The Grand Prix du Commin es
Only 9 Finish out of 26 Starters
THE Grand Prix du Comminges, which was run on 17th August, proved to be one of the greatest tests to destruction which this season’s motor racing has provided. The event was run over the St. Gaudens circuit, situated some 50 miles South of Toulouse at the foot of the Pyrenees, and its one very fast leg and the opposite section of sinuous mountain road provided a course which eliminated nearly two thirds of the starters.
The latter comprised in the first place nearly all the famous ” Bugattisti.” In the 2-litre class were Lehoux, Etancelin, Dreyfus, Lonet, Lormant, Miguel, Durand, de Maleplane, Arthez, Navarre and Bouriano ; while in the 1500 c.c. class the cars from Molslaeim were driven by Michel Dore, Czaikowski, Billoin, Faure and de Meslon, having against them a solitary Salmson with David at the wheel. Another Salmson, driven by de Caroli ran in the 1100 c.c. division against two Amilcars piloted by Scaron and Dorel, Madame Itier, Schlumberger and Delorme’s Rallys, Rongieras (B.N.C.), Caubet (Licorne), and Desbois (Rosengart).
The start was given en masse with the big cars in front, and the whole pack got away in a thundering confused mass, Bouriano displaying more enthusiasm than judgment by gaining a few yards, fouling the bank at the first turn and covering his pursuers with dust. The first man round, however, was Dreyfus, who covered the first lap at 86.5 m.p.h., but had only managed to gain 100 yards on his great adversary Lehoux, while Etancelin was but a short distance behind. For three laps the order was maintained, and then Lehoux stopped to change his goggles. This gave Dreyfus a substantial lead, until on the fifth lap he drew up at his pit with such serious trouble that he had to withdraw. This let Lehoux up into first place, while Czaikowski and Michel Dore on their 1500 c.c. cars were
having a tremendous scrap not very far behind. In the 1100 c.c. division Scaron and Dourel’s Amilcars were proving themselves the fastest machines, though hotly pursued by de Caroli on his Salmson.
Lehoux, although lapping at 85 m.p.h. was not destined to retain the lead for long, for on the 7th lap he too was forced to retire. Etancelin in the meantime had lost all except his top speed and had been passed by Atthez, Czaikowski at the same time struck the sandbanks at Moutrejean and was delayed, but Michel Dore was going really well close up to the bigger cars.
Etancelin in spite of his handicap was creeping up on Arthez until he burst a tyre, and having stopped to change the wheel found he could not get awaY again on top. Thus ended a very courageous attempt, and the driver received much sympathy. ‘ The casualty list by this time included de Maleplane, Bouriano and Navarre, and Arthez who was only running against Miguel and Lormand in the biggest class, both of whom were well behind, seemed a certain winner. On the penultimate lap, however, he broke down, and the race went to Michel Dore who was close behind him at the head of the 1500 c.c. class. The two Amilcars which were first and second in the 1100 c.c. division were the identical machines which gained the first two places last year, when Dourel’s car was driven by Darroman and just managed to beat Scaron, who this year proved the victor. The final result was as follows :—
1. Michel Dore (Bugatti). Average 79.08 m.p.h. ; 2. Miguel (Bugatti). (Winner 2-litre class). Average 76.2 m.p.h. ; 3. Scaron (Amilcar) (Winner 1100 c.c. class). Average 71.75 m.p.h. ; 4. Count Czaikowski (Bugatti) ; 5. Lenormand (Bugatti) ; 6. Dourel (Amilcar) ; 7. Hector David (Salmson) ; 8. de Caron (Salmson) ; 9. Caubet (la Licorne).