1930 French Grand Prix

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The 1930 French Grand Prix (formally the XXIV Grand Prix de l'A.C.F.) was a Grand Prix motor race held at Pau on 21 September 1930. The race was held over 25 laps of a 15.835 km circuit for a total race diatance of 395.875 km and was won by Philippe Étancelin driving a Bugatti. The race was notable for the fact that Sir Henry Birkin came second in a 4.5 litre supercharged Bentley, which was a stripped-down road car.

Pau had some Grand Prix traditions, as the town held the honour of arranging the first race ever to be called a Grand Prix back in 1901. For the 1930 Grand Prix a triangular, Le Mans-type track outside the city was selected. Known as the Circuit de Morlaas it should not be confused with the well-known street track in the Parque Beaumont. The French had hoped to run the race to the International Formula, but when the response was poor the event was postponed and changed to a Formula Libre event instead. The new date meant that the Italian teams were unable to attend, leaving it to be mostly an internal French affair with sixteen Bugattis, two Peugeots and a Delage among the twenty five starters. Among the top Bugatti drivers were Louis Chiron, Marcel Lehoux, Count Stanislas Czaikowski, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Philippe Étancelin and William Grover-Williams.

A curiosity in the largely single-seat entry list was Tim Birkin's 4½-litre supercharged "Blower Bentley" touring car, stripped down to racing trim, with headlights and mudguards removed. The race distance was twenty five laps of the 15.8 km track, making a total of 396 km. Guy Bouriat took an early lead, followed by Williams, Zanelli, Czaikowski and Étancelin, with Birkin as first non-Bugatti driver, in sixth place. Williams in a works Bugatti then became the next leader. Czaikowski fell back through the field and Bouriat in the other works Bugatti made a pitstop giving over the car to Chiron. Then Williams also had to make a stop for a new wheel. That all made way for Étancelin to advance and he was followed by Birkin, the track with its long straights suiting the supercharged Bentley perfectly.

At one-third distance Chiron led, followed by Étancelin, Williams and Birkin. Birkin's fourth place became a third as Williams got engine troubles but then Zanelli, who had made an early stop, came rushing through the field pushing Birkin back to fourth. At lap ten "Sabipa" crashed and was thrown out of his Bugatti, Birkin only avoiding the injured driver by the slightest of margins. After eleven laps Chiron encountered problems with oil pressure and Étancelin took over the lead. Soon Chiron was also passed by Zanelli and Birkin. The Bentley driver used his horn to warn the Bugatti to move over, surely a unique occurrence in Grand Prix racing! With seven laps to go Zanelli made another pitstop and Birkin was up into second place. While Étancelin, with a 2.5 minute lead, nursed his Bugatti home to take victory, Zanelli had not given up and was catching Birkin fast. At the flag the margin was down to fourteen seconds but it was enough for the British Bentley driver to make Grand Prix history, as this was the only occasion on which the iconic 4½-litre "Blower Bentley" was raced with any success. (It was the normally-aspirated 4½-litre and "Speed Six" models which had swept the board at Le Mans for the previous three years).


Starting Grid (3-3)[edit]

Grid Driver
1 Louis Casali
2 Stanislav Czaykowski
3 Marcel Lehoux
4 Guy Bouriat
5 Jean-Pierre Wimille
6 Sir Henry Birkin
7 Robert Senechal
8 Grimaldi
9 Jean de Maleplane
10 Charles Montier
11 Juan Zanelli
12 Albert de Bondeli
13 Jean de l'Espee
14 "Sabipa"
15 G.Daniel
16 Philippe Étancelin
17 Henri Stoffel
18 George Delaroche
19 Jean Gaupillat
20 "Williams"
21 J.Lumachi
22 Ferdinand Montier
23 Max Fourny
24 Robert Laly
25 René Ferrand

Classifications[1][edit]

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retire
1 44 Philippe Étancelin Bugatti T35C 25 2h43m18.4
2 18 Sir Henry Birkin Bentley 4.5 SC 25 2h46m44.6
3 32 Juan Zanelli Bugatti T35B 25 2h46m58.8
4 6 Stanislav Czaykowski Bugatti T35C 25 2h51m27.0
5 38 Jean de l'Espee Bugatti T35C 25 2h54m28.8
6 20 Robert Senechal Delage 15S8 25 2h56m28.6
7 28 Jean de Maleplane Bugatti T35C 25 3h00m58.0
8 48 Henri Stoffel Peugeot 174S 25 3h01m06.2
9 74 René Ferrand Peugeot 174S 25 3h09m08.4
10 72 Robert Laly Ariès 25 3h21m19.2
SHR 14 Guy Bouriat Bugatti T35B 1-11 shared with:
SHR 14 Louis Chiron Bugatti T35B 12-24 Engine
NC 22 Grimaldi Bugatti T35C 21 +4 laps
NC 66 Ferdinand Montier Montier Ford 21 +4 laps
NC 4 Louis Casali La Perle 19 +6 laps
Ret 42 G.Daniel Bugatti T35B 16 Did Not Finish
Ret 36 Albert de Bondeli Bugatti T37A 15 Did Not Finish
Ret 58 "Williams" Bugatti T35C 12 Engine
Ret 40 "Sabipa" Bugatti T35C 10 Crash
Ret 54 Jean Gaupillat Bugatti T37A 7 Did Not Finish
Ret 30 Charles Montier Montier Ford 4 Did Not Finish
Ret 64 J.Lumachi Bugatti T35B 3 Engine
Ret 16 Jean-Pierre Wimille Bugatti T37A 2 Supercharger
Ret 68 Max Fourny Bugatti T35C 2 Engine
Ret 52 Georges Delaroche Bugatti T35C 2 Engine
Ret 10 Marcel Lehoux Bugatti T35B 0 Gearbox
DNA 2 Jean Poniato Alphi CIME Did Not Appear
DNA 8 Babe Stapp Duesenberg A Did Not Appear
DNA 12 Georges Bouriano Bugatti T35B Did Not Appear
DNA 24 Claude Arthez Bugatti T35 Did Not Appear
DNA 26 Lenart Bugatti T35 Did Not Appear
DNA 34 Albert Divo Bugatti T35 Did Not Appear
DNA 46 René Dreyfus Bugatti T35B Did Not Appear
DNA 50 Etienne Lepicard Donnet Did Not Appear
DNA 56 Jose Scaron Amilcar C6 Did Not Appear
DNA 60 Arthur Duray Amilcar C6 driver injured
DNA 62 Rodansky Bugatti T35 Did Not Appear

Fastest Lap: "W.Williams", 6m10.0 (154.070 kph)

Note - Chiron drove car 14 for laps 12-24.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


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