VIII GRAND PRIX des FRONTIÈRES
Chimay (B), 4 June 1933.
15 laps x 10.87 km (86.75 mi) = 163.1 km (101.3 mi)
Longueville wins his home race
by Leif Snellman
Eleven cars in three classes took part in the race. Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo) held an early lead but had to make two pit stops dropping to third behind Longueville and Legat, both racing
Bugattis. Legat suffered a puncture and Penn-Hughes caught him and was able to take over second position. Longueville however took an easy victory from Penn-Hughes with Legat winning the
voiturette class and Bennert (Rally) the cycle car class.
Created by Jules Buisseret back in 1926 the Grand Prix des Frontières was organized by l'Auto-Moto Club de Beaumont-Chimay for the eighth time. As usual it was held on the 10.87 km long
Chimay road circuit near the French border. Apart from the car race there was motor cycle racing in eight classes.
The car entries were divided into three classes racing together, with the 1100cc cycle car class being flagged after 10 laps while the 1500cc voiturette class and the class over
1500cc did 15 laps.
The race clashed with the Nîmes Grand Prix but still the organizers managed to attract some foreign drivers to make it an international event. German driver Hans Simons and Spanish driver
Jose Maria de Texidor entered Bugattis in the major class as did French driver "Gé" in the voiturette class. French driver Georges David entered a Georges Irat while Australian Bernard
Rubin entered a green coloured Alfa Romeo Monza for Clifton Penn-Hughes. Rubin had intended the car (#2211125) for Tim Birkin but the latter was ill after having burned his arm on the
exhaust pipe at the Tripoli GP. (Either sepsis or malaria was the reason for his death on 22 June.)
Viglielmo Matozza, an Italian car mechanic living in Brussels, entered an Alfa Romeo RL sports car he had bought from Marcel Rouleau. The Belgian colours were defended by the Bugattis of
Willy Longueville and Dumaury in the major class and by Artur Legat (#37355) and Jean Huart, a merchant from Couvin south of Brussels, in the voiturette class.
In the cycle car class Bennert in a Rally with a Chapuis-Dornier engine was the only competitor.
The Sunday weather was nice and sunny and the event proved to be a huge success with hordes of spectators turning up. When it was time for the car race the 11 cars were lined up two and
two on the grid.
As the race started Longueville took the lead followed by Penn-Hughes, Texidor and Simons. Legat missed the start and trying to regain positions he went too far left and the car hit a
footbridge with the left wheel and pulled off two planks. However, Legat was able to continue and passing six cars on the first lap he finished the lap in third position behind Penn-Hughes,
who by then had taken over the lead, and Longueville. Behind Legat followed Texidor, Dumaury, "Ge", David and Bennert, who was doing the 10 laps race on his own only trying to get the Rally
to the finish. Matozza's Alfa Romeo had stopped on the road during the first lap while Huart and Simons both had mechanical trouble and made pit stops.
On the second lap Penn-Hughes almost lost control of his Monza. Suspecting a puncture or a broken shock absorber he made a pit stop for a check, losing his lead to Longueville, but he
managed to return to the race in second position in front of Legat.
Longueville, who wanted to open up a decisive gap, made a new lap record of 5m08s during the third lap and on the fourth lap he went even faster setting the fastest lap of the day with
a time of 5m01s (130 km/h). On the fourth lap Penn-Hughes made a new pit stop due to a puncture and dropped behind Legat. De Texidor and Simons retired from the race.
According to André Biaumet the race order looked like this after seven laps (note that David is missing from the list):
|1. Longueville (Bugatti)|
|2. Legat (Bugatti) |
|3. Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)||1 lap behind (see below)|
|4. "Ge" (Bugatti)||1 lap behind|
|5. Dumaury (Bugatti)||2 laps behind|
|6. Huart (Bugatti) |
|7. Bennert (Rally) |
On the 8th lap Legat had to make a two minutes pit stop due to a puncture. He returned to the race right in front of Penn-Hughes, who had closed in 10 seconds on the leader on that lap.
Penn-Hughes followed closely behind Legat and retook second position on the 12th lap. Dumaury retired his Bugatti leaving seven competitors.
Longueville slowed down a bit and took the chequered flag after 15 laps followed 2m17s later by Penn-Hughes with Legat third and winner of the voiturette class. "Ge" was fourth, David fifth
and Huart sixth. Bennet also took his Rally to the flag to win the cycle car class.
|1.||Willy Longueville||W. Longueville||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||1h20m32s|
|2.||Clifton Penn-Hughes||B. Rubin||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||15||1h22m49s||+ 2m17s|
|3.||Arthur Legat||A. Legat||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||15||1h23m59s||+ 3m27s|
|5.||Georges David||G. David||Georges Irat||2.9||S-6||?|| |
|6||Jean Huart||J. Huart||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||?|| || |
|DNF||Jose Maria de Texidor||J.-M. de Texidor||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||?|
|DNF||Hans Simons||H. Simons||Bugatti||T43||2.3||S-8||1||mechanical|
|DNF||Viglielmo Matozza||V. Matozza||Alfa Romeo||RLTF||3.6||S-6||0||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Willy Longueville (Bugatti) in 5m01.0s = 130.0 km/h (80.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 121.5 km/h (75.5 mph)
It is claimed that Penn-Hughes after seven laps had lost a lap to Longueville but I don't think that was the case. One lap meant at least five minutes. Closing in by 10 seconds on the eighth
lap he would then have had to close in by at least 22 seconds per lap during the last seven laps while Longueville could not have slowed down too much as he kept a 5m22s medium lap speed for
the whole race. While theoretically possible to create such a scenario on the paper it doesn't look convincing.
Main source for this article:|
André Biaumet: "Le Grand Prix des Frontières"
Special thanks to:
II TROPHÉE de PROVENCE
Nîmes (F), 4 June 1933.
40 laps x 2.617 km (1.63 mi) = 104.7 km (65.0 mi)
Jacob scores when Falchetto retires in the domestic race
by Leif Snellman
Nineteen cars in three classes took part in the race. Falchetto (Bugatti) held the lead until the 25th lap, when he was forced to retire. Jacob (Bugatti) took over the lead to take the overall victory and
also to win the 2 litre class from Bernasconi (Bugatti). Chambost (Salmson) was third overall and winner of the 1100cc class. He was faster than the 1500cc class winner Vagniez (Maserati).
In 1932 and 1933 the Automobile Club du Gard organized a series of races in Nîmes in southern France. The main race was called the Grand Prix de Nîmes. There was also a combined race
for the 1100cc, 1500cc and 2000 cc classes. That race went under the name Trophée de Provence.
After using a 2.9 km course in 1932 the course was shortened for 1933 to a length of 2.617 km. (For details about the course see the Grand Prix de Nîmes below.) The race distance for the
Trophée de Provence was half of that for the Grand Prix or 40 laps for a distance of 104.7 km
The five cars in the 1100cc cycle car class were French Amilcars and Salmsons. Drivers included Albert "Raymond" Chambost racing a Salmson GP "San Sebastian" and Swiss driver Hans Kessler.
Bugattis dominated the 1.5 litre voiturette class. Spaniard Genaro Léoz as well as six French drivers entered Bugatti T37As. André Vagniez raced a Maserati 26. Marret's Salmson and Boucly's
Cozette were entered as American "Millers" as a trick to get better start money.
Number 12 was probably reserved for Mme. Anne Cécile Itier (Bugatti) and number 36 for Moulin (Bugatti). When Vagniez was a late entry and Moulin withdrew his entry, Vagniez received number
36 even if it split the category numbering.
Five Bugatti T35Cs took the start in the 2 litre class. The best known names in the totally French class were the 1932 Nîmes Grand Prix winner Benoît Falchetto and Pierre Ray.
Whitsunday arrived with beautiful weather and attracted a huge number of spectators. The series of events started shortly after noon with motor cycle racing. About 3 p.m. 19 cars in the three
classes lined up for the Trophée the Provençe with the class 2000 cc first in the grid, 1500 cc in the middle and 1100 cc at the rear.
At the start Falchetto took the lead followed by Jacob, Bernasconi and Chambost, who held the lead of the 1100cc class, while behind him Angelo was leading the 1500cc class.
Already on the second lap Kessler had to retire with a broken rear axle. On the third lap Angelo retired due to carburettor trouble and Bonnefon took over the voiturette class lead.
On the fourth lap Leurquin gave up because of gearbox trouble. Antoine was disqualified for unknown reasons. Among the competitors there were other retirements as well. Mistral stopped
with a broken oil pipe and Léoz-Abad hit the sidewalk in the chicane hard damaging his Bugatti.
Bonnefon led the voiturette class until the 18th lap, when he got trouble and Ralph passed him followed by Vagniez. However, in front of them Chambost and Réveillet were doing a good job
and held 4th and 5th places with their cycle cars in front of all the voiturettes.
Falchetto held the lead until the 25th lap, when he was forced to give up with a broken propeller shaft in his Bugatti. Jacob took over the lead of the race followed by Bernasconi and
they were the only two competitors remaining in the 2 litre class. On the 26th lap Vagniez passed Ralph for fifth position to lead the voiturette class.
This order remained to the end of the race with Jacob winning from Bernasconi with Chambost in 3rd position a lap behind, winning the cycle car class. Réveillet with his Amilcar finished
fourth a further lap behind but in front of Vagniez, who was fastest of the 1500cc voiturettes.
|1.||38||Marcel Jacob||M Jacob||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||40||1h02m56.4s|
|2.||42||Ricardo Bernasconi||R. Bernasconi||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||40||1h04m26.0s||+ 1m29.6s|
|3.||10||Raymond Chambost||R. Chambost||Salmson||GP||1.1||S-4||39||1h04m11s|| |
|4.||2||Jean Réveillet||J. Réveillet||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||38||1h04m06s|| |
|5.||36||André Vagniez|| A. Vagniez||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||37||1h03m24s|
|6.||18||Gilbert Ralph||G. Ralph||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||37||1h03m37s|| |
|7.||32||Arnaud||Arnaud||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||34||Benoît Falchetto||B. Falchetto||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||25||propeller shaft|
|DNF||26||Bonnefon||Bonnefon||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||20||Genaro Léoz-Abad||G. Léoz-Abad||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||crash|| |
|DNF||16||Roger Boucly||R. Boucly||Cozette||1.5||S-6|| || || |
|DNF||22||Henri Durand||H. Durand||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||40||Pierre Rey||P. Rey||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8|
|DNF||30||Mistral||Mistral||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|| ||oil pipe|| |
|DNF||6||Hans Kessler||H. Kessler||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||1||rear axle|| |
|DSQ||8||Antoine||Antoine||Rally-Salmson||1.1||S-4|| ||disquailfied|| |
Fastest lap (2000cc): Ricardo Bernasconi (Bugatti) in 1m31s = 103.5 km/h (64.3 mph)|
Fastest lap (1500cc) : André Vagniez (Maseraiti) in 1m37s = 97.1 km/h (60.4 mph)
Fastest lap (1100cc): Raymond Chambost (Salmson) 1m35s = 99.2 km/h (61.6 mph)
Winner's medium speed, 2000cc: 99.8 km/h (62.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed, 1500cc: 91.6 km/h (56.9 mph)
Winner's medium speed, 1100cc: 95.4 km/h (59.3 mph)
Weather: sunny and warm.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
II GRAND PRIX de NÎMES
Nîmes (F), June 4 1933.
80 laps x 2.617 km (1.63 mi)? = 209.36 km (130.1 mi)?
Nuvolari prevails at Nîmes after an exciting clash with Etancelin.
by Leif Snellman
Only eight competitors took part in the Nîmes Grand Prix held on an avenue in the city center of Nîmes.
The race developed into an exciting duel between Nuvolari in a works Alfa Romeo Monza against Etancelin in a private Monza. At half way into
the race Nuvolari had managed to establish a 30 seconds advantage but Etancelin continued pushing. Not until the last laps when the brakes
failed on Etancelin's car, was the race definitely decided.
In 1932 and 1933 the Automobile Club du Gard organized a Grand Prix in the old Roman city of Nîmes, the capital of the Gard département, in southern
France. It was one of the many "round the houses" city races in the 1930s that tried to copy the success of the Monaco Grand Prix.
After using a 2.9 km race circuit in 1932 the course was shortened for 1933 to a length of 2.617 km. The circuit led up and down the Avenue Jean Jaurès
in the city center and the straights were linked by a hairpin bend at each end. The north end hairpin was at Quai de la Fontaine opposite the Jardin
de la Fontaine while the southern hairpin was where the Avenue Jean Jaurès met the Rue de la Republique. Two chicanes made of straw bales were built
where the avenue crossed traffic circles and the pits were located near the southern of those traffic circles.
The race took place the same weekend as the Grand Prix des Frontieres in Chimay, Belgium. In the woods of St Germain near Paris the Bol d'Or was also
going on. It was however Nîmes that had managed to attract the "big guns" including Nuvolari.
Only nine entries arrived for the race but the class was very high with most of the big French stars taking part. On such a short track the
few cars were quite enough to satisfy even the most critical spectator. The only real works entry was the Scuderia Ferrari 2.6 litre Alfa Romeo Monza
for Nuvolari. There were also private 2.3 litre Monzas entered by the French drivers Sommer, Etancelin, and Wimille. The young Algerian Guy Moll was
also present, having changed his Bugatti for a brand new Alfa Romeo Monza.
The Bugatti works team was not present at Nîmes so the Alfa Romeos were challenged by a trio of Bugatti T51 in private hands. Falchetto and Lehoux raced
their blue cars while Swiss driver Braillard had a red-white Type 51.
Lastly, someone named Bonnefon with an old Bugatti T35 arrived but he never took part in the race itself. Among those not arriving at Nîmes was
Robert Brunet who had broken his ankle during the Picardie Grand Prix two weeks earlier.
On Thursday practice session Lehoux was fastest with a time of 1m24.8s (110.8 km/h).
On Friday Etancelin bettered that time with a lap of 1m23.8s (112.1 km/h).
One could compare the speeds to the 96.2 km/h for the fastest Monaco lap that same year and notice that despite chicanes and hairpins Nïmes was definitely
a faster circuit. It is probable but not certain that the times were used to determine the grid positions, putting Etancelin in pole position.
Whitsunday arrived with beautiful weather and attracted hordes of people to the track. The sidewalks at Avenue Jean Jaurès were packed when the series of
events started shortly after noon with motor cycle racing.
About 3 p.m. 19 cars in three classes started for the 40 lap Trophée the Provençe. That race went on for about an hour and was finally won by Jacob in a
Bugatti after Falchetto, who had initially led, had retired his 2 litre Bugatti.
After some delay the high point of the day finally was approaching as the GP class lined up for the start. Falchetto was ready to have another go,
this time with his 2.3 litre car.
As the eight cars were flagged away for the 80 lap race Lehoux took the lead in his Bugatti with the three Alfa Romeo Monzas of Etancelin, Nuvolari,
and Moll following closely. Wimille was immediately in trouble with a broken supercharger and had to retire on the very first lap.|
At the end of lap two Lehoux was still leading but was pushed hard by the rest of the field and his Bugatti started to overheat. On the next
lap Nuvolari passed Etancelin for second and then he went by Lehoux and grabbed the lead. Soon Etancelin also passed the
struggling Lehoux. Falchetto had no luck in trying to repeat his victory from 1932. He was dropping down the field with a sticking throttle and
retired on the third lap for the second time that day. Etancelin was in great form and had no intentions to give up even
if his Monza had a weaker engine than Nuvolari's car and an exciting duel for the lead started with Nuvolari. On lap five Lehoux made a pit stop because
his car was overheating. He returned to the track in seventh position only to retire a lap later.
At 10 laps Nuvolari was still leading but the challenge from Etancelin had pushed his lap times down. The first ten laps were completed in 14m30s with a
medium speed of 109.8 km/h. Behind the leding duo Moll and Braillard had a tight and exciting duel for 3rd position. Etancelin tried several times to
pass Nuvolari before finally succeeding. The fight for the lead then continued with lap times dropping under 1m24s.
The next 10 laps took just 13m59s and at 20 laps Etancelin was still leading with Nuvolari just a second back. Behind them Moll was doing an
excellent job in his new Monza while Braillard had fallen back, giving Sommer the fourth place in the race. The duel for the lead went on at
ever faster speeds, both drivers eventually setting equally fastest times of the race with a lap time of 1m22s. Nuvolari
re-took the lead but Etancelin hadn't given up and to the cheers of the spectators the French driver continuously attacked the Italian works car in his
inferior 2.3 litre Monza. Obviously he tried to compensate by braking later and not unsurprisingly Etancelin's car developed brake trouble and he
eventually fell back.
At 30 laps Nuvolari held the lead at 43m22s, an average speed of 111.1 km/h. Nuvolari had really been pushing and the time for the last ten laps had
dropped to 13m53s or an average of 1m23.3s per lap. Etancelin had lost 23 seconds and Moll was just about to be lapped by Nuvolari. Sommer was fourth
and Braillard fifth, both already a lap down.
At 40 laps Etancelin was still trying his best to hang on and had lost just another five seconds to Nuvolari, who was still pushing and had done the last
ten laps in 13m59s. The next ten laps went even faster, 13m57s for Nuvolari versus Etancelin's 14 minutes. The gap between them was now 31 seconds.
Laps 51-60 took six seconds longer for Nuvolari while Etancelin lost another 8 seconds. The medium speed was now up to 111.7 km/h.
For the last 20 laps Nuvolari kept pushing, putting in laps around 1m24s while Etancelin's brakes really started to fail and he lost half a minute during
the last laps. Thus, Nuvolari took a celebrated victory but for the spectators, who had seen a truly great duel, it was Etancelin in second place, who
was the great hero of the day. He had forced Nuvolari to go more or less flat out from start to finish, which can also be seen by the results.
Nuvolari's medium speed was 111.8 km/h corresponding to average lap times of 1m24.2s or just 2.2s slower than the lap record. Third was Moll in his
new Monza, one lap behind. Sommer came fourth with yet another Monza and Braillard was the last finisher and best Bugatti driver in fifth position, but only three laps behind the winner.
|1.||22||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||80||1h52m20.6s|
|2.||2||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||80||1h53m19.4s||+ 58.8s|
|3.||8||Guy Moll||G. Moll||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||79|
|4.||12||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||78|
|5.||6||Louis Braillard||N. Braillard||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||77|
|DNF||14||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||6||overheating|
|DNF||16||Benoît Falchetto||N. Braillard||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||3||throttle|
|DNF||24||Jean-Pierre Wimille||J.-P. Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||0||supercharger|
Fastest lap: Etancelin & Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) in 1m22.0s = 114.9 km/h (71.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 111.8 km/h (69.5 mph)
Weather: sunny and warm.
The Alfa Romeo Monzas had dominated the day. As the car was readily available from the Alfa Romeo factory for a decent price, serious GP privateers were now rushing to change their Bugattis for Alfa Romeos, while the Bugatti works team was putting its hope for the T59 to be ready.
Guy Moll had made an impressive race first time out in his new car and had beaten Sommer with equal equipment.
This was the last pre-war Nîmes Grand Prix as financial problems sadly forced the abandonment of the race in 1934, but racing was resumed at Nîmes in 1947 on another track.
4-5 June 1933: De Gabardie (Amilcar) wins the Bol d'Or 24 h race at the forest of St. Germain.|
5 June 1933: The B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by A. Esson-Scott (Bugatti 2L), H. J. Aldington (Frazer-Nash 1.5L), A.H. Eccles (Bugatti 1.5L), R. morgan (Invicta 4.5L),
T. G. Moore (Frazer-Nash 1.5L), C. G. M. Boote (Riley 1.1L), C. Brackenbury (Bugatti 1.5L), C. J. Turner (Bentley 4.4L), W. L. Thompson (Austin 0.7L)
and K. D. Evans (M.G. 0.7L). For the first time at Brooklands lady drivers were allowed to race against male drivers.