d’OR BRITISH VICTORY IN THE BOL
AN Aston-Martin, driven by Contet, won the 24-Hours Bol d’Or race at Montlbery last month at an average speed of 59.6 m.p.h., having -covered 1,438 miles. The circuit used was the short one, the cars leaving the piste 4e vitesse for a short loop of the road -circuit, and so back to the track once more. It measured just over three miles in length, and consequently did not give much rest to the cars or drivers. A last-minute change in the date from Whitsun week-end to June 3rd and 4th caused nearly a 50 per cent. reduction in
the number of starters. Among the twenty-five entries was Raymond Sommer -with a blown M.G.
The race is unique in that only one -driver is allowed per car, and it is therefore a real test of stamina. In the old -days it used to be run at St. Germain, -near Paris, on the ordinary road, and most of the competing machines used to be -queer little cycle-cars built by the drivers themselves. With the change over to Montlhery most of the “specials ” have -,died out, and their place has been taken by normal production sports-cars. Unlike many previous years, the race in June was held in magnificent weather. Burnay, on an M.G., led at the start,
but he was soon passed by Joseph Paul, driving a Riley. This British marque suffered a reverse, however, when Horvilleur’s car went out with a run bearing.
Paul’s effort lasted for several hours, but then he retired and his place was taken by Contet’s Aston-Martin, which had been running with great regularity. At half time Contet had. an enormous lead of twenty-four laps (72 miles) over the net man. Bonnet, on a Citroen, who in turn led Burnay by a wide margin. One by one the remaining cars dropped out, until by the 18th hour there were only five still running.
Contet continued to lap the 3 mile circuit with complete reliability and regularity, and he finally pulled up, a weary hut satisfied man, winner of a very tired-making race. He was followed at a respectful distance by a Situ ca-Fiat driven by Debille. Guerin’s old Bugatti, the Citroen fa good show this), and Molinari’s Simca.
1. Contet (Aston-Martin), 461 laps (1,433 miles) at 59.6 m.p.h.
2. Debille (Simca-Fiat), 433 laps.
3. Guerin (Bugatti), 406 laps.
4. Bonnet (Citroen) 395 laps.
5. Molinari (Simea-Fiat) 847 laps.
THE CLOSED-CAR HOUR AGAIN
Driving a supercharged Type 57C Bugatti with Galibier four-door saloon body at Montlhery, Robert Benoist has covered 112 miles in the hour. Although there is no official record set up, this run compares with Lord Howe’s run with a V12 Lagonda saloon at Brooklands, when 101.5 miles were put into the hour, and with the run at Montlhery by A. W. Sleator with a 4:1—litre ” Continental” Bentley saloon, when the distance covered in the hour was 107.4 miles.
Benoist is said to have chain-smoked throughout. The run is a nice way of emphasising the fact that modern racingtype twin o.h. camshaft engines need not be troublesome, and of demonstrating the reliability and speed of the 3.8-litre Bugatti, in. particular. We are glad to announce this performance, because although most designers of high performance cars now think in terms of sober, push-rod engines, we have always maintained that the racing-type of production engine will give greater performance and need be no more unreliable, if development is given equivalent attention. This 112 m.p.h. cruise round Montlhery by Bugatti drives this view further home. It also recalls the threat of a French Invasion and we hope that recent Lagonda activity at Brooklands may lead to a further British attack on Bugatti’s unofficial ” record.”