THE RACE FOR THE COUPE DE LA COMMISSION SPORTIVE.
1. Andre Boillot (Peugeot), 3 hrs. 53 mins. 20 1/5 secs. 63.89 m. p. h.
2. Dore (Corre La Licorne). 3 hrs. 53 mins. 21 3/5 secs. 63.79 m.p.h.
3. Goux (Bugatti), 3 hrs. 54 imns. 27 4/5 secs. 63.59 m.p.h.
4. Goutte (Salmson).
5. Conelli (Bugatti).
6. Casse (Salmson).
7. Rost (Georges Irat). ?THE race for the Cup presented by the Sporting Commission of the A.C.F. provided one of the
most thrilling finishes which have been witnessed in a long distance race for many years, when Andre Boillot on the sleeve-valve Peugeot finished first, with Dore on the Corre La Licorne less than 20 yards behind.
This dramatic finish is of especial interest, for Peugeot, which won such undying fame in racing during the years just before the war, has lately only appeared in France in touring car races. This victory, therefore, marks the first appearance since the war of the Peugeot in a big French race. The rules for the race limited the amount of fuel and oil which could be used by the competitors, but placed no other restrictions in their way. The eighteen starters therefore presented many interesting contrasts. The largest cars in the race were the Montier Speciales, which are really Ford conversions, and which had 4 cylinder engines of 2,780 c.c. ; and which were closely followed by the two Peugeots driven by Boillot and Louis Rigal with sleeve-valve engines of 2445 c.c. At the other extreme was a tiny Leroi, driven by Violet, which had a 2-stroke engine of only 735 c.c. The three Bugattis which were driven by Goux, Conelli, and Dubonnet were 4 cylinder 1500 c.c. machines, and in spite of the fuel consumption limit, employed superchargers. Two other
cars in the race were also supercharged, these being the 1100 c.c. B.N.C.’s driven by Billiet and Goupillat, which had S.C.A.P. engines and Cozette superchargers. A third B.N.C. driven by Madame Violette Moths was also an 1100 c.c. car, but was unsupercharged. Both. the Salmsons, which were driven by Casse and Goutte, were of the well known 1093 c.c. type, and the three Lombards had engines of the same size placed beside the driver. These cars are made by the ex-Salmson driver, who, it will be remembered, ran second in the 1100 c.c. class of the first 200 Miles Race. Finally, there was the 1500 c.c. Corre La Licorne driven by Dore, which eventually gained second place, and the 2-litre Georges Irat driven by Rost.
As fuel consumption had been cut down to a minimum, many of the engines proved sulky starters when the word to go was given. The cars went off in twos and threes, but both the Peugeots and Dubonnet’s Bugatti proved obstinate. Finally Boillot got away, then Dubonnet, but it was not until 8 minutes ’20 seconds after the word to go had been given that Louis Rigal moved off on the second Peugeot. At the end of the first lap, Casse and Goutte on the two Salmsons were in the lead with Dore (Corre La Licorne) third, while having completed it the three Lombards were driven off the course and stopped. These cars were nothing like ready in time for the race, but as they were made by a small firm, it had been decided that they should start in order to regain their entrance fees, but should be withdrawn after one lap. On the second lap Casse dropped back, allowing Goutte to take the lead with Boillot (Peugeot) second, while Dore remained third. On the next lap Goutte lost the lead to Boillot, and after six laps the order was as follows :—
1. Boillot (Peugeot).
2. Goutte (Salmson).
3. Dore (Corre La Licorne).
4. Conelli (Bugatti). The two supercharged B.N.C.’s were early in trouble, Goubillat stopping to change plugs, while Billiet having fractured an oil-pipe, lost all his lubricant and had to withdraw his car. On the seventh lap, Count Conelli (Bugatti) got into third place, and on the ninth passed Goutte and was second. The order after fifteen laps was therefore as follows :—
1. Boillot (Peugeot).
2. Conelli (Bugatti).
3. Goutte (Salmson). 4. Dore (Corre La Licorne)
The second Peugeot having lost so much time at the start, was far in the rear, and was finally withdrawn. On the sixteenth lap Conelli began to weaken, and was passed by Goutte, and eight laps later by Dore also. Boillot had now established a comfortable lead, but he was evidently rather anxious as to whether his fuel would hold out, for he began to slacken speed, and Goutte slowly reduced the gap between himself and the leader.
ConeIli continued to weaken and was passed by his team mate, Goux, who now began to threaten the leaders from fourth place.
As the cars entered the last lap, Goutte was only 16 seconds behind Boillot, and both were racing hard for the finish. All eyes were fixed on the high banking where the cars would appear in sight for the last time. High up on the saucer a blue car flashed into sight ; it was Andre Boillot’s Peugeot, but the next car, which was right on his tail, was not the Salmson, but Dore’s Corre La Licorne. On the last lap Goutte had discovered that his petrol tank had dropped, so that the last few drops of petrol would only just reach the carburettor. He had therefore had to slacken speed and had been passed by Dore and Goux’s Bugatti.
Andre Boillot drove a very plucky race, for he was suffering from neuralgia and started with a very swollen and much bandaged face. Dore ran very regularly on the Corre La Licorne and very nearly carried off the prize. In spite of the use of the supercharger, all the Bugattis finished with plenty of petrol in hand, and Dubonnet, who suffered from a partially blocked petrol pipe, had nearly three gallons of petrol left at the end of the race.
THE FREE-FOR-ALL RACE.
THE Free-for-all race organised in conjunction with the French Grand Prix, and run on July 2nd, united only seven starters, made up as follows :W. G. Williams and Louis Wagner on 4-litre 12-cylinder Sunbeams of the type with which Segrave took world’s records at Southport in March, 1926; Albert Divo on a Grand Prix type straight-eight 1500 c.c. Talbot ; Henri de Courcelles on a 1500 c.c. 6-cylinder Guyot of the type which ran at Indianapolis in 1926; G. E. T. Eyston on a supercharged 2-litre Bugatti ; ‘Louis Chiron on a 2.3-litre Targa Florio type Bugatti, and Madame Derancourt on an 1100 c.c. Salmson.
The race was unfortunately marred by the death of Henri de Courcelles, who will be remembered as a Lorraine-Dietrich driver in the Grand Prix d’ Endurance, having won the race in 1925 and run second last year. During the race his Guyot got out of control on the road circuit, hit a tree end on and was smashed to smithereens, the driver being killed instantly. W. G. Williams took the lead on the first lap, but Wagner on the second Sunbeam retired early with gearbox trouble. On the second lap, Divo on the 1500 c.c. Talbot got the lead from the big Sunbeam, which was hampered on the road-circuit by a 3-speed gear-box, and which was also passed by the two Bugattis. On the third lap Williams, like Wagner, withdrew his Sunbeam, his trouble being a seized pinion in the gear-box. The Montlhery circuit may lack some attributes of a road, but it at least can teach makers not to use 3-speed gearboxes a. l’Americaine. The two Bugattis were not able to catch Divo’s Talbot, and the final result was as follows :—
1. Albert Divo (Talbot), 1 hr. 2 mins. 20 2/5 secs. 74.69 m.p.h.
2. Louis Chiron (Bugatti), 1 hr. 2 mins. 50 3/5 secs.
3. G. E. T. Evston (Bugatti), 1 hr. 6 mins. 9 3/5 secs.
Madame Derancourt (Salmson) was flagged to stop before the end. The distance of the race was 77,6 miles, and Divo made his fastest lap at 77.05 m.p.h.
GRAND PRIX NOTES.
It is regrettable that the de Coneys entered for the Coupe de la Commission Sportive did not start. These cars have straight-eight engines of 51 x 76 mms. bore and stroke (1243 c.c.) with two overhead camshafts driven by a train of pinions. They have 5-speed gearboxes, and were very carefully stream-lined.
The Montiers are converted Fords, but there is perhaps more Montier than Ford about them. The Ford gearbox has been discarded in favour of a 3-speed box of conventional design, and the cars have been given a crab track. Perhaps their most interesting feature is a special device invented by M. Violet by which the compression is kept constant irrespective of the throttle opening and thus of the amount of fresh gas inhaled. This is done by adding to the fresh gas a certain quantity of exhaust gases, which quantity decreases with the throttle opening, so that the amount of gas inhaled by each cylinder is always the same.
M. Violet himself was driving the little Leroy which has a 4-cylinder engine of 60 x 66 rums. (723 c.c.) designed by himself. The engine works on the 2-stroke principle, two cylinders having opposed pistons and common combustion chambers. It was, however, too small to consume the amount of fuel allowed for the race, and so lacked the power and speed of the larger cars.
GRAND PRIX NOTES—continued.
Henri de Courcelles, who was killed during the freefor-all race, was during the war a daring member of the French air force. His previous racing experience had been confined to touring-car events, this being his first appearance in an event for racing cars pure and simple. The Guyot which he was driving was of the same type as that which is sold to the public, and is made by Charles Guvot, who was well known before the war as a Delage driver. The Talbots and Delages which fought such a splendid duel in the Grand Prix are very similar in design, each
having straight-eight engines of nearly the same bore and stroke, with two overhead camshafts. Their most notable difference, however, is that while the Talbots have torque tubes, the Delages employ the Hotchkiss drive, thus saving unsprung weight but using an extra universal joint.
The French press is complimentary to the general design and presentation of the Halford, but estimates its maximum speed as some 20 m.p.h. slower than that of its French rivals. It is a pity that one of our more powerful English firms could not have entered a team which was capable of representing to our French friends what the British industry really can do.