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Autograph of Ayrton Senna (1992)

Autograph of Ayrton Senna (1992)

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The story of an unlikely meeting between Ayrton Senna and two young French men, in a small hotel in Belgium.

  • Ayrton Senna's autograph for a young Frenchman, the driver used the fan's ticket for the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 race.
  • In French.
  • 9.5cm x 9cm.
  • Belgium, August 1992.
  • Perfect state.
  • Unique piece.

It is accompanied by a 5-page fan letter in French, translated here:

Allow me to introduce myself: Stéphane B., born in October 1967, born in Coulommiers. I'm a cook at a college in Alencon, married for 15 years and father of two children, a 16-year-old daughter and a son who will soon be 12 years old.

At the beginning of 1992, I met my cousin Eric, nicknamed Looping (see the American series The All Risk Agency to understand) a somewhat crazy character who is also passionate about motor sports (F1 of course). He also had a beautiful Suzuki 1100 GSxr motorcycle with white and orange-red paint in Marlboro colors.

That day, I told him about my desire to share with him our weekend in Spa, a circuit to which he occasionally traveled to watch the F1 GP that takes place every year at the end of the year. I would like to point out that I was also the proud owner of a Yamaha 1200 XJB, a version that gave me goosebumps and adrenaline when I jumped on it to travel kilometers for fun. Ah, the youth!

When the GP approached, Looping called me to see if my wish was still relevant and I responded affirmatively. Good moment.

Without GPS at the time, I let my cousin take care of the steering wheel of my Ford Fiesta 1.4 CLP Model 1989 with double barrel carburetor, a powerful carburetor pump.

I no longer remember the route well, we just passed through Ermenonville la mer de sable.

We arrived at the Franco-Belgian border and decided to buy our tickets there. A ticket office was set up as soon as we crossed into Belgium. This saved us the box office rush on the circuit.

A tough blow, the ticket price: 600 francs and that's just for the day of the GP. Eric said the price had increased a lot compared to the previous time he had gone. With our precious ticket in hand, we arrived close to the circuit, without knowing what we were going to find. We were rotating in the sector and to our “great despair”, we found spectators who were reselling tickets for 600 francs but for the 2 days of racing… The reason for this “promotion” was that they bought these tickets a month before and they were waiting to go to the bed rest.

After visiting the surroundings of the circuit, we reflected on the fact that perhaps we could find a hotel to spend the night. We had taken our duvets to sleep in the car on March 1st, but prices can be low in Belgian villages.

And we set off on an adventure, early in the afternoon, skipping several meals. But obviously, in such an event, rooms are booked in advance.

We enter a new village, Malmedy...

I don't remember the hotel-restaurant well and we were already starting to leave when, suddenly, the boss, I believe, offered us for a small sum (at least an adequate price) to stay for the night in a room reserved for apprentices. Ok, it works, it's that or a party night!!

An employee comes to pick us up, takes us to our room and during the conversation he realizes that, the night before, Ayrton Senna came to have dinner at their house, in their restaurant.

This news didn't upset me, unlike my cousin who immediately asked him, without really believing it, to let us know if by any chance he returned.

As our weekend budget suffered a drop between the price of fuel, the ticket and the room, we decided to have dinner out in the city. After a pizza and a beer, we returned to the hotel, the next day would be busy and we had to rest.

Suddenly someone knocks on the door. Hey, were we making too much noise? Well no! It's just the employee from this afternoon who came to tell us that Senna was back at the restaurant.

Looping, wearing a sweatshirt with the colors of his motorcycle. We both went down “armed” with our GP tickets, determined to ask him for an autograph.

There were Ayrton Senna, a woman (quite beautiful) and someone who accompanied them.

The end of dinner was approaching. Time to ask an employee for a pen and a highlighter, essential materials for the precious autograph. In Eric's eyes, the champion arrives and it is without any shame that we ask him to sign our respective tickets and, for Looping, a large autograph in indelible marker on a sweatshirt that he promised never to wash again. A holy relic!!

I said in English (emotion certainly) a "Good Luck" in the direction of Ayrton Senna, something that according to my cousin still resonates, don't say (story of superstition?).

He leaves us followed by this woman and, of course, the third person.

Watching them leave through the window, we saw him leave in great company in a gray Honda NX.

Of course my cousin was over the moon. We returned to our room, managed to fall asleep despite some excitement and after a good night's sleep, we ate in the dining room, with breakfast included in our room rate.

Departure early (and in a good mood) for Spa and its legendary circuit of this lot that promised to be unique. Several runs before the race. I admit that once the GP starts, it is very impressive! The speed of the cars, the roar of the mechanics, this feeling of power that emerges, that's it! GP result: first victory for a certain Michael Schumacher and as for our champion, he gained 2 points in the process.

End of the crazy weekend and return to Alençon via Coulommiers to drop off my cousin. And on the road back, Balaban, I abused my exhaust. For the first time, several hundred kilometers controlling the acceleration just to spare our ears.

Except in the tunnels, I accelerate like a racer, of course...

Back to work on Monday morning, teary-eyed, not tired, but very proud and impatient to tell about my stay in Belgium and this meeting with Ayrton Senna.

My colleagues are not jealous, but envious. At that time, Senna was not a driver, but the driver everyone knew.

Now, when I tell this story, few (especially young people) know this. It is obvious that this stay in Belgium will remain in my memory as long as my neurons allow it.

On May 1, 1994, a page in F1 was turned. Ayrton Senna was brutally killed. With some emotion, I remember this man who seemed approachable, simple, even modest. I think his attitude managed to elevate him to the height of a god in Brazil, his homeland.

The ticket, this ticket, has been stored in an album for 28 years, among other amusement park tickets and also car and motorcycle competition tickets.

I don't know why I'm selling this autograph, money is not my main motivation, but I think it would make someone very happy giving it to a true lover, who will know how to highlight and pay homage to this great driver.

Everything I write is true. It was the story of an unlikely meeting with Ayrton Senna.

Ayrton Senna (1960 - 1994) was Formula 1 world champion three times, became a national hero and gave a country the possibility to dream. It is impossible to talk about the great characters of Brazilian culture without mentioning the name of Ayrton Senna. The São Paulo native, who started his career at a young age, in kart racing, won the world with his maneuvers, but, above all, with his values: overcoming, dedication and the taste for victory.

Authentic Ayrton Senna autographs, in perfect condition and well documented, are very rare. Only one or two appear on the market every year. An extensive letter, with many interesting details about Senna and this unlikely encounter, comes with this exceptional piece.

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