Robert Benoist, born on March 20, 1895, served as a fighter pilot and flew reconnaissance aircraft during the First World War before becoming a flight instructor in 1918. After the end of his time as an active pilot, he increasingly transferred his enthusiasm for technology and speed to cars. So it was only logical that this talented young man should start in smaller races from 1920 onwards – initially as a test driver, later as a works driver. In 1924, Benoist became famous overnight when he won the French Grand Prix in a 12-cylinder Delage. He dominated races in 1927, winning the French, Spanish, Italian and British Grand Prix races and becoming the first World Champion. From 1934 onwards, Benoist handled assignments at Bugatti as a kind of motorsports manager, and ensured further successes as sales manager for Paris. But he wasn’t quite able to get by without the buzz that speed gave him: Benoist drove again in a few races between 1934 and 1937, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans together with Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Type 57 G Tank. Robert Benoist was not only a gifted technician and racing driver, but also a man with attitude. During the Second World War he was one of the leaders of the Resistance in the fight against Nazi Germany. Benoist founded a resistance group alongside his former Bugatti colleagues William Grover-Williams and Jean-Pierre Wimille. Benoist’s courageous commitment cost him his life in 1944 – he was executed at the Buchenwald concentration camp on September 12.