From motorcycle to car racing: Jean Behra
French driver Jean Behra was born on 1921. He started in car competition in 1952. He won his first race at the non-championship F-1 Reims Grand Prix in 1952. In the 50s, there were many non-championship events organized, as well as long distance races (1000 km) in which he won several times (but no F-1 championship race). He raced cars such as Gordini, Maserati, BRM, Ferrari and Porsche.
Nevertheless, his career began on two wheels. He started just after the war in France, riding a 500cc Moto Guzzi. He won not less than five 500cc French Championships from 1947 until 1951 when he decided to go four wheels.
His career ended on 1st August 1959 on the circuit of Avus in Berlin during a sports car race. He was killed in a crash at high speed under heavy rain.
Text Marc Pétrier - Photo FIM Archive/Maurce Büla Collection