The Ligier JS9, designed by Gérard Ducarouge and Michel Beaujon, was a further development of the JS5 / JS7 models. The car had a large rear wing, but did not use the ground effects aerodynamics that was being developed by Lotus. The power unit was the same Marta V12 as in JS5 and JS7. Matra uncertain about developing the V12 continued to supply engines but development had effectively ceased. The new Ligier JS9 first appeared at a test session at Jarama in mid-April, and set the fastest time, quicker even than Ronnie Peterson’s Lotus 78. However, when the car ran at the Monaco GP, it was a huge disappointment, proving to be just little quicker than the JS7. It was left at base for further tests instead of going to the Belgian GP, but reappeared at the Spanish GP, now with the rear wing from the JS7. Then Laffite used JS9 from French Grand Prix until the end of the season. With 3rd places at Jarama and Hockenheim as the best result of the year, Laffite finished the season in 9th position of the drivers’ standings.
|Jacques Laffite||26||Ligier Gitanes|