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More Interest is Being Shown This Year in Racing Game

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing Topics:  French Grand Prix

More Interest is Being Shown This Year in Racing Game

Omaha Daily Bee
March 26, 1911


American Manufacturers are Withholding Their Entries from Foreign Races.

New York, March 25,—The formation of the American Automobile association's national racing circuit is tending to curb this country's interest in the French Grand Prix. American manufacturers who consider the foreign racing proposition seriously are withholding their decisions until the first closing day of the entry list, which is April 1. Foreign makers, however, have already named cars formally. Three each of the Hispano-Suize, Peugeot, Roland-Pilain and Excelsior cars have been nominated in Class A, which is limited as regards cylinder capacity to a bore of 4.7 inches.

The Fiat and Benz companies have signified intentions of also competing in this class if the racing cars now under construction will be completed in time to meet the specifications. If this is impossible, both firms will compete in Class B, in which there is no restraint as regards engine dimensions.

In this open class will also be found a number of so-called amateurs, although the term "amateur" has not been strictly defined by the International Association of Recognized Automobile Clubs.

There is a possibility that well-known professionals will be found at the wheels of some of the big cars, with the entry of which the factories will profess that they have nothing to do. For instance, it is known that several 100-horsepower Italas are scooting about the Italian roads and that Szisz* is doing some fast driving with a big Renault, as is Luttgen with a 120-horsepower Mercedes.

The course is in the shape of a rough triangle, and is fifty-three kilometers long. The race will be twelve laps, and the start and finish will be at Pontlieu, a suburb town of Le Mans, where the exposition of western France will take place this summer.

The first leg if the course will be practically straight over twenty kilometers of the old national road built by Napoleon and which is the main highway for travelers proceeding to Tours. At Economy a sharp turn is taken and the course proceeds over a rolling road through St. Mars d'Outille to the limits of the town of Grand Luce, where another sharp turn to the left leads into the homestretch, which is 18 kilometers long, and except for a slight bend at Parigne-l'Eveque it is faultlessly straight.

W.J. Morgan, the American representative, writing from Paris, tells of a trip he and John Kane Mills and Count Charles de Rumford made over the course. Morgan declares that the circuit is the fastest natural road course he has ever seen and that it is not impossible that the winner will have a world's record for average speed per hour to his credit. Mr. G. Singher, president of the Sarthe club—which is promoting the race—drove the Americans over the course and stated that after a talk with Victor Hemery, who lives at Le Mans, that he forecasts an eighty miles per hour average for the total distance of 330 miles.

Except for a change of speed while making the three turns, there is no place on the course where full speed will not be possible under perfectly safe conditions. Despite the fact that phenomenal speed is expected to be obtained, to the American mind it seems hardly possible that the average of 73.27 miles an hour, attained by Teddy Tetzlaff in the Santa Monica road race, will be exceeded.



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