Circuit des Routes Pavees

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Circuit des Routes Payees Victory for Bugatti in North of France 6-hour Race

IREMEMBER making a tour shortly after the war of the North of France in a pre-war car which had already seen good service and which was by no means in its first flush of youth. In those days the “execrable pave” was a tre mendous terror with its huge pot-holes and uneven surface shattered by the war time traffic, and as one bumped and lurched along at low speed one wondered which spring would break and which bit of the body fall off first. It was therefore a :courageous idea a few years ago to utilise these very roads for a race which should test suspension systems and chassis construction to the utmost, and although the ears of to-day do not,

perhaps, find the teat so searching as did their predecessors, the pave roads race remains one of the most sporting: events of the French season. This year the race was run On 14th September, and consisted of a six-hour event with various capacity classes for racing and sports cars. Sunday, 14th September, was not favoured by the weather, for the rain fell almost unceas ingly, making the lot of the drivers on these pave roads, which become incredibly muddy and greasy in bad weather, par ticularly difficult. In spite of this draw back, however, quite a. large number of spectators assembled to see the 33 com petitors set off on their journey at 10 o’clock punctually. In the 5-litre -sports class were two straight-eight Delages, driven by Senechal and Ogez, while Poirier on a 4-cylinder Delaunay-Belle vile, an unusual Marque to find in. a race, was alone in the 4-litre sports class. The racing class of the same capacity consisted of the two famous Montier-Fords driven by Montier father and son, and in the 3litre sports class there was a Bugatti .driven by Brunet, a Panhard et Levassor with Tourbier at the wheel and two .Omega ” Sixes ” with Boyriven and Bonne as their drivers. The 2-litre cars .consisted of a couple of supercharged racing Bugattis driven by Count d’Arnoux and 1.-lament, and in the sports division, .a zaire driven by Bussienue and a 1,750 .c.c. Alfa-Romeo driven by Zehender, both of which were also supercharged. Half :a .dozen more Bugattis made up the 1,500 racing class and had Lecat, j oly, Plucquet, Delomez, Boulier and Tedaldi (whose car was alone supercharged) as their drivers, While the sports cars of this consisted of Dumoret-Vanhoff’s S.C.A.P., a Domiet driven by Lepicard and ” Ufa ” on a Gobron, a mune which it is good, to see again on a race proand which conjures up visions of opposed pistons. Two more S.C.A.P.’s driven by Schlesinger and litudon ran in the 1,100 c.c. sports class against Trenuet’s B.N.C., while another supercharged B.N.C. by Michel Dore ran in the corresracing class against Martin, the time Samson driver on a car of his own construction, and the four Bol d Or Ca bans driven by Giraud Cabanto their manufacturer, Maurice Benoist, La brie and Vernet. alulard drove a

750 c.c. racing Roseugart, and Violet, a sports HuaScar of the same size, while the smallest car in the race was a 350 c.c, machine built and driven by Antony. At the end. of the first lap Zehender’s Alfa-Romeo was the first car to appear, having outstripped all the racing cars, although it was fiercely pursued by Count d’Arnoux on his Bugatti. There followed in rapid succession July ( Bugatti), who made a short stop at his pit, Brunet (Bugatti), Lecat (Bugatti), Tourbier (Pan

hard), Dore (B.N.C.), Ogez (Delage) and Delomez (Bugatti), and it was already apparent which were the fastest cars. On the second lap Zehender averaged over 60 m.p.h. and held the lead, although closely chased by d’Arnoux, who was gradually creeping up. At the end of the sixth lap, however, ‘Zehender drew up at his pit and stopped for some ten minutes, while the Bugatti took the lead ; the car got going again, but after several more stops at the pits it was finally withdrawn after nine laps, and the fastest Car was already out of it. In the meantime Schlesinger (S.C.A.P.) had, run off the course, and having been helped back onto the road by the spectators, he was automatically disqualified, while Flament (Bugatti) retired after a couple of laps, and Labric (Cuban) after five. At the end of the first hour the distances covered by the competitors were as follows:

5-litre sports cars.—Ogez (Pelage), 6 laps ; Senecahl (Pelage), 6 laps. 4-litre sports cars.—Poirier (DelannayBelleville), 5 laps. 4-litre racing cars.–F. .Montier (Ford), 6 laps ; C. Moldier (Ford), 6 laps. 3-litre sports cars.—Brunet (Ingatti), 7 laps ; Boyriven (Omega), 6 laps ; Tour bier (Panhard), 6 laps ; Bonne (Omega), 4 laps. 2-litre sports cars.— Zehende r (Alfa-Romeo), 6 laps ; Bassienne (Sizaire), 5 laps. 2-litre racing cars.d’Arnoux (Bugatti), 7 laps. 1,500 e.c. sports cars.—Ufa (Gobron,), 5 laps ; Lepicard. (Donnet), 5 laps ; DumoretVanhoff (S.C.A.P.), 4 laps. 1,500 cc. racing ears.—Joly (I-lugatti), 6 laps ; Deloniez (Bugatti,), 6 laps ; TedOdi (Bugatti), 6 laps ; Boulier (Bugatti), 6 laps ; Plucquet (Bugatti), 5 laps ; 1,100 c.c. sports cars.—Trennet (B.N,C.), 5 laps ; Deudon (S.C.A.P.), 5 laps. 1,100 c.c. racing cars.—M. Benoist (Cuban), 6 laps ; (Aram]. Cabantons (Cuban), 6 laps ; Dore (B.N.C.), 6 laps; Vernet (Cuban), 5 laps ; Martin (Martin), 5 laps. 750 c.c. sports cars.—Violet (Hua,scar), 5 laps, 750 c.c. racing cars.—Mulard (Rosengart), 5 laps. 350 c.c. racing cars.—Antony (Antony), 4 laps. Count d’Arnoux now appe-ared to have things all his own way, although he was hotly pursued by Joly on the 1,500 c.c. Bugatti. On the 16th lap, however, he stopped at his pit for 3 minutes, 28 seconds, which allowed Joly to Catch up, and it was not until the next lap that he regained the lead. At about half-past eleven, after the cars had been running for an hour and a half, Tedaidi skidded on. the far side of the course and overturned, his Bugatti rolling over several

times. Luckily, he sustained nothing worse than some broken ribs ; although he was removed to hospital, it was stated that his condition was not serious. The rain was still falling in short vicious scuds, and. the course by this time had been reduced to a sea of mud, which made the pave horribly slippery. Until the end of the third hour d’Arnoux led, followed by Joly and Brunet, and then the Count stopped at his pit and stayed there for 7 minutes, 25 seconds, while he fined. up and worked on his engine. This let joly into the lead, which he did not lose even after his stop for replenishments, which took 4 minutes, 40 seconds. d’Arnoux, nevertheless, was making great efforts to repass him, until, shortly after passing the Tribunes he skidded, on a bend and his Bugatti turned over. The driver was miraculously uninjured, but his car was too badly damaged to continue, and, another of the fastest cars was out of the race. This let Brunet up into second, place, and behind him came Charles Montier, senior, who for the first time appeared among the leaders. The one time American but now much more French ” Ford” was in fact coming up well and soon succeeded in passing Brunet, who thus dropped to third place. Behind, him again came Boyriven (Omega), Delornez (Bugatti), Ogez and SenZ.chal

on the big 1,elages. Among the smaller cars the only change of note was that Michel Dore on the 1,100 c.c. racing B.N.C. had passed both the Cabans and taken the lead in his class. After the cars had been running for 44 hours, Montier was some ten minutes behind Joly, but he was slowly Creeping up, until with about forty minutes still to go he was only 2 minutes 12seconds behind. Then suddenly after he had completed his 39th lap Joly drew up at his pit and began to work on his engine. The excitement was now intense ; was the Bugatti to be robbed of its victory at the last Moment ? As the seconds ticked by all eyes were trained down the road where Montier would appear, and just as he flashed by the stands there was a roar from the Bugatti pit and Joly got away again, after a stop of 2 minutes, 1 second. The two ears went off down the road, with only a few hundred yards separating them, but Montier was in full flight and Joly was accelerating from a standing start. Nevertheless, when the cars appeared again Joly had regained, the lead and was 46 seconds ahead of Montier. By real hard drivinghe succeeded in drawing still further ahead. of his rival,

and. finally came home a winner of the whole event. Montier was second and Brunet third, with Delornez (Bugatti) fourth and Ogez and Senechal on the big Delages fifth and sixth. The final result was as follows :

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