THE 9th GRAND PRIX OF PICARDIE
SENIOR EVENT WON BY BENOIT FALCHETTO (1VIASERATI) AND THE JUNIOR BY DECAROLI (BUGATTI).
THE Grand Prix de Picardie, or as it is sometimes called, the Grand Prix de Peronne, resulted in a victory this year for Benoit Falchetto, driving a 3-litre single seater Maserati. The event for 1,500 c.c. cars went to Decaroli, at the wheel of a Bugatti.
The smaller race took place in the morning, and the course was opened by Cesar Marchand, driving the recordbreaking Citroen. Seven cars came to the starting line, and the lead was immediately taken by Girod (Salmson). He was being closely followed by Cattaneo (Bugatti) and on the 6th lap only 18 seconds separated them. Two laps later Cattaneo appeared at the head of affairs, only to be deposed by Girod on the following lap. Decaroli was coming up quickly in third place, his lap speeds getting faster and faster as he warmed to his work. The duel between Girod and Cattaneo came to an abrupt end on the 15th lap. Cattaneo had just passed into the lead when a piston broke on his Bugatti and he drew into the pits. Girod, too, was in trouble, having to stop in order to rectify clutch-slip, and so Decaroli was now a clear leader. Girod managed to
keep going until the end, finishing second, ahead of Mme. Itier, who had driven her Bugatti in a calm unhurried fashion throughout the race.
RESULT (1,500 cc.), 195 km. 300.
1. Decaroli (Bugatti), lb. 46m. 28s. 110 km. 059.
2. Girod (Salmson), lh. 47m. 32.6s.
3. Mme flier (Bugatti), lh. 48m. 41s.
4. Guilbaut (Bugatti), 1h. 53m. 6s.
5. Barowski (Bugatti), 2 laps behind. 6: Melinaut (Bugatti), 2 laps behind.
Eleven cars came to the line for the unlimited event, and at 4.30 p.m. they got away from the line in close formation. Falchetto’s 3-litre Maserati was the fastest car in the bunch, and it was not surprising to see him come round first at the end of the initial lap. Zanelli was lying second and Sommer third, both on Alfa Romeos. Zanelli was making a good fight of it, until his back axle gave out and he was forced to retire. At half distance the order was :
1. Faichetto (Maserati), 45m. 30s.
2. Sommer (Alfa Romeo), 46m. 48s.
3. Brainard (Bugatti), 47m. 58s.
4. Brunet (Bugatti), 48m. 13s.
5. Marret (Bugatti), 49m. 59s. The last half of the race did not produce very material changes in the order, but a serious accident somewhat marred the proceedings. A novice named Benjean, driving a 2.3-litre Bugatti in his first race,
applied his brakes too fiercely in approaching the tricky Chicane de Brie. The car got out of control and turned over several times, hurling the driver into a field. He suffered severe injuries to the chest, and was removed to hospital in a critical state. A good deal of comment was heard afterwards about the wisdom of allowing an inexperienced driver to take part in the race. His car was the one driven by Marcel Lehoux last year, an extremely fast machine, and this added to the fact that Benjean did not even know what took place at the start of a race, gave a general opinion that he should never have been allowed to start.
Falchetto continued to lead the field quite comfortably, and the only alteration in the order took place when Brunet succeeded in passing Braillard, who was making his first appearance since his accident at Saint Lo.
RESULT (Unlimited), 196 km. 300. 1. B. Falchetto lh. 31m. 53.6s.
1. B. Falchetto (Maserati), lh. 31m. 53.6s. 127.517 k.p.h.
2. R. Sommer (Alfa Romeo), lh. 33m. 32.4s.
3. R. Brunet (Bugatti), lb. 36m. 26s.
4. Brainard (Bugatti), 1 lap behind.
5. Marret (Bugatti), 1 lap behind.
6. Delome (Bugatti), 2 laps behind.
7. Mlle. Hell. Nice (Alfa Romeo), 2 laps behind.
8. Marret (Bugatti), 5 laps behind.