WALK-OVER FOR TALBOT AND RILEY AT MONTLIARY
ONE-SIDED VICTORIES IN FRENCH GRAND PRIX AND COUPE DE LA COMMISSION SPORTIVE
The efforts of the A.C.F. to make the French Grand Prix more interesting and instructive are not meeting with the success they anticipated. Under the guise of encouraging the entry of sports-cars ‘the same as you can buy,” they have concealed their real intention of excluding foreign racing-cars which were much too good for the existing French machines.
Of course they have fallen between two stools. The sports-cars which now run in the French Grand Prix are far from being “the same as you can buy,” and yet they are not exciting enough to attract a really big crowd. If there were no Grand Prix racing-cars in existence, the idea of the A.C.F. would be a good one, but so long as spectators are aware of the fact that they are being prevented from seeing the real thing, they will not flock in vast numbers to Montlhery. This little homily over, let us have a look at the proceedings on Sunday, July 4th. In a way, the French Grand Prix had the makings of quite a good race, because the all-conquering streamlined Bugattis were likely to meet with stiffer opposition than ever before from the four Talbots which are now settling down
to their true form. Incidentally, the Molsheim manufacturer had arranged that his cars should be two new ones, modified in the light of their experience of the past season. In addition to these two principal rivals, there was the entry of a twelve-cylinder Delage and a couple of twelve-cylinder Delahayes-and, of course, a contingent of 4-litre Delahayes. On paper a good race. The first trouble occurred when the Delage crashed in practice due to a brake failure. Then it was soon obvious that the Delahaye twelve-cylinder jobs were too new to give a good account of themselves, and that the race would merely
be a good try-out for them. But the worst blow of all was when the Bugatti team got at loggerheads with the A.C.F. officials. First of all the new cars were late in arriving from Molsheim-a typical Bugatti failing-even though a request for an extension of the scrutineering period by the Talbot and Delahaye representatives was granted. Then Benoist insisted on showing off the paces
of a private Bugatti to a prospective customer during a practice period, in the face of the direct warning of the officials. For this he was disqualified from taking part in the race, and as the cars were late anyway, Bugatti withdrew both his cars. On top of it all, one of the twelve-cylinder Delahayes broke down in practice and was withdrawn.
This chapter of accidents left the following cars in the race : four Talbots (Chiron, Sommer, Divo and Comotti), one twelve-cylinder Delahaye (Dreyfus), five 3i-litre. Delahayes (Schell, Carriere, Villeneuve, Chabaud and Danniell) and one Bugatti (de Sauge-Leoz). It did not need much perspicacity to pick the winning cars of this field, and the only interest was whether Chiron would beat Sommer. At the start Sommer took the lead, and held it for more than half the distance of the race. However, Chiron seemed quite happy in second place, and appeared to be playing a waiting game. But no, for suddenly the cars came round in a different order, and for a dozen laps Chiron was in front. Then Sommer’s engine began to falter, and he dropped
right back. The twelve-cylinder Delahaye had gone out of the race early with engine trouble.
The rest of the race was uneventful, and the three remaining Talbots, driven by Chiron, Comotti and Divo, lapped the rest of the field to win in processional order.
1. Chiron (Talbot) 3b. 46m. 6.6s. 82.47 m.p.h.
2. Comotti (Talbot) 3h. 48m. 12.6s.
3. Divo (Talbot) 3h. 49m. 48. .
4. Carriere (Delahaye) 1 lap behind.
5. Sommer (Talbot) 2 laps behind.
6. Clutbaud (Delahaye), 7 laps behind.
The Coupe de la Commission Sportive race for 1,500 c.c. Cars in the morning had been equally, no more, monotonous. From beginning to end the race was completely dominated by four 1,500 c.c. Rileys, which were much too strong for some little Slinca-Fiats and a 1,100 c.c. Chenard-Walcker. For some reason or other the B.M.W. factory decided to neglect the race this year, so the Rile vs were virtually without opposition. There should have been an M.G. Magnette in the race, but the car caught fire during practice and the driver, A. Todd, was
extensively burned and bruised. His condition, however, was reported to be not serious. A Singer took part in the race, entered by the well known French rally driver Savoye, but he retired halfway through the race with gearbox failure.
The Rileys were driven by Arthur Dobson and three Frenchmen, Contet, Forestier and Lapchin. The last three drove on behalf of the French Riley agent, who entered the cars. Dobson was clearly the best driver in the race, and he steadily increased his lead throughout the 186 miles, eventually finishing over two minutes ahead of the next man. In Dobson there is no doubt that Britain has a driver of more than ordinary promise.
1. A. Dobson (Riley) 2h. 39m. 32.5s. 70.13 m.p.h.
2. Contet (Riley) 2h. 41m. 57.5s.
3. Forestier (Riley) 2h. 43m. 3.18.
4. Lapehin (Riley) 2b. 45m. 58.2s.
6. Giraud-Cabantous (Chenard Waleker) I hp). behind.
Camerano (8imea-Flat) 2 laps behind.
7. Maillard-Brune (Slmes.-Plat) 2 laps behind’. Coupe de Is Commission Sportive 1. A. Dobson (Riley) 2h. 39m. 32.5s. 70.13
Result of Grand Prix de PA.C.F.