Circuit des Nations

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Geneva race-track (Switzerland)[edit]

The Geneva race-track[1] was established between the lake (Geneva) and the Nations square. Its length was 4,110 m (2.55 mi). Grand-Prix races were organised after WWII, on this track, similar to Formula 1 or Formula 2 races, as well as non championship ones. In total 5 major events happened on this track between 1946 and 1950. Key pilots came here to compete: among them Giuseppe Farina, Raymond Sommer, Maurice Trintignant, Juan Manuel Fangio, Prince Bira (who had established residency, in Geneva).

The closest race-tracks were Aix les Bains – France (Circuit du Lac) and Lausanne (Circuit du Léman or Blécherette). All were temporary urban race-tracks that disappeared shortly after the Le Mans accident in 1955, or before.

Date Race Race track Category Lap length
July 21, 1946 1st Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Grand Prix FIA 2.900 km (1.802 mi)Switzerland
May 2, 1948 2nd Grand Prix de Genève Circuit des Nations Formula 2 FIA, non-championship 2.900 km (1.802 mi)
May 2, 1948 2nd Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Formula 1 FIA, non-championship 2.900 km (1.802 mi)
July 30, 1950 3rd Grand Prix de Genève Circuit des Nations Formula 2 FIA, non-championship 3.990 km (2.479 mi)
July 30, 1950 3rd Grand Prix des Nations Circuit des Nations Formula 1 FIA, non-championship 3.990 km (2.479 mi)

Note: contradictory information about the length of the track have been witnessed. Measurement on maps indicate that the shorter length is more likely.

1st Grand Prix des Nations[edit]

FIA Grand Prix, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 21, 1946

44 laps of the urban race track (short version) of 2,900 m (1.8 mi), or 131.4 km (81.6 mi), at an average speed of 103.9 km/h (64.6 mph).

Position Pilot Car
1 Italy Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 158
2 Italy Carlo Felice Trossi Alfa Romeo 158
3 France Jean-Pierre Wimille Alfa Romeo 158
4 Italy Tazio Nuvolari Maserati 4CL
5 Switzerland Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 4CL
6 Thailand Prince Bira ERA B
7 Italy Achille Varzi Alfa Romeo 158
8 France Raymond Sommer Maserati 4CL
DNF United Kingdom George Abecassis Alta
DNF United Kingdom Reg Parnell Maserati 4CL
DNF Italy Luigi Villoresi Maserati 4CL

2nd Grand Prix de Genève[edit]

FIA Formula 2, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – May 2, 1948

70 laps of the urban race-track (short version) 2,900 m (1.8 mi), or 206 km (128 mi), at an average speed of 98.15 km/h (60.99 mph).[2]

Talbot Lago T26
Position Pilot Team Car
1 France Raymond Sommer Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
2 Thailand Prince Bira Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
3 France Robert Manzon Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
4 United States Harry Schell Ecurie Bleue Cisitalia D46-Fiat
5 France "Robert" Ecurie Pano Cisitalia D46-Fiat
6 Switzerland Claude Bernheim Ecurie Autosport Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF France Raymond de Saugé Raymond de Saugé Destrez Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF Italy Carlo Pesci Carlo Pesci Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF France Roger Loyer Ecurie de Paris Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF France Maurice Trintignant Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
DNF Austria Hans Stuck Hans Stuck Cisitalia D46-Fiat
DNF Switzerland Rudolf Fischer Ecurie Espadon[3] Simca-Gordini T11
DQ Italy Walter Triverio Ecurie Pano Cisitalia D46-Fiat

2nd Grand Prix des Nations[edit]

FIA Formula 1, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – May 2, 1948

80 laps of the urban race-track (short version) 2,900 m (1.8 mi) or 236 km (147 mi), at an average speed of 98.18 km/h (61.01 mph).

Delahaye 135S
Position Pilot Car
1 Italy Giuseppe Farina Maserati 4CLT
2 Switzerland Emmanuel de Graffenried Maserati 4CL
3 France Raymond Sommer Ferrari 166SC
4 France Eugène Chaboud Delahaye 135S
5 France Henri Louveau Delage D6.70
6 Argentina Clemar Bucci Maserati 4CL
DNF France Jean-Pierre Wimille Simca-Gordini T15
DNF France Charles Pozzi Talbot-Lago T150C
DNF France Louis Rosier Talbot-Lago 150SS
DNF France Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago 150C
DNF Italy Nello Pagani Maserati 4CL
DNF Italy Luigi Villoresi Maserati 4CL
DNF Italy Luigi Fagioli Maserati 4CL
DNF France Maurice Trintignant Simca-Gordini T15
DNF Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 4CL
DNF Switzerland Richard Ramseyer Maserati 4CL
DNF Monaco Louis Chiron Talbot-Lago T26 SS

3rd Grand Prix de Genève[edit]

FIA Formula 2, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 30, 1950

45 laps of the urban race-track 3,900 m (2.4 mi) or 180 km (110 mi), at an average speed of 120.93 km/h (75.14 mph).

Veritas Meteor
Position Pilot Team Car
1 France Maurice Trintignant Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
2 France André Simon Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
3 Italy Dorino Serafini Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
4 Argentina Roberto Mieres Automovil Club Argentina Maserati 4CLT/48
5 Switzerland André Canonica André Canonica Simca-Gordini T11
6 United Kingdom Lance Macklin HW Motors Ltd. HWM/Alta
7 Switzerland Alfred Dattner Alfred Dattner Simca-Gordini T11
8 Italy Luigi Villoresi Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
9 Switzerland Toni Branca Mme. Walckiers Simca-Gordini T15
10 France "Robert" Ecurie Paris Cisitalia D46/Fiat
DNF Italy Mario Tadini Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 166F2
DNF France Aldo Gordini Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T15
DNF France Roger Loyer Ecurie Paris Simca-Gordini T16
DNF Switzerland Paul Glauser Ecurie Suisse Veritas Meteor
DNF United States Alexander Orley Alexander Orley Veritas Meteor
DNF United Kingdom George Abecassis HW Motors Ltd. HWM/Alta
DNF Argentina Ernesto Tornqvist Equipe Gordini Simca-Gordini T11
DNF United States Harry Schell Horschell Racing Corporation Cooper T12/JAP

3rd Grand Prix des Nations[edit]

FIA Formula 1, non championship race, Circuit des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland – July 30, 1950

68 laps of the urban race-track 3,900 m (2.4 mi) or 272 km (169 mi), at an average speed of 127.60 km/h (79.29 mph).

Alfa Romeo 159
Position Pilot Car
1 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo 158
2 Switzerland Emmanuel de Graffenried Alfa Romeo 158
3 Italy Piero Taruffi Alfa Romeo 158
4 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 125
5 France Yves Giraud-Cabantous Talbot-Lago T26C
6 Italy Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo 158
7 France Robert Manzon Simca-Gordini T15
8 Monaco Louis Chiron Maserati 4CLT-48
9 Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 125
10 Belgium Johnny Claes Talbot-Lago T26C
11 Italy Felice Bonetto Maserati Milano 4CLT-50
12 Italy Franco Rol Maserati 4CLT-48
13 Switzerland Toni Branca Maserati 4CL
DNF France Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago T26C
DNF United Kingdom Reg Parnell Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF United Kingdom David Murray Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF Italy Gianfranco Comotti Maserati Milano 4CLT-50
DNF United States Harry Schell Maserati 4CLT-48
DNF Argentina José Froilán González Maserati 4CLT-48

A tragic end[edit]

Towards the end of the third Grand Prix des Nations (1950), the engine of Alberto Ascari's Ferrari 340 blew up, pouring oil onto the corner at the end of the Avenue de la Paix. Behind him Luigi Villoresi, in a Ferrari 275, could not avoid the oil, his car skidded, went over the security barrier and ploughed into the crowd. Three spectators were killed,[4] another twenty were injured. Villoresi survived with a severely fractured leg.

After this tragedy, stemming like others from the use of street circuits ill-adapted to increasingly high-speed motor racing, the organisers cancelled the following year's event. Geneva would never again host a Grand Prix race.

In 1958 motor racing was banned altogether by the Swiss government as an unsafe spectator sport following the death of 80 people at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Map
  2. ^ "Formula 2 1948 - Geneve". Formula2.net. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  3. ^ [2] (en) présentation
  4. ^ [3] (en) Circuit des Nations – détails of the accident