racing driver, record-holder and events organizer !
As a child, he would watch his father race round the mythical Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, close to Paris. And, since that moment, the car bug’s never left him!
As a racing driver, he finished 3rd in the 1973 Volant Shell on the Magny-Cours Circuit and became an instructor for the prestigious Winfield Racing School. In 1975, he took part in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Lola Roc 2 liters. In 1977, he raced in the Monte Carlo Rally with a Renault Alpine and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Porsche 934 Turbo. In 1986, along with Jean-Pierre Malcher, he won the 6th edition of the 24-hour Chamonix Ice Race with a Works sponsored Citroën Visa. In 1992, he participated in the 1st edition of Paris-Moscow-Beijing.
As a record holder, he has literally pulverized several cross continental times, including the solo drive from Cape Town to Algiers (See below the video of the Transafrican Challenge 1990). With this still-unbeaten record, he won the «1991 Master of Human Adventure» adventure ahead in front of Hubert Auriol & Ari Vatanen.
Franz was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2006 by the great mountaineer Maurice Herzog for his motor racing achievements and as automobile event organiser, his second passion.
Franz also accumulates other honors, because a few years after being made “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne” with Ari Vatanen, recently been inducted “Chevalier du Tastevin” at the Château du Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy.
Based on an idea from Rémi Depoix, Franz launched the Festival Automobile de Chamonix hand-in-hand with Rémi. Franz also created ice races in Canada, Finland, Italy and Russia with the FIA. As well as Les Week-Ends de l’Excellence Automobile de Reims-Gueux and Les Grandes Heures Automobiles… on the Autodrome where he would watch his father’s race.
With the Driver’s Rally, Franz wishes to honour the places which have marked his motor sports history. South Africa, starting point for his solo drive across the continent to Algiers. Quebec, the region he’s visited over 40 times to work on his motor racing events. And, Chamonix, the base camp for all his adventures, where he played a key role in creating and developing the Ronde Hivernale (Wintertime Round), the 24-hour Chamonix Ice Race and the Automobile Festival. For Franz, to be able to share these rallys with you is an incredible personal pleasure.