1924 French Grand Prix
THE GRAND PRIX.
Victory for British Motor Cycle
and Italian Car. THIS year’s French Grand Prix races were run over a comparatively short course, a lap being approximately fourteen miles It is triangular in shape, the three sides being approximately equal in length, while the start and finish, which is near to one of the corners, is within seven miles of Lyons. Being triangular, the course naturally presents three bends at least, and all of them are distinctly on the acute side. There is also an acute “double back” bend near the apex of the triangle. In addition, there is, near to the starting and finishing points, a double S bend, which had to be taken with cars on the down grade, and which provided, besides the opportunity for the exercise of considerable skill in driving, a multitude of thrills for the occupants of the grand stands, which were in full view of this, the most difficult part of the course. As the
races were held just before we went to press, we are prevented from commenting upon them at length in this issue.
The entrants for the Motor Cycle Grand Prix were divided into four classes, for machines having capacities of 175 c.c., 250 c.c., 350 c.c., and 500 c.c. The first had to cover the course ten times, which is equivalent to 143 miles ; the second class ran twelve laps, which is 171 miles ; the third did 14 laps, or 200 miles ; and the fourth had to lap the course 16 times, doing 228/ miles. Amongst British machines which were entered, were the Levis, Zenith, A. J.S., Sunbeam, and Norton.
The 350 c.c. class was won by Longman, on an A. J.S., and he covered the distance, 342.030 kilometres in 3 hours 43 minutes 43 seconds, which is equivalent to an average speed of 86.970 kilometres per hour, or 54.05 miles per hour. The 500 c.c. class was won by Bennet, on a Norton, the distance, 370.320 kilometres, being covered in 3 hours 54 minutes 29 seconds, at an average speed of 94.790 kilometres an hour or 58.91 miles per hour. The Car Grand Prix of Europe, which embraces the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France, was run over 35 laps of the Seine course, approximating to 500 miles. The first lap, which saw comparatively many stops for wheel changes and other adjustments, was covered by Seagrave, on a Sunbeam in leading position, in 12 min. 22 sec. He kept his lead, to the delight of the many British spectators, till well into the third lap,
when he was passed by Bordini on an Alfa-Romeo, who had managed to pass not only Seagrave, but also the Sunbeam driven by Lee Guinness, who was running third. Bordini kept the place thus won, with Ascari second, and Lee Guinness third, until the twelfth lap, when Guinness had to drop behind to effect adjustments. Prior to this piece of bad luck, Guinness had been running very well indeed, doing a lap in II min. 26 secs., which is equivalent to 121.64 kilometres per hour, or practically 75.6 miles per hour. At the end of the i9th lap, Ascari and Campari, both Alfa-Romeo drivers, were first and second respectively, with Lee Guinness third, with Divo on a Delage closing up behind. Lee Guinness and Bordini eventually retired, and in the result Campari won, in 7 hours 5 min. 341 sec., at 113.280 kilometres, or 70.4 miles per hour.
In the ultimate result the placings were : (I) Campari, on Alfa-Romeo, 7 h. 5 m. 341 s. ; (2) Divo (Delage), 7 h. 6 M. 401 S.; (3) Benoist (Delage), 7 h. 17 m. 41 S.; (4) Wagner (Alfa-Romeo), 7 h. 25 m. Iof s. ; (5) Seagrave (Sunbeam), 7 h. 28 m. 56 S.; (6) Thomas (Delage), (7) Chassagne (Bugatti) ; (8) Frederich (Bugatti) ; (9) Reata (Sunbeam) ; (10) Gamier (Bugatti) ; (II) Marchiesi (Fiat).