Michel Raffaelli, an instructor and driving coach at the renowned Winfield School, and former team manager for the ORECA sports car team, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 49.
His passing was marked on Facebook by a large number of young drivers remembering their “extraordinary’ coach” while Benoit Treluyer, a two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner with Audi, added, “We will Michel enormously. Rest in peace, my friend.”
“Yesterday was a terrible day when we learned that Michel Raffaelli, one of our most loyal employees, had left us,” said ORECA boss Hugues de Chaunac. “Our first thoughts go to his wife, his daughter and his family.
“This is cruel and so unfair. Michel was a wonderful man: it was such a pleasure to work with him everyday. He had an enthusiasm, such passion and more relentless professionalism. There has always been a passion in his eyes flawless, innocent and natural, for motorsport and a joie de vivre that has always characterized and surprised us both.
“We are all shocked, shocked, because we have lost more than the leader of a team, we lose a precious friend.”