1929 French Grand Prix
The XXIII. The French Grand Prix ( XXIII Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France ) took place on June 30, 1929 on the long Circuit de la Sarthe near Le Mans in France . This year it was the only Grande Épreuve that, according to the applicable International Grand Prix racing formula (maximum consumption 14 kg of fuel and oil per 100 km, engine size at least 1100 cm³ displacement, minimum weight of the two-seater car 900 kg, minimum width 100 cm, race distance at least 600 km) and was originally intended as a race for the then automobile world championship. The race was held over 37 laps of 16.340 km each, which corresponded to a total distance of 604.580 km.
The Grand Prix de l'ACF 1929 remained a largely insignificant race despite his traditional title. This was not changed by the fact that the ACF had recently changed the numbering and now led the race as its 23rd Grand Prix instead of 15th. Without further ado, the annual classic city-to-city races of the pioneering years between 1895 and 1903 were retrospectively included in this list, although the events were still more of a national character and the ACF at the time of its supposedly "first Grand Prix" in 1895 had not yet done so was founded.
However, the race of 1929 would have needed a certain upgrade, because the field of participants was actually unworthy of a Grand Prix race and consisted only of French teams and almost exclusively of French drivers. The reasons were, on the one hand, that after the departure of numerous automobile companies at the end of the 1927 Grand Prix season, in principle only two manufacturers remained in the Grand Prix sport, Bugatti and Maserati , and the young Italian racing team also mainly focused on the races limited to domestic soil. On the other hand, the clumsy decision for a consumption formula certainly contributed significantly to frightening off potential buyers.
The unusual racing formula, in which it was not just a matter of engine power and speed, meant that completely different types of vehicles could now be seen than would otherwise have been expected in Grand Prix races. So stood beside the three favorite Type 35B - Trailer of the Bugatti team with the driver trio Albert Divo , "W. Williams ”(under this pseudonym started the Englishman William Grover-Williams, who lives in France ) and Caberto Conelli - at the same time the only two foreigners in the field - for the first time since 1914 the Peugeot works with two models of the type designed as early as 1925 for this type of race Peugeot 174 S with André Boillot (brother of the legendary pre-war hero Georges Boillot ) and Guy Bouriat at the wheel, which looked more like a sports car than a racing car. The driver "Georges Philippe" - behind this pseudonym hid the French Baron Philippe de Rothschild - brought a very unusual creation to the start in the form of a tame but powerful Bugatti Type 44 touring car, from which various body parts had been removed to reduce weight. The field was finally completed by further Bugatti 35 variants in the hands of private drivers as well as two old but heavily modified Ballot racing cars from 1920 and 1921. To make the cars even more unusual, everyone was in accordance with the regulations the usual, normally boat-shaped stern has been removed and replaced by a barrel-shaped standard tank with a huge level indicator on it and a spare wheel behind it. The price of the tank, including its 85 liters of liquid content, which was filled in before the race and then sealed, was at least covered by the participation fee of 5,000 francs, which itself was certainly not exactly helpful in attracting participants.
Although 11 of the 18 registered cars finally showed up at the start, the race surprisingly turned out to be a reasonably entertaining affair. This was due to Boillot, who not only kept up surprisingly well with the Bugatti with his Peugeot, but was even able to maintain the lead over the first five laps before he was finally overtaken by “Williams”. But even after that he was still not beaten and so the lead changed back and forth twice until the Peugeot driver had to make a short pit stop on lap 12 because a cable had come loose. Although Conelli had passed him for a short time afterwards, Boillot fought his way back to second place before the positions were occupied for a while because the drivers were now careful to save fuel. It wasn't until the end of the race that there was again some tension, because Boillot made up ground on “Williams” during a brief rain shower. However, the Briton was well informed about the status of the race and was thus able to safely control the gap to his rival, while the latter came under heavy pressure again from Conelli, who in the end crossed the line in third just eight seconds behind Boillot.
An examination of the cars after the race showed that each of the classified had at least eight liters of fuel in the tank.
|Raoul de Rovin||2||Raoul de Rovin||Bugatti T35C||Bugatti 2.0L I8 compressor|
|Philippe Aubert||4th||Jean Chassagne||Ballot 3 / 8LC||Ballot 3.0L I8||M.|
|8th||Ferdinand de Besaucèle||Ballot 2LS||Ballot 2.0L I4|
|Robert Gauthier||6th||Robert Gauthier||Bugatti T35C||Bugatti 2.0L I8 compressor|
|Count Veliktovich||10||Robert Sénéchal||Bugatti T35B||Bugatti 2.3L I8 compressor|
|Automobiles Bugatti||12||Albert Divo||Bugatti T35B||Bugatti 2.3L I8 compressor||M.|
|Ioan Ghyka Cantacuzene||14th||Ioan Ghyka Cantacuzene||FAR||Cozette 1.5L I4 compressor|
|Philippe de Rothschild||16||Philippe de Rothschild||Bugatti T44||Bugatti 3.0L I8|
|Jules Nandillon||18th||Jules Nandillon||Vernandi|
|André Dubonnet||20th||André Dubonnet||Bugatti T37A||Bugatti 1.5L I4 compressor|
|Bollack, Netter et Cie||22nd||BNC 527||SCAP 1.1L I4|
|Edouard Brisson||24||Edouard Brisson||Alphi||CIME 1.1L I6||M.|
|SA Ariès||26th||Robert Laly||Aries||Ariès 1.1L I4|
|SA of the Peugeot automobile||28||André Boillot||Peugeot 174S||Peugeot 4.0L I4||M.|
|Item||driver||constructor||Round||Stops||time||begin||Fastest lap||Failure reason|
|1||William Grover-Williams||Bugatti||37||4: 33: 01,200||11||7: 01,000|
|2||André Boillot||Peugeot||37||+1: 18.800||8th|
|3||Caberto Conelli||Bugatti||37||+1: 26,600||9|
|4th||Albert Divo||Bugatti||37||+ 8: 26.200||6th|
|5||Robert Sénéchal||Bugatti||37||+ 24: 26,600||5|
|6th||Robert Gauthier||Bugatti||37||+ 45: 37.200||3|
|-||Ferdinand de Besaucèle||Ballot||33||NC||4th|
|-||Philippe de Rothschild||Bugatti||28||DNF||7th||mechanics|
|-||Raoul de Rovin||Bugatti||15th||DNF||1||Engine problems|
- Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas: GRAND PRIX DE L'AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE FRANCE. www.kolumbus.fi, July 20, 2014, accessed April 4, 2015 .
- XXIII Grand Prix de l'ACF www.teamdan.com, accessed on April 3, 2015 (English).
- The first race organized as the Grand Prix de l'ACF took place in 1906. In the 1920s, however, the “big” city-to-city races of the early years between 1895 and 1903 were also awarded these titles, although the ACF was founded after the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris 1895 race. This counting method made the event from 1906 the official ninth Grand Prix de l'ACF. This numbering was after the 1968 renaming of the Grand Prix de l'ACF for Grand Prix de France continued further throughout.