10th January 2010

COUPE ROBERT BENOIST
Bois de Boulogne

HERE COMES SOMMER

Raymond Sommer driving his Talbot Lago has won the very first race in the new Titans race series. He led home a French 1-2 - a very appropriate result - in the 125 lap Coupe Robert Benoist around the short Bois de Boulogne circuit, (pictured here)

The entry for the race was mainly French, naturally, with 6 Talbots and 3 Gordinis up against 3 Maseratis - driven by Frenchish men Schell and Chiron...as well as Juan Fangio, the OSCA of Prince Bira and 3 pre-war E.R.As over from England. The full entry for the race can be seen in the picture below.

Four cars dominated the race. The two Talbots of Sommer and Rosier along with Fangio and Chiron in Maseratis. The Italian cars were fast at times, though neither actually led the race, but the two drivers found the cars to be somewhat inconsistent whereas the Talbots were strong and steady throughout.

Rosier led away and held the lead for the first 30 laps. He was then passed by Sommer who started on the third row of the grid, thereafter Louis fell back to 4th before a late surge which included a stunning fastest lap, took him back past the Maseratis and in the end, carried him close to the leader, but not close enough.

A remarkable fact was that B. Bira who finished 5th in his OSCA was three laps behind the leaders. Yves Giraud-Cabantous should have been 5th after an excellent drive but sadly he ran out of fuel less than 4 laps from the end, slipping back to be classified in 6th. Bob Gerard had a splendid race to finish 7th with the E.R.A while, amazingly, all three Gordinis ran to the end, improving their lap times as they went, although they finished a combined 24 laps behind the winner.

Two of the three E.R.As retired quite early as did Levegh, Etancelin and Claes with their Talbots. Harry Schell ran around the bottom end of the top six for a lot of the race but finally retired with serious engine problems on lap 106.

FULL RESULT

  1.     6 R. SOMMER TALBOT LAGO T.26 2. 50. 07'70
  2.     2 L. ROSIER TALBOT LAGO T.26 2. 50. 31'05
  3.   18 J. FANGIO MASERATI 4CLT 2. 50. 48'53
  4.   10 L. CHIRON MASERATI 4CLT 2. 51. 28'65
  5.     4 B. BIRA OSCA     122 laps
  6.   28 Y. GIRAUD-CABANTOUS TALBOT LAGO T.26     121 laps NRF
  7.   32 R. GERARD E.R.A B-type     121 laps
  8.   14 M. TRINTIGNANT GORDINI 15     119 laps
  9.   12 R. MANZON GORDINI 15     116 laps
10.   16 A. SIMON GORDINI 15     116 laps
Retired:
  26 H. SCHELL MASERATI 4CLT     105 laps
  20 P. LEVEGH TALBOT LAGO T.26       49 laps
  30 J. CLAES TALBOT LAGO T.26       35 laps
  36 G. WHITEHEAD E.R.A B-type       31 laps
  34 R. MAYS E.R.A B-type       12 laps
    8 P. ETANCELIN TALBOT LAGO T.26       12 laps

            Fastest lap: ROSIER, TALBOT LAGO, on lap 121, 1. 16'90

The next race in this series will be the Syracuse Grand Prix which hopefully will see the debut of a number of Ferrari 375s and maybe even the V.16 B.R.M.

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