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Le Mans rules-maker Bertaut steps down

The man responsible for running the Le Mans 24 Hours has decided to step down. Former racer Alain Bertaut has been the driving force behind the French classic, sustaining its reputation as the world's greatest race, over the last 20 years.

The race organiser, L'Automobile Club De L'Ouest, issued a statement today that Bertaut would hand over his duties as Vice-President of the Sport Department after next weekend's race.

The Frenchman has been the rule-maker at Le Mans for the last quarter of a century. When he took over sole responsibility for shaping the technical regulations in the mid-1970s, one of his first moves was the formation of the incredibly successful GTP fuel formula.

These rules went on to be adopted by IMSA in the US, and formed the basis of the Group C prototype regulations that provided sportscar racing with its golden periods through the 1980s.

Since Le Mans became independent of any championship in 1993, Bertaut has been responsible for guiding the rules to support both open-top and closed GT racers.

In his previous career he was an active motorsport journalist in the 1950s, while he also raced himself at Le Mans four times. He began working for the ACO in the late 1960s, before becoming assistant clerk of the course in 1972.

The rules-making responsibilities at the ACO will now pass to Daniel Poissenot at the Sport Department, along with his two assistants Gerard Gaschet and Daniel Perdrix.

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