THE CIRCUIT DES ROUTES PAVEES.
An A Victory on Dillicult Course.
THE pave roads race in the north of France is always an event of special interest, for instead of a specially prepared course with a surface as good as possible, the race takes place over the worst pave which can be found in Flanders, and combines the qualities of an endurance test with those of a speed event. The race also lasts for-six hours, and it may thus be concluded that the event which took place on Sunday, 13th September, was no easy saunter. The original 50 entries were reduced to 35 actual starters on the Sunday morning, more than one of the missing fifteen having been eliminated by crashing during the practice period. The full list of starters was as follows : OVER 5-LITRES.-RACING CARS : 1, Djordgadze (Mercedes) ; 2, Brisson (Stutz). 5-LITRES.-SP0RT5 CARS :
3, Sommer (Chrysler) ; 5, Stalter (Lorraine) ; 6, Trebor (Lorraine). 5-LITRES.-RACING CARS :
7 Gruson (Ford) ; 8, Cammaert and Cornil (Georges Irat) ; 9, Ferrant (Peugeot). 3-Lnus.–SPowrs CARS :
14, Falch (Hotchkiss). 2-LITRES-SPORTS CARS : 18, Corsini Dominic° (Alfa-Romeo) ; 19, Zehender (Alfa.-Romeo); 24, Golay (Bugatti): 25, Ginier (Bignan) 2-1,mus-RACING CARS -:
28, Pesato (Alfa-Romeo) ; 29, Roca (Bugatti) ; 32, Max Fourny and Bussienne (Bugatti). 1,500 C.C.-RACING CARS :
35, Joly (Maserati) ; 36, Gallay (Bugatti) ; 38, Auber (Bugatti). 1,500 C.C.-SPORTS CARS :
39, Delommez (Bugatti) ; 41, Mines Mareuse and Siko (Bugatti) ; 43, Ufa (Gobron). 1,100 c .c.-SPoirrs CARS :
45, Vallon (la Licorne) ; 46, Errecalde (la Licorne) ; 47, Galloisy (la Licorne); 49, Mme. La Caze (Ar.L.c.) ; 50, Clerc (Amilcar). 1,100 C.C.-RACING CARS :
51, Mine. Violette Morris (V.M. Ruby) ; 52, GiraudCabantorts (Caban) ; 53, R. Labric (Caban) ; 54, Lemoine (Caban) ; 55, Vernet (Caban) ; 56, Martin (Atnilcar) ; 59, Girod (B.N.C.) ; 60, Treunet (B.N.C.).
350 C.C.-RACING CARS :-65 Antony (Antony). 350 C.C.-SPORTS CARS :-64, Antoine (Antony).
A brilliant start. The miserable wet weather which had proved so trying to competitors during the practice period had improved by the Sunday, and the sun was shining brilliantly when at 10 o’clock the start was given by IVI. Hector Franchomme, president of the Automobile Club du Nord de la France. The whole pack got away well together, and it was soon apparent that the division between sports and racing cars was somewhat artificial, for at the end of the first lap Zehender was the first to appear on his 1,750 c.c. ” sports ” Alfa-Romeo, having
beaten all the ” racing” cars and covered the 13 kilometres of the circuit in 7 minutes 39 seconds from a standing start. Italy was well placed to begin with, for behind him came Joly on his 1,500 c.c. Maserati, followed by Max Fourny and Roca on 2-litre Bugattis. On the second lap Fourny succeeded in passing Joly, but the Italian position was still strong for Pesato and Corsini had got into fifth and sixth places on their Alfa-Rotneos.
During the first hour the positions of the leaders were unchanged, and the other cars which showed a good turn of speed were Brisson’s Stutz, Ferrant’s Peugeot, Gruson’s Ford, Cammaert’s Georges Irat and Delom.mez, Bugatti. The big Mercedes was not doing well and had dropped far back. Soon after the end of the first hour, however, Fourny (Bugatti), while in second position, ran off the road at the Capelle corner, and his car caught fire. The driver was fortunately uninjured, but his Bugatti was put out of the race. His place was immediately taken by Joly on the 1,500 c.c. Ma.serati, but shortly afterwards he too ran off the road, thus letting up Roca on the Bugatti into second place behind Zehender.
At the end of the second hour an extraordinary accident took place which put one of the fastest cars out of the race. The Georges Irat had come in to the pits to fill up, and when moving off in the hands of Cornil went far over to the left of the road. At that moment Brisson appeared going all out on the Stutz, tried to get by on the left, but although he tore down some yards of the pallisading, he was unable to avoid hitting one of the back wheels of the Georges Irat. Cornil was thrown out of the car onto his head by the shock, and at the same time the Irat’s petrol tank caught fire, burning both Cornil and a spectator. Brisson was unhurt, but the Stutz skidded into the ditch and was wrecked, and Cornil and the spectator were taken to hospital in Lille.
In the meantime a most exciting duel had developed between Zehender on the Alfa-Romeo and Roca on the Bugatti. On the 20th lap the latter broke the record for the circuit in 6 minutes 58 seconds and was gradually catching up on the Alfa. At the same time Zehender came in to his pit with a flat tyre, and took advantage of the stop to fill up. When he got away again, however, he had a lead of only 1 minute 13 seconds on Roca. By the 25th lap this lead had been cut down to 22 seconds and one lap later only 1 3/5 seconds separated the two leading cars. Now, however, it was Roca’s turn to fill up, and when he got away again he was 1 minute 30 seconds behind Zehender. Pesato (Alfa-Romeo) was still running third, and Ferrand on his famous old Targa Florio Peugeot had worked his way up into fourth place. On getting away after his stop for replenishments, Roca again went in chase of Zehender, and on his 34th lap again broke the record for the circuit in 6 minutes 48 seconds. This fast running cut down the Alfa-Romeo’s lead to 54 seconds, but shortly afterwards the Bugatti had a puncture, and Roca lost nearly a minute changing the wheel. Nothing daunted, however, he proceeded to
break the lap record for the third time by going round in 6 minutes 36 seconds, but his effort came too late, and Zehender got home by quite a comfortable margin.
The end of the race was unfortunately marred by a serious accident, for about four minutes before the finish, Corsini on an Alfa-Romeo while trying to pass Pesato on a similar car in the village of la Capelle, skidded and crashed into the crowd. One child was killed outright and ten other people had to be taken to hospital. The results of the racing were as follows :
1. F. Zehender (Alfa-Romeo), 631 km. 547.
2. Roca (Bugatti), 620 km. 125.
3. Ferrand (Peugeot), 595 km. 093.
4. Pesato (Alfa-Romeo), 573 km. 086.
5. Gruson (Ford), 567 km. 890. 6. Delommez (Bugatti), 560 km. 148. CLASS RESULTS. 5-LITRES-RACING CARS :
1. Ferrand (Peugeot), 595 km. 093. 2. Guison. (Ford), 567 km. 890. 5-LITREs–SPORTS CARS :
1. Trebor (Lorraine), 539 km. 775.
2. Sommer (Chrysler), 529 km. 681.
3. Stalter (Lorraine), 495 km. 576. 3-LITRES-SPORTS CARS :1. Falck (Hotchkiss), 522 km. 391. 2-LITRES-RACING CARS :
1 . Roca (Bugatti), 620 kin. 125.
2. Pesato (Alfa-Romeo), 573 km. 0. 2-LITRES–SP0RT5 CARS :
1 . Zehender (Alfa-Romeo), 631 km. 547. 2. Corsini (Alfa-Romeo), 558 km. 920. 1,500 C.C.-SPORTS CARS :
1 . Delommez (Bugatti), 560 km. 146.
2. Mme. Mareuse (Bugatti), 506 km. 681. 1,100 C.C.-RACING CARS :
1. Girod (B.N.C.), 520 km. 220.
2. Vernet (Caban), 512 km. 996.
3. Labric (Caban), 504 km. 974.
4. Treunet (B.N.C.), 491 km. 904.
5. Mme. V. Morris (V.M. Ruby), 417 km. 001. 1,100 c.c.-SPORTS CARS :
1. Vallon (la Licome), 502 km. 698.
2. Galloisy (la Licorne), 502 km. 190.
3. Urrecalde (la Licome), 372 km. 770.
4. Clerc (Amilcar), 346 km. 339.
5. Mine. La Caze (M.L.C. Ruby), 273 km. 056. 350 C.C.-RACING CARS :
1. Antony (Antony), 363 km. 967. 350 C.C.-SPORTS CARS :
1. Antoine (Antony), 282 km. 894.