THE ALBIGEOIS GRAND PRIX
Winning races has become almost a habit with ” B. Bira.” After carrying off the Prince -Rainier Cup at Monaco, the International Trophy at Brooklands, and the Picardie G.P. at Peronne—to say nothing of being placed in the Isle of Man race and at the Eifelrennen—this remarkable driver gained first place in. the Albigeois G.P.
The Albi race is a curious affair, unlike any other race in the world. It is limited to 3,500 c.c. cars, and consists in reality of two races. The same field takes part in each, and the final placings are calculated by adding the times taken in each race. The chief drawback to this system lies in the lack of excitement in regard to the final finishing order, but this is compensated by the spectacle of two massed starts.
As was to be expected, E.R.A.s figured prominently in the entry list, and in the absence of Seaman’s Delage, and the works Maseratis, the ultimate winner was certain to come from their ranks.
Most of the competitors were able to put in plenty of practice, and the fastest pre-race lap was made by Earl Howe with one of the official E.R.A.s.
Thirteen cars lined up for the start of the first race, each of which, incidentally, was held over 20 laps of the 5.6-mile circuit. There were six Maseratis, five E.R.A.s. and two Bugattis. When the flag fell it was the French member of the E.R.A. team, Marcel Lehoux, who immediately shot to the front. Hard on his heels came “B. Bira,” and these two drivers dominated
the race. For 14 laps Lehoux kept ahead, but then the Siamese saw his chance and slipped ahead. Earl Howe, expected to be their most dangerous rival, had been forced out of the race with gearbox trouble after one lap. Lehoux and ” B. Bira” continued their scrap, but the latter was gaining rapidly
in the closing stages of the race. He finally finished an easy winner at 93.43 m.p.h., some 37 seconds ahead of Lehoux. Pat Fairfield had never settled down, and was nearly two minutes behind Lehoux in third place. Then came the first of the Maseratis, driven by Bianco, the Italian 1,500 c.c. champion, and he was followed by last year’s winner, Pierre Veyron, the Bugatti driver. The sensation of the race was the terrific smash which befell Frank
McEvoy’s Maserati. The car turned over several times near the grandstand, and burst into flames. The Australian, who seems to bear a charmed life in all spheres of speed, was quite uninjured.
The second race was disappointing. There were only six starters, and Lehoux was regrettably absent. The engine of his E.R.A. refused to start in time for him to get to the starting line.
“B. Bira” was practically unchallenged. The two remaining E.R.A.s driven by Fairfield and Tongue, both had to retire, and Bianco also fell out. “B. Bira” thus came home an easy winner at 92.06 m.p.h., ahead of Veyron and Rues& (Maserati), the only cars left on the circuit. The result of the combined races was as follows .— 1. “B. Bira” (E.R.A.) lh. 13m. 8.4s. Speed
2. P. Veyron (Bugatti) lb. 13m. 52s. 8. H. Rueseh (Maserati) lb. 14m. 278.