Reims-Gueux

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Coordinates: 49°15′14.67″N 3°55′50.02″E / 49.2540750°N 3.9305611°E / 49.2540750; 3.9305611

Reims-Gueux
Circuit-reims-1953-b.png
Location Gueux, west of Reims, France
Time zone GMT +1
Major events French Grand Prix, 12 hours de Reims, Grand Prix de la Marne
Second variation (1953–72)
Length 8.372 km (5.187 mi)
Turns 7
Lap record 2:11.3 (Lorenzo Bandini, Ferrari 312, 1966, Formula One)
First variation (1952)
Length 7.152 km (4.444 mi)
Turns 5
Original circuit (1926–51)
Length 7.838 km (4.856 mi)
Turns 8
Lap record 2:27.8 (Juan Manuel Fangio, Alfa Romeo 159, 1951, Formula One)

Reims-Gueux (1926–1951) or Reims (1952–1972) was a triangular motor racing road course near Reims, France, which hosted 14 French Grands Prix.

Reims-Gueux was first established in 1926 on the public roads between the small French villages of Thillois and Gueux. The circuit had two very long straights between the towns, and teams strove to maximize straight-line speed of their cars; many slipstream battles ensued. Race organizers actually felled trees and demolished old houses in order to make the circuit even quicker. [1] [2] [3]

Its first event was the Grand Prix de la Marne, staged in 1952 by the Automobile Club of Champagne. International racing came soon thereafter, with the first official Formula One event occurring in 1950, the inaugural year of the Formula One world championship. The circuit layout was shortened and changed in 1952 to bypass the town of Gueux; and the circuit was then renamed Reims. The layout was changed yet again in 1953, it was made slightly longer and faster; two fast curves and a hairpin further up the RN31 highway were added. The circuit was last used by Formula One in 1966 and the last car meeting was held in 1969. Motor bike racing continued for 3 more years and it closed permanently in 1972 due to financial difficulties.

In 1997, there was to be a historic race held there, but for technical reasons, it was cancelled several months before it was due to take place and in 2002, the bulldozers arrived to demolish some portions of the track. Sections of the track around the pit lanes are still visible today.

The old RN31 straight between Muizon and Thillois has been widened and turned into a dual carriageway though it does follow the same line as the original 2 lane road that was raced on. It is still possible to drive a lap around the version of the circuit used until 1952 (though the old Garenne T-junction was obliterated as part of the widening of the RN31). It is no longer possible to complete a lap of the circuit used from 1953 onwards as the tarmac between Bretelle Nord and Muizon has been dug up. The annual historic meeting uses the Circuit d'Essais which came into being in 1952 and uses the 1953 circuit until La Hovette then turns onto the pre-1953 circuit up to Garenne.

Les Amis du Circuit de Gueux is a non-profit organisation working to preserve traces of the circuit.

The lap record of the original circuit (1926–1951) was 2:27.8 by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo 159, and the lap record for the faster circuit (1954–1972) was 2:11.3 by Lorenzo Bandini in a Ferrari.

Winners of the 12 Hours of Reims Sports Car race[edit]

Year Drivers Team Car Laps Distance
1953 United Kingdom Stirling Moss
United Kingdom Peter Whitehead
United Kingdom Jaguar 2,036.356 km
1954 United Kingdom Ken Wharton
United Kingdom Peter Whitehead
United Kingdom Jaguar D-type
1955 Cancelled
1956 United Kingdom Duncan Hamilton
United Kingdom Ivor Bueb
United Kingdom Jaguar D-type
1957 Belgium Olivier Gendebien
Belgium Paul Frere
Belgium Ferrari 250 GT
1958 Belgium Olivier Gendebien
Belgium Paul Frere
Belgium Ferrari 250 GT
1964 United Kingdom Graham Hill
Sweden Joakim Bonnier
United Kingdom Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 250 LM 2,443.933 km
1965 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez
France Jean Guichet
United States N.A.R.T. Ferrari 365 P2 2,365.454 km
1966 No event
1967 France Jo Schlesser
France Guy Ligier
France Ford France Ford MkIIA 296 2,458.256 km
1968 Cancelled
Sources:


Reims-Gueux Grand Prix Circuit history[edit]

Street Map - Reims-Gueux 1926
Street Map - Reims 1952
Street Map - Reims- 1953

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Circuit Reims". silhouet.com. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "1925 I Grand Prix de la Marne". teamdan.com. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "1947 XVI Grand Prix de Reims". silhouet.com. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 

External links[edit]