History of Guy Deybach and His Racing Career

To those enamored with French Rally drivers of the late 1980’s- early 90’s, there will be few names more familiar to you than Guy Deybach. The ever-jovial Deybach had a short, but excellent, career that saw him reach for great heights in French auto racing, and quite often- he reached them. He is also considered a groundbreaking driver for being one of the only French racers daring enough to try and tame the power of the Porsche 930 in a rally race. This was considered extremely difficult, since the 930 was the fastest production car available in Germany and had a short wheelbase, in addition to its rear-engine layout.

Deybach drove the 930 to some of his earliest successes in Rally. At the Rallye de Lorraine in 1986, Deybach and his teammate, Remy Catherine, finished 3rd. In the same year, at the Rallye International de Wallonie in Belgium, Deybach finished 5th overall. After retiring in his next two races and changing cars to the Volkswagen Golf GTi, the start of 1987 saw Deybach finished 2nd in two consecutive races. The first was at Ronde des Trois Lacs, in France. The second near-win also came in France at the Hivernale des Hautes-Vosges contest, which saw Deybach change cars, for a single race, to the Audi 80 Quattro.


History of Guy Deybach and his racing career

Later in 1987, at the Sprint de Saint-Bresson, Deybach finished 7th overall, in his Golf GTi and finished first in class A4. Also in 1987, Deybach took part in the Sprint Ruppeen and finished 3rd overall, a mere 3 seconds behind the winner. While joining the Rallye National Charlemagne, Deybach switched to the Golf GTi 16V, so named for its 16 valve engine. In this race, Deybach finished 8th and 5th in France DZ.

Deybach built on his success in 1987 with a 5th place finish in the Rallye International Ain-Jura l.C.l. France and a 7th place finish in the Rallye Jeanne d'Arc. He ended the year on a high note that would unfortunately be difficult to swallow, finishing first in the Rallye National des Vosges du Nord. Due to the unfortunately fatal accident of two drivers during that race, he will apparently go down as the final winner, as it has yet to be organized again.

1988 saw Deybach finish only one race in rally, the lnt. ADAC Saarland Peugeot Talbot Rallye in Germany. With new partner Graf Francis, Deybach managed to finish 31st out of a 155 car competition. 1989 saw another car change, to the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and another change of partner, to Mairot Christian. These alterations saw Deybach finishing 7th in the race and 1st in N5.

In the end, Guy Deybach will go down in Rally history as a consummate competitor who enjoyed his greatest success during a time when French Rally was enduring one of its greatest tragedies. He will also be remembered as a maverick who dared to drive a beast of a car that many felt could not be attuned to the rally circuit. While Deybach found himself on the wrong end of many unfortunate retirements from close races that could have garnered him even greater success, he nevertheless persevered to have a respectable career in racing and a notable career afterwards, being a co-organizer of the Andros Trophy. Let us always remember Deybach’s smiling face and skill behind the wheel.