1953 French Grand Prix
- Sunday, July 5, 1953
- Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France
- F1 World Championship
Reims, Sunday, July 5th.
This year the French Grand Prix returned to Reims and a meeting was planned which had the makings of being the finest of the century, but due to had organisation and mismanagement one way and another it very nearly proved to be the biggest flop of the century. The Automobile Club de Champagne, under the direction of Raymond Roche, spent over £100,000 on preparing the Reims-Gueux circuit for a fiesta of motor racing never before imagined. Not content with holding the 40th French Grand Prix, they aimed to steal some of the allure of Le Mans by holding a 12-hour sports-car race beforehand. This race was to be run from midnight Saturday until midday Sunday, and three hours later the French Grand Prix, for Formula II cars, was to run over the same circuit.
For the third year running the circuit was altered, a new road being built to make the total length up to 8.317 kilometres, the cars now having a much longer run on the downhill straight leading to the Thillois hairpin. In addition to altering the shape of the circuit extra pits were built, a tunnel under the track allowed the largest of lorries to pass, a new press stand was erected from which all possible activities could be viewed, and numerous restaurants and a “Dunlop-tyre” bridge just after the start as at Le Mans were added. All the improvements, involving much high-pressure work, resulted in a truly wonderful circuit appropriate for the occasion planned.
Temporary road course
Juan Manuel Fangio (Maserati A6GCM) and Alberto Ascari (Ferrari 500), 2m41.1, 115.911 mph, F2, 1953
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