude for allowing me to create my company by sponsoring the Philippe Charriol SuperSportS Trophy in 1995. Beyond the client and the sponsor of what could have been a purely professional relationship, there was the friend.
Philippe was like a scout just ahead of me on the path of my life – having lived through the twenty years that separated us his own successes and setbacks, the great joys and great trials that make life of all entrepreneurs and all men, and guiding me with the benefit of his hindsight.
Always pushing me to live my passion full speed, we have often debated race and life; this life that Philippe has lived so intensely, so passionately.
So yes, he left as he lived, in his love of risk and adrenaline. But I am sure that the curtain falling instantly on his life, passing him into motorsport’s field of honor alongside Alphonso de Portago, François Cevert, Ayrton Senna and many others, would not have displeased him.
Thus I am today very proud to introduce this new “Philippe Charriol Award” which celebrates an exceptional Living Spirit and which will reward each year an exceptional performing driver.”
The “Philippe Charriol Award” was presented to 2019 top-performing Gentleman Driver, Louis Machiels, who clinched three race wins and the Blancpain GT Series Pro-Am title in his AF Corse Ferrari.
The Philippe Charriol Award trophy – representing a steering wheel, is made of an original cable, a key element of the international luxury brand CHARRIOL that Philippe Charriol created in 1982 and brought to the firmament of the Swiss watchmaking and jewelry.
For the past 25 years Philippe Charriol – the successful business man, has not only been among the most remarkable sponsors of motorsport but has been a successful racing pilot in his own right. Collecting the most legendary sports cars and only dreaming of driving professionally could not content him. Philippe Charriol from his 50th birthday finally got to experience during each race the fantastic thrills of speed and the enormous adrenaline highs. Competing on the most famous racing circuits in Europe, the USA, Middle East and/or Asia. Driving exceptional cars for example in the Trophy ANDROS – which are races on ice circuits; the prestigious VENTURI 400 – which he won the title of Champion de France 1997 category GT3; or the Philippe Charriol SuperSportS Trophy where he races with LAMBORGHINI DIABLO SVR and GT monsters (600-horse power) – and reaches the 5th place overall. More seasons racing the latest version of CORVETTE Z6 in French Formula 3 Championship and spectacular Touring Cup lead him to let create by Solution-F from 2011 two unique cars for GT & Endurance racing : the CHARRIOL SF10 and CHARRIOL Phenix cars designed by French designer Yacouba.
Philippe Charriol by his presence in the paddocks and on the podiums for more than two decades, had developed an aura of true Gentleman Driver. Respected by all competitors he was aiming to break Paul Newman’s record driving the 24 Heures du Mans at his 80 years. As he said, “I am still racing on tracks and in life. The goal is the podium in everything”. His intense passions and unique personality drive him from now on to the first place in our memories.