The 12-hour race on the triangular circuit at Hyeres on the south coast of France, near Toulon, saw quite a number of British competitors taking part, amongst whom were Abecassis/Gaze with the H.W.M.-Jaguar. Whitehead/Hamilton with Peter’s special Cooper-Jaguar, Alan Brown with his Cooper-Bristol, A. G. Whitehead/ Griffiths with a DB3S Aston Martin, Mann/Brackenbury with the former’s special coupé-bodied DB3 Aston Martin and Green with a Bristol-Kieft. The Cooper-Jaguar was unable to start due to failure of a vital part in the brake system.
Favourites for the race were Trintignant and Piotti who were sharing a 3-litre 12-cylinder Ferrari, though the H.W.M. was going extremely well. In the opening stages Brown kept the Cooper-Bristol in third place, until a bearing in the rear-end seized up, though Abecassis and Gaze had the H.W.M. firmly in second position, in spite of frequent stops for water due to a fractured water pipe. Their distance behind the Ferrari varied considerably, depending upon which driver was handling the Italian car, as the variation in lap-times between Trintignant and Piotti was remarkable, whereas the H.W.M. drivers were running very consistently. The organisation of the event was very much of a “free-for-all” nature and towards the end of the 12 hours the officials felt that the H.W.M. had been taking on more water than was decently permitted by the regulations and decided to disqualify the car. This produced a bit of an uproar amongst the British, but Abecassis inadvertently settled the problem by crashing on the last lap of the race and failing to finish.
12 Hours — Sports cars,
1st: M. Trintignant/R. Piotti (Ferrari) 1,581.114 kilometres … 131.784 k.p.h.
2nd: M. Picard/C. Pozzi (Ferrari) … 22.214.171.1248 kilometres
3rd: Arimengaud/Abbo (Osca) … 1,417.375 kilometres.
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