A fortnight after his brilliant driving of a Cooper 500 and 1)13 II Aston-W.0.in had pleased 150,000 English enthusiasts at Silverstone Raymond Sommer was killed when Ins Cooper 1,100 crashed while hi the lead (luring the G.P. de Ilaute Garonne. Sommer’s death is a terrible loss, not only to France but indireetly to )lritain, for in in mu’ view he was undoubtedly the driver to get the best from the 13.11.11 should that vehicle tie re:01y for a race.
Soinmer owned muelt property in Era ‘WC WO was in the fitillionait’e class. So he could afford to drive for fun and inn tlw ears lie fancied. lii 1942 we find him winning at Marseilles and finishing second to Chiron’s Bugatti at Nice, third to Zeltender’s and Lehoux’s 1.3ugattis at Comminges, in a ” Monza ” AlfaRomeo. At be Mans that year Sommer partnered Chinetti, winning at 76.48 m.p.h. in a 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo. At i.e Mans in I9:13 he afld Nuvolari won at 81.4 m.p.h. in an Alfa-Romeo, and he was second in the Belgian 24-1Iour Race, second at Picardy behind Etancelin, and third in the Marne G.1’. in AlfaRomeos, 1934 found Sommer winning at Montreux, and finishing third in the Belgian Grand Prix, driving a Maserati, and in 19:15 It:trailing both Mrtserati and Alfa-Itorneo, winning the French G.P. turd Comminges G.P. and coming third at Marne, and gainitig third phwe at Picardy in the Maserati. He ‘Won at Marseilles and was second at Pau in a Tallart in 1930, rind won the Tunis race the following year in a Talbot. In 1939 he was third III the Conuttinges race, also in a Talbot.. SOtalner’s post-war record included victories at Marseilles, Turiti, Geneva and Paris in Maserati, Ferrari and Shaul cars, besides many placings. He was chosen JO try the ill-fated C.F.’S., and
cars. Sommer believed in going all-out from flag-fall, but the foregoing brief survey of his achievements provides the answer to those who said he was it wild man, over-rated and lacking experience. Ile certainly believed iti pressing-on, ‘which isn’t, a bad idea in motor racing, but he had excellent meelourical sense, knew brae a raeing car should ” feel ” and generally Was Otte of tlit! few really great drivers. Ilis death at 44 is allOther Idot. Oa a miserable season and one that will not be forgotten with the passing of the years,–W. B.
Rally review, April 1985
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