THE GR ND PRIX DE LA MARNE
Another Tussle tor the Bugattisti.
1. Rene Dreyfus (2-litre Bugatti), 2h. 49m. 27 3-5s. Average speed 88.5 m.p.h.
2. Lehoux (2-litre Bugatti), 21a. 51m. 30 1-5s.
3. Michel Dore (1500 c.c. Bugatti), 3h. 6m. 14 1-5s. (Winner of 1500 c.c. class of 80.5 m.p.h.).
4. Faggioli (24itre Bugatti).
5. Etancelin (2-litre Bugatti).
IT must be great fun to be the owner of a fast Bugatti in France. You enter it for every one of the provincial Grands Prix and when you get to the start there are all your old rivals ready to do battle. If you think that so-and-so beat you in one race because you had a bit of real bad luck—well, you can always have another scrap with him in the next.
Thus it was that at the start of the sixth Grand Prix de la Mq me on 29th June all the usual “Bug. champions we e present. Chiron, Dreyfus, Etancelin, Zanelli, Lehoux, Faggioli and Miguel were there with their 2-litre racers, and in the 1500 c.c. class were Max Fourny, Michel Dore, Auber, de Bondelli, Longueville, Velitchkowitch, Tedaldi, Gaupillat, Delbos and Brunier, with Casali on a La Perle and Scaron on his .Amilcar.
The race was run on a road-circuit near Rheims, and judging by the number of spectators, the organisers could congratulate themselves on a great success. At 2.45 p.m. the signal to start was given, and with a thunderous roar the whole nineteen starters got away at once—a massed start of this number of real racing cars is a fairly rare sight these days. They sorted themselves out on the circuit, and the first to come past at the end of the first lap was the Algerian champion, Lehoux, hotly pursued by Etancelin, Dreyfus, Miguel, Zanelli, Chiron, Dore, Fourny and the rest of the field. Louis Chiron did not seem particularly happy, and at the end of the second lap he came in for what proved to be the first of several pit stops.
This left the field open for a glorious dog-fight beween Lehoux and Etancelin, who kept flashing by hardly a length apart. On the fifth lap, the latter bettered an average of 90 m.p.h. and got past Lehoux, but Dreyfus was going like the wind now, and on the seventh lap he passed both of them and took the lead.
On the tenth lap Lehoux did not appear and it was reported that he had broken down at the village of Tillois, and about the same time Gaupillat retired when running fourth in the 1500 c.c. class, and Chiron came in for his sixth stop. Two laps later Dreyfus broke the lap record at over 91 m.p.h., but he was still hotly pursued by Etancelin, until on the next lap (the 13th, and apparently unlucky for him) he skidded on the hot and sticky tar at the Garenne corner, hit a tree and broke his near-side back wheel. In spite of the terrific heat Etancelin at once trotted back to his pit, a matter of 21 miles, fetched a wheel and returned to his car. D
This incident, however, let Zanelli, who had passed Lehoux, up into second place, with Miguel fourth. Velitchkovitch retired shortly afterwards with a broken petrol pipe, and he was quickly followed by Auber, who was suffering from a badly burnt leg. Etancelin at last came past the tribunes again, and was cheered lustily, but Brunier turned up on foot having come across the fields after abandoning his car on the other side of the course. The. casualties among the smaller cars were also increased by the retirement of Longueville.
Shortly before half distance Zanelli succeeded in passing Lehoux and got into second place, and a few laps later Delbos passed Max Fourny and gained second place in the 1500 c.c. class behind Michel Dore, who had led it throughout. Neither of these two, however, was destined to be lucky, for on the 41st lap, Zanelli stopped at his pit and after some attempts to get going again finally retired ; and soon afterwards Delbos ran off the road on the other side of the circuit and his Bugatti was put out of it ; the driver fortunately, getting off without injury. At about the same time poor Chiron, whose pit stops had been legion, finally withdrew. Towards the end, Lehoux began to catch up a little on Dreyfus, but the latter’s lead was never really in danger, and at half-past five he crossed the finishing line, winner of the Sixth Grand Prix de la Marne. He was promptly embraced by Friedrick, who will be remem bered as a Bugatti driver in the post-war Gxands Prix, and who had prepared the winner’s car for the event. Some two minutes later Lehoux finished, followed by Michel Dore, who had driven a marvellously regular race, and the remaining competitors were then stopped, as the large crowd showed signs of getting out of hand and invading the course. Thus ended a most successful race—and, well, Rheims, the capital of Champagne land is not a bad place in which to celebrate
NEXT MONDAY AT BROOKLANDS.
THE August Bank Holiday Meeting at Brooklands is always one of the most popular features of the year’s British motor racing, and a more than usually attractive programme has been devised for this year’s fixtures on Monday next, the 4th.
In addition to three Short and three Long Handicaps, there are to be two Mountain Races and the Gold Star Race over a 25 miles’ course. Entrants for the latter event must have recorded officially timed laps at a speed in excess of 100 m.p.h.
Further to the foregoing events there is to be a novelty in the form of a One Lap Old Crocks’ Race over the course used in the J.C.C. Double Twelve Race. At the time of writing, no fewer than 28 entries have been received for this interesting event.
A welcome change has been made in the prices to be charged to the public at this meeting, in that admission to the public enclosure will be 2s. 6d. instead of 5s. as previously, and the charge for garaging cars likewise wil be reduced from 5s. to 2s. 6d.