Raymond Sommer

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Raymond Sommer
Raymond Sommer 1932.jpg
Sommer in 1932
Born (1906-08-31)31 August 1906
Mouzon, Ardennes, France
Died 10 September 1950(1950-09-10) (aged 44)
Circuit de Cadours, Tarn-et-Garonne, France
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality France French
Active years 1950
Teams Ferrari, works and private Talbot-Lago
Entries 5
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 3
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1950 Monaco Grand Prix
Last entry 1950 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years 19311935, 19371939, 1950
Teams Private
Best finish 1st (1932, 1933)
Class wins 2 (1932, 1933)

Raymond Sommer (31 August 1906, Mouzon, in the Ardennes département of France – 10 September 1950) was a Grand Prix motor racing driver.[1]

Biography[edit]

Sommer was born into a wealthy Sedan, France carpet making family. His father, Roger, broke the Wright Brothers record for the longest flight in 1909. It was not until 1931 that Raymond started to display daredevil tendencies of his own, entering motor races in a privateer Chrysler Imperial. The following year, he won the 24 hours of Le Mans, despite having to drive over 20 hours solo after his teammate Luigi Chinetti retired ill. During the 1930s, Sommer was to dominate the French endurance classic, winning again in 1933 driving an Alfa Romeo alongside Tazio Nuvolari. He also led every race until 1938, only to suffer a mechanical failure, once when 12 laps in the lead. Sommer traveled to Long Island, New York to compete in the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup where he finished fourth to the winner, Tazio Nuvolari.

However, his tendency to run in privately entered cars did him no favours on the Grand Prix scene, winning just one major international race, the 1936 French Grand Prix. At the time, the German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union were the dominant force in GP racing, together with the French Bugatti team. Sommer turned to sports cars once more, winning the Spa 24 Hours endurance race with co-driver Francesco Severi. More wins came his way including at the "Marseilles Three Hours" at Miramas, the Grand Prix de Tunisie and La Turbie hill climb competition in 1938 and 1939 with Alfa Romeo 308 until the outbreak of World War II, where he played an active part in the French Resistance movement.

Following the war, Sommer quickly returned to winning ways, claiming victory in the 1946 René Le Bègue Cup race at Saint-Cloud. At the 1947 Turin Grand Prix in Valentino Park he won the first ever Grand Prix for Enzo Ferrari as an independent constructor. The following season, Sommer switched from the Ferrari team, again for a privately owned car, this time a Talbot-Lago. In 1950, the F1 World Championship began and Sommer drove in five Grand Prix races for Talbot and BRM, retiring in all but one.

In July 1950 he won the Aix les Bains Circuit du Lac Grand-Prix with a Ferrari 166.

In September 1950, he entered the Haute-Garonne Grand Prix [2] in Cadours, France where the steering failed on his 1100 cc Cooper and the car overturned at a corner. Sommer, wearing his traditional canvas helmet, was instantly killed.

Major career wins[edit]

Racing record[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1931 No Team Name France Jean Delemer Chrysler 80 5.0 14 DNF DNF
1932 France Raymond Sommer Italy Luigi Chinetti Alfa Romeo 8C 2300LM 3.0 218 1st 1st
1933 Italy Soc. Anon. Alfa Romeo Italy Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C 2300MM 3.0 233 1st 1st
1934 France Raymond Sommer France Dr. Pierre Félix Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 3.0 14 DNF DNF
1935 France Raymond Sommer France Raymond de Saugé Desttrez Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 3.0 69 DNF DNF
1937 France Raymond Sommer Italy Giovanni Battista Guidotti Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A Spider 5.0 11 DNF DNF
1938 France Raymond Sommer Italy Clemente Biondetti Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring 5.0 219 DNF DNF
1939 France Raymond Sommer Thailand Prince Bira Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS 3.0 173 DNF DNF
1950 United States Luigi Chinetti Italy Dorino Serafini Ferrari 195S Coupé S 3.0 82 DNF DNF

Complete European Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 EDC Pts
1935 R. Sommer Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 Alfa Romeo 2.9 L8 MON
6
BEL
Ret
GER 7th 39
Scuderia Subalpina Maserati 6C-34 Maserati 3.7 L8 FRA
6
R. Sommer Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 Alfa Romeo 3.2 L8 SUI
9
ITA ESP
7
1936 R. Sommer Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 Alfa Romeo 3.2 L8 MON
7
GER
9
SUI
Ret
ITA 5th 21
1937 Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo 12C-36 Alfa Romeo 4.1 V12 BEL
5
SUI
8
ITA 6th 27
R. Sommer Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Alfa Romeo 3.8 L8 GER
Ret
MON
7
1939 R. Sommer Alfa Romeo Tipo 308 Alfa Romeo 3.0 L8 BEL
4
FRA
5
GER
Ret
SUI 9th 23
Source:[3]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 WDC Pts
1950 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari 125 1.5 V12s GBR MON
4
500 16th 3
Ferrari 166 F2 Ferrari 166 2.0 V12 SUI
Ret
Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
Automobiles Talbot-Darracq SA Talbot-Lago T26C-GS FRA
Ret
Source:[4]

Complete Formula One Non-Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)(Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1950 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 125 Ferrari 125 1.5 V12s PAU
4
RIC SRM
Ret
Raymond Sommer Talbot-Lago T26C Talbot 23CV 4.5 L6 PAR
Ret
EMP BAR JER ALB
Ret
NAT
Ret
NOT ULS PES STT
Automobiles Talbot-Darracq SA Talbot-Lago T26C-DA NED
Ret
BRM Ltd BRM P15 BRM P15 1.5 V16s INT
Ret
GOO PEN

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Driver – Raymond Sommer". chicanef1.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ Motor Sport, October 1950, Page 525: Obituary.
  3. ^ "THE GOLDEN ERA – OF GRAND PRIX RACING". kolumbus.fi. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Raymond Sommer – Grand Prix started". statsf1.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Earl Howe
Tim Birkin
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1932 with:
Luigi Chinetti
Succeeded by
Raymond Sommer
Tazio Nuvolari
Preceded by
Raymond Sommer
Luigi Chinetti
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1933 with:
Tazio Nuvolari
Succeeded by
Luigi Chinetti
Philippe Étancelin