Ligier JS41 No.26 4th Canadian GP 1995 Olivier Panis
The car, codenamed JS45, strongly resembled the Benetton B195, which was no coincidence. Benetton team boss Flavio Briattore had bought shares in Ligier's team just so he could pass on the team's Renault engines to Benetton. But the French were not the only ones to suffer from this deal. At Minardi's expense, they got the Mugen Honda engines and almost one-for-one they got the sidepods, nose cone, front-rear suspension and most of the rear wing components used by the Benetton B195. It's no wonder that the trio of Olivier Panis, Martin Brundle and Aguri Suzuki were regularly battling for points in the 1995 season.
The sixth race of the 1995 season was the Canadian Grand Prix. This race is remembered for Jean Alesi's first and last race win of his life, but there were other great performances here too. In 1995, a very interesting timing system was used. Qualifying sessions were held on Friday and Saturday and the best lap times of the two practice days were used to determine the grid positions. Panis managed a faster lap on Friday, but his time of 1:29.809 was only good enough for 11th place. However, he managed to fight his way up in the race, although he needed a bit of luck to do so. The two Williams and the two McLarens were out, as were Johnny Herbert in the Benetton and Gerhard Berger in the Ferrari. And defending champion Michael Schumacher spent a lot of time in the pits due to gearbox problems, with Panis sneaking up to fourth.
So many eliminations or not, as they say, a goal is a goal without an explanation and with this result Olivier Panis set his best of the season, although he managed to repeat and even surpass it later on. And this time, Spark captured one of Ligier's last big shots in 1:43 scale.
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