Gilles raced snowmobiles for several years and tried drag racing before turning to Formula Ford in 1973. In his third GP race at Fuji he ran into Ronnie Peterson's Tyrrell and somersaulted wildly into a prohibited area, killing two spectators. This time Gilles walked away. At practice for the 1982 Belgium GP at Zolder he hit the March of Jochen Mass and his Ferrari spun across the track in an accident of great ferocity. Gilles was thrown from the car, receiving terrible injuries. There was no hope of survival. To this day the legend still lives on.