Driver of the month: Fabien Houlmann, aka Nash

Fabien celebrates his birthday on the same day as the very first round of the European Championship at the hill climb Les Rangiers (St-Ursanne – Les Malettes), that is August 19th, since the year 1972. Unlike the Jura hill climb, which first took place from Develier to Sommet, Fabien was born in the Pearl of the Doubs. He went to school there, first as a schoolboy, then he learnt mechanics in the local garage Paupe, before riding racing beasts in competition. He took up tiling in 2006, which led him to open a roofing company but not to stop racing. Because age does not make you wiser, contrary to what the saying claims.After a Golf I and a Golf II, via a Peugeot 205, he then drove a BMW Alpina (the Jurassica model had not been built yet): “Only to take my Belle for a ride. For the races, I get on a Peugeot. The first time was at the Slalom de la Croix in 2002 under a National license, then in IS (Inter Suisse Trophy) as well as E1 and PF. » Our Saint-Ursinian then enjoys a series of victories in his class: 3 times at Les Rangiers, once at Anzère, 4 times in the French race of Vuillafans, an so on, all in hill-climbs except for the Peugeot Cup. He is not only a faithful husband, but he has also always been true to his native route. He raced for the first time in Les Rangiers at the age of 30, celebrating at the same time the 50th jubilee of his/our beloved race.

Why does he love this legendary Jura route so much? The Nash: “Because it’s so smooth, fast and perfect that it feels like a circuit. I live the best moments of my life when I start this race. I currently drive a Peugeot 205 GTI 2 liters in the E1 2 l category, limited to 260 km/h! » His biggest fear ? The Nash replies: « Never for me. Only for my fellow drivers when they have an accident. »Last question, “schtärneföifi”, where does your Nash nickname come from ? Or is it your real name and Fabien is a fake ? « It’s my Madeleine, not Proust’s, but my grandmother who gave it to me without revealing why from the bottom of her grave where she is today… ».

Jean Mesnil