Materassi (Itala)Presenti (Alfa Romeo)Borzacchini (Salmson)


Circuito Montenero - Livorno (I), 15 August 1926.
10 laps x 22.5 km (14.0 mi) = 225 km (139.8 mi)

Class up to 1100 cc
1Alberto MarinoA. MarinoMarinoGS1.1S-4
2André MorelSNA AmilcarAmilcar1.1S-6DNA - did not appear
2Attilio BarbieriA. BarbieriAmilcar1.1S-4
3Mario SaettiM. SaettiSénéchal1.1S-4
4Filippo SartorioF. SartorioGarChapuis Dornier1.1S-4
5Elio PistarinoE. PistarinoSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
6Giulio MasiniG. MasiniSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
7Carlo AlicandriC. AlicandriGarChapuis Dornier1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
8Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
9Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6
10Manlio SpongiaM. SpongiaSalmson1.1S-4
11Baconin BorzacchiniB. BorzacchiniSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
Class 1101 to 1500 cc
12Gusmano PieranziG. PieranziCeiranoS1501.5S-4
14Paolo PavesioP. PavesioCeiranoS1501.5S-4
15Aldo ColomboA. ColomboCeiranoS1501.5S-4DNA - did not appear
16Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT37A1.5S-4
18Mario MazzacuratiM. MazzacuratiChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
19Pietro CattaneoP. CattaneoCeiranoS1501.5S-4DNA - did not appear
20Ugo Sisto StefanelliU.S. StefanelliBugattiT371.5S-4
21Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroBugattiT22 "Brescia"1.5S-4
22Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4
23Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaCeiranoS1501.5S-4
24Maurizio CiancherottiM. CiancherottiAurea40001.5S-4
Class over 1500cc
25Mario RazzautiM. RazzautiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6DNS - practice crash
26Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugattiT352.0S-8
27Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiItala Spcl5.8S-4
28Domenico AntonelliCount D. AntonelliBugattiT352.0S-8
29Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala612.0S-6
30Giulio AyminiG. AyminiDiatto353.0S-4
31Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroOM665 S2.0S-6DNA - did not appear
32Ferruccio ZanirattiF. ZanirattiBugattiT30 Indy2.0S-8
33Andrea Nicoli A. NicoliOM665 S2.0S-6DNA - did not appear
34Alfredo TremolantiA. TremolantiLanciaLambda2.1S-4
35Franco MazzottiF. MazzottiBugattiT352.0S-8
36Emilio BonamicoE. BonamicoBugattiT35A2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
37Arturo FarinottiA. FarinottiBugatti20002.0S-8DNA - did not appear
38Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRLTF233.0S-6
39Vittorio "Nino" AstaritaV. AstaritaBugattiT352.0S-8
40Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF243.6S-6
41Giorgio CerattoG. Ceratto Alfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6
41Carletto "Carlo" RostiC. RostiBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - did not appear
42Maria Antonietta d'AvanzoBaroness M. d'AvanzoMercedesGP 19144.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were not used because they were considered to be unlucky.

Materassi beats all Coppa Montenero records with his Itala Special

by Hans Etzrodt
An assortment of 29 racecars appeared at the start of the 225 km Coppa Montenero. Materassi in his 5.8-Liter Itala Special led the ten lap race from start to finish, winning the event for the second time. Maggi, Mazzotti and Antonelli in 2000 Bugattis, Presenti (3600 Alfa Romeo) and Cortese (2000 Itala) were unable to challenge him. Presenti finished second and the skillfully driving Borzacchini (1100 Salmson) wound up third, beating all the 2000 and 1500 cars. There were a total of 16 finishers with 13 retirements and no serious accidents on this difficult circuit.
The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn in English) had been held since September 25, 1921 when the sportsman Paolo Fabbrini launched an event to show that Livorno could organize a car race of some importance. Corrado Lotti in an Ansaldo was the first winner. The course was also called the Circuito del Romito from 1922 onwards. The start was in Ardenza di mare at the Principe di Napoli bridge - then along Via della Torre - Via del Pastore - Via del Littorale (Ardenza) - under the railway - Via di Montenero - Via del Castellaccio - Savolano - climbing up to Castellaccio - Via di Quercianella (the new road) - and then the descent to the sea at Romito - Via Littorale - Antigua Barrier (Marroccone) - Via Amerigo Vespucci - Via Duca Cosinio - Via dei Bagni - Viale Vittorio Emanuele II - to the finish at Ardenza di mare. The course remained unchanged in subsequent years and was considered difficult without being dangerous, and was full of natural beauty. The narrow road twisted through 164 curves with steep gradients through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie in Sicily, but considerably shorter and did not allow high speeds. Ten laps had to be driven round the 22.5 km circuit, a total of 225 km.
      L'Automobile Club Livorno held the 1926 Coppa Montenero for its sixth running. The cars were divided into three classes, up to 1100 cc, 1101 to 1500 cc, and over 1500 cc. The overall winner would be presented with the Coppa Montenero, a challenge trophy and gift from the Mayor of Livorno. The race had a prize fund of 100,000 lire.
There was a break of eight days between the Coppa Acerbo and the Montenero Circuit race, giving drivers and teams little time to prepare for the new battle. Most of the better known Italian drivers appeared for the Coppa Montenero and 41 entries were received. The 1925 winner, Emilio Materassi was the favourite in his Itala Special. Count Aymo Maggi with his 2000 Bugatti was expected to challenge Materassi as were the other Bugattis of Mazzotti and Count Antonelli, and the Alfa Romeos of Presenti, Bertocci and Ceratto. Alfredo Tremolanti with his 2000 Lancia and Franco Cortese in one of the latest Itala 61s, were both from Livorno. Mario Razzauti, also a native of Livorno, crashed his Alfa Romeo during practice to the extent that it could not be repaired in time for the start.
      The 1500 category comprised nine cars: three Ceiranos, three Bugattis, two Chiribiris and one Aurea. The best chances for class victory were the Bugattis of Stefanelli and Caliri and the fast Chiribiri Monza of Valpreda. The eight starters in of the 1100 category consisted of three Salmsons, two Amilcars, one of each Marino, Gar and Sénéchal. The Salmsons of Borzacchini and Fagioli were most likely to win this class. A complete list of numbered entries is at the beginning of this report.
The Race:
The officials of the L'Automobile Club Livorno led by their President, Cavaliere Emanuele Tron, were ready for the organization of this race at the finish line, near the entrance of the Rotonda di Ardenza. The spectators began to flow into the village of Ardenza mare at 8:00 AM with cars, trams and every means of transport. The grandstands reverberated with spectators in elegant multi-colored summer wear. A large crowd had come to witness the the duel between Materassi and Maggi, the two most famous drivers, plus many others.
      The circuit was closed at 8:15 AM when the Cavaliere Piero Polese departed with the commissioners of the Automobile Club d'Italia in a fast Alfa Romeo to make sure that the barriers to the access roads were erected all around the 22.5 km circuit in order to keep the circuit clear for the race.
      A few minutes before 9:00 AM, the minister Count Costanzo Ciano arrived to take his place in the grandstand before the finish line. City officials and other authorities accompanied him. The megaphone announced that there were only a few minutes left and summoned the cars to their starting places. They formed a long and impressive line of 29 colorful cars occupying a good part of the avenue Vittorio Emanuele III, ready to leave.
      The following 13 drivers did not appear: #2 Morel (Amilcar), #5 Pistarino (Salmson, #6 Masini (Salmson), #7 Alicandri (Gar), #15 Colombo (Ceirano), #19 Cattaneo (Ceirano), #25 the Livornese Mario Razzauti (Alfa Romeo), the winner of the third Montenero race, #31 Balestrero (OM), winner of the fourth Montenero race, #33 Nicoli (OM), #36 Bonamico (Bugatti), #37 Farinotti (Bugatti), #41Rosti (Bugatti) and #42 Baroness Maria d'Avanzo (Mercedes).
      Because of the dusty dirt roads the cars were started individually from a standing start in order of their race numbers with intervals of 30 seconds between each car and a 1½ minute interval between each class. However, the cars were not necessarily released at 30 seconds intervals. The starting procedures were the same as seen at the Targa Florio and Mugello. This was because the start times had been determined beforehand according to their the race numbers and if particular cars did not appear at the start (e.g. #5, #6, and #7) car #8 was held to its predetermined time of departure. For instance Fagioli left 30 seconds after 9:03 AM even though the #5, #6, and #7 cars did not appear. The regulations spelled out that each driver had to start at the time that was assigned to his car. If a driver could not start, he would have to immediately move his car off the road past the starting line.
      The 1100 cc cars were released first. The timekeepers at Count Costanzo Ciano's side counted down the seconds and at the stroke of 9:00 AM Ciano lowered the traditional flag to send off the #1 Marino of Alberto Marino to the enthusiastic applause of thousands of people who crowded the start area. After 30 seconds Barbieri started and so one after the other the cars were started individually. When Count Maggi and Emilio Materassi left the finish line, there was great cheering. When the local hero Cortese started he stopped just a few meters after the finish line for 2m30s to change one spark plug on his Itala 61, but bravely resumed and proceeded at a fast pace. Ceratto's #41 Alfa Romeo was the last to leave at 9:21 AM.
9:05'00"11BorzacchiniSalmson - Last of class up to 1100 cc
9:05'30"1½ minutes interval to next higher class in effect
9:06'00"interval in progress
9:11'30"24CiancherottiAurea - Last of 1500 cc class
9:12'00"1½ minutes interval to next higher class in effect
9:12'30"interval in progress
9:14'00"27MaterassiItala Spcl
9:19'30"38BertocciAlfa Romeo
9:20'30"40PresentiAlfa Romeo
9:21'00"41CerattoAlfa Romeo
The crowd in the grandstand waited anxiously for the cars to pass at the end of the first lap, which would indicate the superiority of Maggi or Materassi. Saetti in the little Sénéchal passed by with a frightful skid at the curve of the stands. Fagioli and Borzacchini were very fast, but others went by almost unnoticed. Everyone was waiting for the two rivals. Finally Maggi and Materassi roared past, separated by just one second. Materassi had made up his 30 second starting time delay. Maggi finished the first lap in 17m43.2s and Materassi in 17m14.2s: both had beaten comfortably the old record of 18m8s by Count Carlo Masetti. The crowd applauded excitedly at this dramatic beginning but went quiet when they saw Maggi's car come to a stop at the pits. Maggi and his mechanic changed a spark plug and he rejoined, however, having lost precious minutes. The crowd was silent. Maggi understood that this would hound him. In the meantime Mazzacurati was forced to retire his 1500 Chiribiri due to a fire on board on the first lap near Calafuria. Sartorio retired his 1100 Gar also on the first lap.
      The end of the second lap was awaited; but now the struggle was over. Maggi could no longer threaten Materassi. He left with only seven cylinders firing; he had replaced a dirty spark plug and continued. Instead, another change of the spark plug carried out at the end of the second lap suggested that it was a valve spring problem. After stopping on the third and fourth laps because replacing of spark plugs not working, the problem forced Maggi to retire on the fifth lap because his Bugatti was in no condition to compete. Materassi knew that he was no longer being threatened so he continued without forcing his Itala, which he had perfected by lightening it and equipping it with new brakes. All of Materassi's laps were under 17m46s.
      After the third lap Aymini was forced to retire with engine problems on his Diatto. Spongia's Salmson and Bertocci's Alfa Romeo retired on lap five. Materassi continued his consistent run ahead of Presenti's Alfa Romeo and Borzacchini's 1100 Salmson which was driven very regularly. Franco Cortese, who no longer had trouble with the engine, resumed with great determination. At mid race, Materassi was leading with the field in the following order after lap five:
1.Materassi (5800 Itala Spl)1h27m25.0s
2.Presenti (3600 Alfa Romeo)1h30m07.4s
3.Borzacchini (1100Salmson)1h32m12.0s
4.Mazzotti (2000 Bugatti)1h33m20.4s
5.Antonelli (2000 Bugatti)1h33m25.4s
6.Astarita (2000 Bugatti)1h35m01.0s
7.Zaniratti (2000 Bugatti)1h35m11.0s
8.Valpreda (1500 Chiribiri)1h35m32.6s
9.Pecoraro (1500 Bugatti)1h36m37.0s

After the 5th lap Tremolanti's Lancia slowed down with two punctures and he also had to secure a loosened fuel tank. On the 6th lap Materassi made a fast time in 17m11s at the average of 77.564 km/h, which proved to be the fastest lap of the race lowering the previous record of Carlo Masetti in 18m8s by almost a minute, and also raised his total average from 68.641 km/h to 77 km/h. Astarita's Bugatti ended the race on the sixth lap. Borzacchini improved his pace lap by lap until reaching a lap time of 18m03.6s on lap 7, which was also below Masetti's old lap record. He did all this with style and ease without driving dangerously. Ceratto retired his Alfa Romeo on the seventh lap as did Tremolanti with the Lancia. On the 8th lap Borzacchini was in second place. Presenti's Alfa Romeo had gained 1m30s on Borzacchini who encountered a puncture and was forced to stop for a repair, losing his second place. Giuseppe Pecoraro, who retired on the last lap, had driven fantastically and also made the fastest lap in the 1500 class. Zaniratti, who raced the Indianapolis Bugatti, had to stop on the last lap when a connecting rod broke.
      From the beginning of the last lap Materassi was acclaimed by the enthusiastic crowd and was celebrated at the finish after 2h55m19.4s. Materassi was carried in triumph to the grandstand where the officials were waiting to greet him. Costanzo Ciano shook his hand and congratulated him on the wonderful victory. Bruno Presenti finished second, a wise man who knew his business; he drove a good race. Borzacchini with his 1100 Salmson ranked third overall and beat all two-liter cars, including Bugatti, all one and a half liter and men who were not the slowest ones. The young new star, who rose this season to tarnish the glory of the elderly, was the man who shone most after the overall winner in this race.
      Franco Mazzotti finished fourth; he could and should do more. The long absence from racing had damaged him more morally than physically. He was not very combative and immediately gave in to the first set of tires that made him lose about 4 minutes along the course. Franco Cortese from Livorno finished in fifth place and was welcomed with particular affection, receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Count Ciano. Cortese lost 2m30s at the start for changing one spark plug but fought hard to make up the lost time. His fifth place is very honorable, considering that he raced with a normal Itala 61 chassis. In sixth place finished Federico Valpreda, winning the 1500 class and beating his direct opponent Ugo Sisto Stefanelli, who seemed to be the favorite. Stefanelli partly owed his defeat to poor preparation. He arrived the evening before the race in Livorno and started without ever practicing. This was a luxury that even the great champions do not allow themselves. In ninth place finished the excellent Fagioli. Count Domenico Antonelli ended the race in tenth place, but, unlucky forever, he had several incidents that delayed him and that lost him several places in the results.



1.27Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiItala Spcl5.8S-4102h55m19.4s
2.40Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF243.6S-6103h00m55.0s+ 5m35.6s
3.11Baconin BorzacchiniB. BorzacchiniSalmsonGSS1.1S-4103h03m24.0s+ 8m04.6s
4.35Franco MazzottiF. MazzottiBugatti20002.0S-8103h06m05.4s+ 10m46.0s
5.29Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala612.0S-6103h10m46.0s+ 15m26.6s
6.22Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4103h11m19.2s+ 15m59.8s
7.16Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT37A1.5S-4103h13m52.6s+ 18m33.2s
8.20Ugo Sisto StefanelliU.S. StefanelliBugattiT371.5S-4103h15m27.0s+ 20m07.6s
9.8Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4103h16m19.2s+ 20m59.8s
10.28Domenico AntonelliCount D. AntonelliBugattiT352.0S-8103h18m16.6s+ 22m57.2s
11.23Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaCeiranoS1501.5S-4103h19m58.0s+ 24m38.6s
12.9Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6103h28m23.0s+ 33m03.6s
13.24Maurizio CiancherottiM. CiancherottiAurea40001.5S-4103h30m43.4s+ 35m24.0s
14.1Alberto MarinoA. MarinoMarinoGS1.1S-4103h32m41.6s+ 37m22.2s
15.3Mario SaettiM. SaettiSénéchal1.1S-4103h34m05.4s+ 38m46.0s
16.14Paolo PavesioP. PavesioCeiranoS1501.5S-4103h39m49.0s+ 44m29.4s
DNF12Gusmano PieranziG. PieranziCeiranoS1501.5S-49  
DNF21Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroBugattiT221.5S-49  
DNF32Ferruccio ZanirattiF. ZanirattiBugattiT30 Indy2.0S-89connecting rod
DNF41 Giorgio CerattoG. CerattoAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-66
DNF34Alfredo TremolantiA. TremolantiLanciaLambda2.1S-46
DNF39Vittorio "Nino" AstaritaV. AstaritaBugatti23002.3S-85
DNF10Manlio SpongiaM. SpongiaSalmson1.1S-44  
DNF26Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugattiT352.0S-84spark plugs
DNF38Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRLTF233.0S-64
DNF 30Giulio AyminiG. AyminiDiatto353.0S-42engine
DNF2Attilio BarbieriA. BarbieriAmilcar1.1S-41  
DNF4 Filippo SartorioF. SartorioGarChapuis Dornier1.1S-41  
DNF18Mario MazzacuratiM. MazzacuratiChiribiriMonza S1.5S-40fire 
Fastest lap, over 1500 cc: Emilio Materassi (Itala Spcl.) on lap 6 in 17m11s = 78.6 km/h (48.8 mph).
Fastest lap, 1500 cc: Giuseppe Pecoraro (Bugatti) in 18m27.6s = 73.1 km/h (45.4 mph).
Fastest lap, 1100 cc: Baconin Borzacchini (Salmson) on lap 7 in 18m03.6s = 74.6 km/h (46.4 mph).
Winner's average speed over 1500 cc, Materassi: 77.0 km/h (47.8 mph).
Winner's average speed 1500 cc, Valpreda: 70.6 km/h (43.8 mph).
Winner's average speed 1100 cc, Borzacchini: 73.6 km/h (45.7 mph).
Weather: sunny, dry.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L'Impero, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco
Ms. Paola Masetta

Eyston (Bugatti)Bourdon (Salmson)Violet (Sima Violet)


Boulogne-sur-Mer (F), 28 August 1926 (Saturday).
12 laps x 37.375 km (23.225 mi) = 448.5 km (278.7 mi)

Light Cars 1500 cc
1Malcolm CampbellM. CampbellBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNS - did not start
2Ivy CummingsMiss I. CummingsBugattiT371.5S-4
3Jack DouglasCaptain J. DouglasBugattiT371.5S-4
4George EystonG. E. T. EystonBugattiT391.5S-8
5"Williams"C. WilliamsBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
6René DélyR. DélyBugattiT371.5S-4DNS - did not start
7Hugo Urban-EmmrichH. Urban-EmmrichTalbots/c1.5S-4
8Jules MoriceauAutomobiles TalbotTalbots/c1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
9Albert DivoAutomobiles TalbotTalbots/c1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
10Alistair MillerM. CampbellTalbots/c1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
11Marcel VioletAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet2-stroke1.5F-4
14John G. Parry-ThomasJ. G. Parry-ThomasThomasSpecial1.5S-6DNS - did not start
15"Tom" ThistlethwayteCaptain R.C. GallopThomasSpecial1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
18Basil EystonG. E. T. EystonAston MartinGP Anzani1.5S-4
Voiturettes 1100 cc
19BourdonSM SalmsonSalmson I1.1S-4
20George DullerSM SalmsonSalmson II1.1S-4
21XSM SalmsonSalmson III1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
22George NewmanSM SalmsonSalmson IV 1.1S-4
23RogersRogersFrazer NashAnzani1.1S-4
25L. MarqL. MarqSénéchal GSRuby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
16Francis SamuelsonF. SamuelsonAustinSeven.70S-4
12Maurice BenoistAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet750 cc 2-stroke.75S-2
26ChoteauChoteauSima Violet750 cc 2-stroke.75S-2
27Boris IvanowskiB. IvanowskiRatier750 cc.75S-4
28StantonAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet500 cc 2-stroke0.5S-2
29Michel DoréAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet500 cc 2-stroke0.5S-2DNA - did not appear

Eyston with Bugatti wins the Boulogne Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The Boulogne Grand Prix for light cars (1500 cc) and Voiturettes (1100 cc), was an international event with 16 starters. George Eyston's Bugattis won ahead of Bourdon (1100 Salmson) and Marcel Violet (1500 Sima-Violet). The following seven voiturettes finished in the order Newman, Ivanowski, Samuelson, Choteau, Maurice Benoist, Stanton and Rogers. Douglas (Bugatti) lost his exhaust pipe and was disqualified for being 3 kg underweight.
The annual week at Boulogne-sur-Mer had been held since 1905 while the first Boulogne Grand Prix took place in 1921. This year's race, which was the sixth in the series, was organized by the (Automobile Club du Nord de la France) A.C.N.F. and the Essex Motor Club beginning with serious activities on August 25.
Wednesday, August 25: Scrutineering by officials for the various competitions on August 26 through 29.
Thursday, August 26: Four events: On National Road No. 42, at 8:30 AM a 6-km speed trial with flying start, on a straight highway of an undulating nature; at 10:30 hill climb at Baincthun of 1.609 km (1 mile); at 3:00 PM on National Road No. 42, a hill climb at Saint-Martin of 0.5 km with a standing start; at 5:00 PM on National Road No. 1, a 0.5 km speed trial with standing start and standing finish on the route de Calais.
Friday, August 27: Concours de carosseries (similar to Concours d'Elegance) at 4:00 PM in front of a huge crowd on the Boulevard Sainte-Beuve and around the Casino. Nice clothing gave a particular character to the event.)
Saturday, August 28: The Grand Prix International des Voiturettes and Voitures légères.
Sunday, August 29: The Coupe Georges Boillot, an international handicap race for sports and touring cars.

The Boulogne Grand Prix International des Voiturettes and Voitures légères on Saturday, was held on the 37.375 km road course which had been used since 1921. Twelve laps had to be driven, making a total of 448.5 km. The famous Boulogne circuit was considered as one of the best road circuits. From the start at Croix-Botte it led to Fourche de Saint-Martin, then along National Road 42, via the Blanc-Pignon, Huplandre, La Capelle and the forest of Desvres. Before Le Wast there was a right turn on highway 127 that ran through Alincthun. In Desvres there was the last right hand bend on to highway 96 via Wirwigne, Baincthun, until Mont Lambert. Then it was back to the start and finish at Croix-Botte. The race was restricted to 1500 cc light cars, the current Grand Prix cars, and Voiturettes, the1100 cc cycle cars.
A list of the 27 entries is shown at the beginning of this report. The race was a great attraction to British drivers since Boulogne-sur-Mer was only one hour's steamer run from Folkstone at the British coast. About half the drivers came from Britain but only four British cars, a Thomas Special, an Austin, an Aston Martin and a Frazer-Nash, were British products. Automobiles Sima Violet and SM Salmson made official entries, but all the others were independents. SM Salmson appeared with three cars for George Duller, George Newman and Bourdon.
      The fastest were the 8-cylinder Bugattis of Malcolm Campbell and George Eyston. His brother Basil Eyston drove the 4-cylinder Aston Martin which George had raced earlier at the British Grand Prix. Urban-Emmrich, a chain-smoking stout industrial magnate from Prague in Czechoslovakia drove the same Talbot that he had raced at the German Grand Prix. His friend Moriceau was acting as his reserve driver. René Dély's Bugatti was not allowed to start since his car had not been weighed.
      The Automobile week of Boulogne started unfortunately with a serious accident. On Thursday, in the one mile hill climb up Mount Lambert, Richard B. Howey was killed when his 4.5-liter Ballot race car left the track as a result of a driving error. It caused the deaths of a policeman and a spectator who were standing outside the turn and severely injured several others. As a result the race was stopped and the sports commission cancelled the afternoon races. The best time of the day with a flying start was achieved by Segrave in the 4-liter Sunbeam at a time of 1m35.6s at 225.9 km/h.
      Parry Thomas had entered one of his cars for the Grand Prix but did not start because he was a personal friend of the killed Richard Barstow "Dick" Howey. He quit the event and brought Howey's body back home by ferry along with the wrecked car. The car was cast into the sea in mid-Channel. (source. Parry Thomas & Pendine by Mark Berresford).
The Race:
The race for light cars and Voiturettes took place on Saturday morning with wonderful bright sunshine, tempered by a light cool breeze. The race was managed by Hector Franchomme, the energetic president of the Automobile Club du Nord de la France and president of the sporting committee. At 8:30 AM, the competitors were at their pits, while the grandstand was filling with spectators. Due to the short Channel crossing, thousands of British motorists had arrived. The race was well organized by the sports commission, including the two colleagues Charles Faroux and Maurice Berson.
      A few minutes before the start, the 16 drivers assembled in front of the timekeepers stand listening to Charles Faroux instructions. The all-graceful Miss Cummings appeared very close to the very tall Captain Douglas. Finally the cars lined up near the starting line, with the six light cars in front: Cummimgs (Bugatti), Douglas (Bugatti), G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti), Urban-Emmrich (Talbot), Violet (Sima Violet) and B. Eyston (Aston Martin), followed by the ten voiturettes: Bourdon (Salmson), Duller (Salmson), Newman (Salmson) ), Rogers (Frazer Nash), Lemaitre (EHP), Choteau (Sima Violet), Ivanowski (Ratier), Samuelson (Austin), Benoist (Sima Violet) and Stanton (Sima Violet).
Pole Position






G. Eyston


E. Eyston

Aston Martin


Sima Violet

Rest of grid unknown
At 9:00 AM exactly, Mr. Hector Franchomme, president of the Automobile Club du Nord gave the starting signal by lowering the tricolor of France and the race began. The first lap saw a very strong fight between Miss Cummings' Bugatti and Urban-Emmrich's Talbot. Miss Cummings finished the first lap in the lead after 21 minutes at a remarkable average of 107 km/h, 28 seconds ahead of Urban-Emmrich followed by B. Eyston, Bourdon, Violet and Douglas. All the drivers finished the first lap with Stanton's 500 cc Sima-Violet at the tail end in the following order:
1.Miss Cummings (Bugatti)21m00s1500 cc
2.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)21m28s1500 cc
3.B. Eyston (Aston Martin)21m50s1500 cc
4.Bourdon (Salmson)22m12s1100 cc
5.Violet (Sima Violet)23m05s1500 cc
6.Douglas (Bugatti)23m12s1500 cc
7.Newman (Salmson)23m23s1100 cc
8.Duller (Salmson)23m37s1100 cc
9.Lemaitre (EHP)24m15s1100 cc
10.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)25m13s1500 cc
11.Rogers (Frazer Nash)25m26s1100 cc
12.Ivanowski (Ratier)25m45s   750 cc
13.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)26m04s   750 cc
14.Samuelson (Austin)26m22s   700 cc
15.Choteau (Sima Violet)28m06s   750 cc
16.Stanton (Sima Violet)28m17s   500 cc

On the second lap Miss Cummings keep the lead with an average of 106 km/h. Bourdon had passed George Eyston and lapped in 20m36s, averaging 109 km/h. Violet had also passed Eyston, but had in turn been passed by Douglas who was now 7 seconds ahead of him. After failing to make a turn at le Wast, Urban-Emmrich went into a ditch but was able to leave with a delay of some minutes which dropped him to seventh place. Between La Capelle and le Wast Basil Eyston's Aston Martin retired with a faulty magneto. The field was now down to 15 cars in the following order after two laps:
1.Miss Cummings (Bugatti)42m20s1500 cc
2.Bourdon (Salmson)44m29s1100 cc
3.Douglas (Bugatti)45m21s1500 cc
4.Violet (Sima Violet)45m28s1500 cc
5.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)45m49s1500 cc
6.Newman (Salmson)45m58s1100 cc
7.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)46m55s1500 cc
8.Lemaitre (EHP)48m12s1100 cc
9.Rogers (Frazer Nash)49m05s1100 cc
10.Ivanowski (Ratier)50m37s   750 cc
11.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)51m09s   750 cc
12.Samuelson (Austin)52m14s   700 cc
13.Choteau (Sima Violet)55m39s   750 cc
14.Stanton (Sima Violet)55m57s   500 cc
15.Duller (Salmson)57m43s1100 cc

Miss Cummings held on to her lead after the third lap or 112.125 km averaging at 106 km/h. She drove her car leaning slightly backwards. George Eyston followed in second place after a gap of 2m51s having regained seven places on the second and third laps. Bourdon's Salmson was third at 102 km/h average, ahead of the noisy low little Sima Violet 4-cylinder 2-stroke which was making a most promising debut in a road race, who had retaken Douglas, followed by Newman, Lemaitre, Benoist, Ivanowski and Urban-Emmrich, who stopped at the pits where he was relieved by his friend Moriceau. The Talbot left with the tie rod of the steering slightly askew after the car's incursion into the ditch but Moriceau was unconcerned. He was followed by Rogers, Choteau, Stanton and Samuelson. When Duller retired near le Wast after breaking a big-end bearing of his Salmson, the field was down to 14 cars after three laps.
      The drivers finished the fourth lap without incidents. Miss Cummings maintained her lead ahead of George Eyston, who covered the 4th lap at the speed of 110.200 km/h. In the voiturette category Bourdon remained first with an average of 102 km/h but Samuelson had lost time. The order after four laps was:
1.Miss Cummings (Bugatti)1h24m27s1500 cc
2.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)1h26m44s1500 cc
3.Bourdon (Salmson)1h29m11s1100 cc
4.Violet (Sima Violet)1h29m23s1500 cc
5.Douglas (Bugatti)1h29m57s1500 cc
6.Newman (Salmson)1h31m01s1100 cc
7.Lemaitre (EHP)1h35m02s1100 cc
8.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)1h39m30s   750 cc
9.Urban-E./Moriceau (Talbot)1h44m59s1500 cc
10.Ivanowski (Ratier)1h47m11s   750 cc
11.Choteau (Sima Violet)1h51m10s   750 cc
12.Samuelson (Austin)1h54m11s   700 cc
13.Stanton (Sima Violet)2h00m37s   500 cc
14.Rogers (Frazer Nash)2h06m54s1100 cc

On the 5th lap Miss Cummings still held the lead, but as she passed near the Pont Rouge between Alaincthun and Desvres, when braking for a corner her brakes locked. She got into a bad skid and charged headlong into a tree. The car was wrecked but the lady was miraculosly unhurt largely thanks to her crash helmet. Moriceau did not drive Urban-Emmrich's Talbot for long. Arriving at the le Wast corner, he failed to make the turn and went straight on, finally settling in a ditch where he retired. With only three cars now left in the light car class, the battle remained between captain Eyston and Violet. There were still nine cars in the voiturette class of 1,100, 750 and 500 cc. The field was down to 12 cars in the order: Captain Eyston, Bourdon, Violet, Douglas, Newman, Lemaitre, Benoist, Ivanowski, Samuelson, Choteau, Rogers and Stanton after five laps.
      On the 6th lap Violet lost some ground on Captain Eyston while in the voiturette class, Bourdon led ahead of Lemaitre, Newman, M. Benoist and Ivanowski. At halfway after 224.250 km, Captain Eyston had averaged 106 km/h and Bourdon managed 102 km/h with the order as follows after 6 laps:
1.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)2h07m59s1500 cc
2.Violet (Sima Violet)2h13m58s1500 cc
3.Douglas (Bugatti)2h14m54s1500 cc
4.Bourdon (Salmson)2h18m38s1100 cc
5.Lemaitre (EHP)2h22m05s1100 cc
6.Newman (Salmson)2h23m32s1100 cc
7.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)2h36m47s   750 cc
8.Ivanowski (Ratier)2h37m21s   750 cc
9.Samuelson (Austin)2h50m54s   700 cc
10.Choteau (Sima Violet)2h52m03s   750 cc
11.Rogers (Frazer Nash)3h04m17s1100 cc
12.Stanton (Sima Violet)3h21m42s   500 cc

On the 7th lap, Douglas passed Violet once again for second place and Newman overhauled Lemaitre in the voiturette category. Moriceau, who was able to restart his car after having landed in a ditch, came back to the grandstand warmly applauded, but he had to retire. Lemaitre retired at the fork of Saint Martin with an unknown mechanical problem, reducing the field to 11 cars at the end of the 7th lap, when the order was: Eyston, Douglas, Violet, Bourdon, Newman, Ivanowski, Samuelson, Choteau, Rogers, Benoist and Stanton.
      On the eighth lap there were no changes in the order of Captain Eyston, Douglas and Violet in the small cars, and Bourdon, Newman and Ivanowski in the voiturettes. Maurice Benoist had to stop with a magneto problem at the Alincthun hill but was able to restart after a quarter of an hour. At the end of the 8th lap after 299 km the order was:
1.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)2h52m14s1500 cc
2.Douglas (Bugatti)3h00m04s1500 cc
3.Bourdon (Salmson)3h02m28s1100 cc
4.Violet (Sima Violet)3h02m38s1500 cc
5.Newman (Salmson)3h09m41s1100 cc
6.Ivanowski (Ratier)3h34m11s   750 cc
7.Choteau (Sima Violet)3h49m54s   750 cc
8.Samuelson (Austin)3h52m26s   700 cc
9.Rogers (Frazer Nash)3h55m10s1100 cc
10.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)4h19m15s   750 cc
11.Stanton (Sima Violet)-----   500 cc

After the 9th lap, 336.375 km, Douglas was 7m14s behind the leader Eyston who averaged 103.500 km/h and Violet was 10m03s behind the leader. The order after nine laps was: Eyston, Douglas, Bourdon, Violet, Newman, Ivanowski, Choteau, Rogers, Samuelson, Benoist and Stanton.
      On lap 10, Samuelson's car broke down and stopped in Alincthun, though he was able to restart and continue. The average lap time was about 22 minutes. The order after 10 laps or 336.375 km was:
1.G.E.T. Eyston (Bugatti)3h14m54s1500 cc
2.Douglas (Bugatti)3h22m08s1500 cc
3.Newman (Salmson)3h22m44s1100 cc
4.Bourdon (Salmson)3h23m58s1100 cc
5.Violet (Sima Violet)3h24m57s1500 cc
6.Ivanowski (Ratier)3h59m12s   750 cc1 lap behind
7.Choteau (Sima Violet)4h20m44s   750 cc2 laps behind
8.Rogers (Frazer Nash)4h21m13s1100 cc2 laps behind
9.Samuelson (Austin)4h23m54s   700 cc3 laps behind
10.M. Benoist (Sima Violet)4h59m40s   750 cc4 laps behind
11.Stanton (Sima Violet)-----   500 cc4 laps behind

On lap 11, Eyston slightly increased his lead over Douglas. Bourdon was third overall, 2m25s ahead of Violet. In the voiturette category Bourdon held a lead of more than 17 minutes over Newman. The field was down to 10 cars because Rogers had retired at the end of lap ten. The order after lap 11 or 411.125 km was: Eyston, Douglas, Bourdon, Violet, Newman, Ivanowski, Choteau, Samuelson, Benoist and Stanton.
      On the last lap Eyston passed through Desvres and Virivine and attacked the Baincthun coast. He hurried to the finish line. Hector Franchomme, President of the Automobile Club du Nord de la France, prepared the flag, while Miss Cummings appeared in the stands where she was warmly applauded. The blast of a clarion announced the arrival of a car. It was Stanton who was finishing his eighth lap. Another blast of the clarion, and finally captain Eyston arrived as the winner in his Bugatti in 4h20m43.2s. The year before, Marshall, also with a Bugatti, had clocked 4h20m05s, which was a nice confirmation of the regularity of the car. The average speed of Eyston was 103.200 km/h.
      When Eyston, still wearing goggles, returned to the stands he was warmly congratulated and received a bouquet of flowers from Mr. Jacques Altazin. At this time the friendly Bourdon, a Boulogne driver with a Salmson, completed his last lap finishing first in the voiturette class and second overall in 4h28m4.6s, at an average 100.400 km/h. He also broke the voiturette record. The effort of Bourdon was such that he was quite exhausted; so he fully deserved his reward; he was brought to the stands and a triple hurray! was shouted in his honor. He also received a superb bouquet of flowers from Jacques Altazin. It was a truly moving moment when the elite of the Boulogne population cheered their local victor. A minute later Captain Douglas in his Bugatti finished in 4h29m36s at 99,800 km/h, followed three minutes later by Violet with a Sima-Violet, who crossed the finish line in 4h32m10.2s at 98 km/h. A little later, Newman ended his race in 4h48m43.4s as second in the voiturette class. After Ivanowski, Samuelson and Choteau had finished, Rogers and Stanton were stopped and not allowed to complete the distance.
      The Motor reported that some three hours after the race, Marcel Violet, who had taken third place in the 1500 class, entered a series of protests. He seemed to be bent on finding some means whereby Eyston and Douglas, who were respectively first and second, could be disqualified.
      Violet suggested that Eyston's car had an engine of over 1500 cc capacity and weighed less than the minimum of 700 kg. As a result, Eyston was charged the extravagant amount of 1,000 francs by the garage which removed his cylinders for verification purposes. It was found that the engine capacity was well under 1500 cc, while after George Eyston had described the car to the stewards of the meeting, Violet agreed to accept his word of honor that the car weighed over 700 kg with all tanks empty.
      Violet was somewhat surprised to find that his protest fee, which was confiscated owing to his claim being without foundation, had to be paid at the rate of 50 gold francs, or some 400 francs of paper money!
      The second protest was that Douglas' Bugatti weighed less after the event than when it started. The deficit was about 6 lb. or 3kg and was eventually found to be due to the exhaust pipe having fallen off during the race. Fearing that his first claim might not be upheld, Violet also protestet against the car continuing the race without the regulation exhaust system. Consequently poor Douglas lost his second place and was not classified. Naturally great indignation was expressed at the methods of Violet, and Douglas was scarcely pacified, although much amused, by the promise of a consolation award paid for with Violet's confiscated protest fee.



1.4George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT391.5S-8124h20m43.2s
2.19BourdonSM SalmsonSalmson I1.1S-4124h28m04.6s+ 7m21.4s
DSQ3Jack DouglasJ. DouglasBugattiT371.5S-4124h29m30.0sdisqualified
3.11Marcel VioletAutomobiles Sima VioletSima-Violet2-stroke1.5F-4124h32m10.0s+ 11m26.8s
4.22George NewmanSM SalmsonSalmson IV 1.1S-4124h48m43.4s+ 28m00.2s
5.27Boris IvanowskiB. IvanowskiRatier750 cc.75S-4125h21m47.8s+ 1h01m04.6s
6.16Francis SamuelsonF. SamuelsonAustinSeven.70S-4125h43m32.0s+ 1h22m48.8s
7.26ChoteauChoteauSima Violet750 cc 2-stroke.75S-2125h45m00.0s+ 1h24m16.8s
DNF12Maurice BenoistAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet750 cc 2-stroke.75S-210magneto 
DNF23RogersRogersFrazer NashSlug Ruby1.1S-410flagged off
DNC28StantonAutomobiles Sima VioletSima Violet500 cc 2-stroke0.5S-29flagged off
DNF7Urban-Emmrich/MoriceauH. Urban-EmmrichTalbots/c1.5S-45car damage
DNF2Ivy CummingsMiss I. CummingsBugattiT371.5S-44crash
DNF20George DullerSM SalmsonSalmson II1.1S-42engine bearing
DNF18Basil EystonG. E. T. EystonAston MartinGP Anzai1.5S-61magneto
Fastest lap: not issued.
Winner's average speed 1500 cc, G. Eyston: 103.2 km/h (64.1 mh).
Winner's average speed 1100 cc, Bourdon: 100.4 km/h (62.4 mph).
Winner's average speed 1750 cc, Ivanowsky: 83.6 km/h (52.0 mph).
Weather: sunny, dry.
In retrospect:
The final classification times published in newspapers and magazines deviated often by fractions of a second and individual times did likewise. We hope that we have selected the correct times.

On August 26, 1926, Captain Richard B. Howey (GB) driving a 4.5-liter Ballot, died at Boulogne-sur-Mer when he lost control of his car in the 1609 meters Baincthum hill climb with a succession of four curves. After four or five fishtails, Howey skidded off the road, lightly hit a car parked at the beginning of a side road and crashed into a tree. During the incident he mowed down a policeman and some spectators. The policeman and one spectator Mr. Louis Pieters, who was standing nearby were killed immediately. A second spectator, Mr. Duboille-Périn, had a severed leg, and his condition caused grave concern. A young man, M. Dubuisson, suffered an open double fracture of one leg. The service constable at this location, Mr. Guillet, had a broken leg. A few seconds before the accident, the constable had sent back a dozen imprudent spectators, who otherwise would also have been mowed down. When the car appeared threatening, Constable Guillet turned to the public without thinking of his own safety and ordered back a few spectators, which certainly saved two of them. The race was stopped, and the sports commission cancelled the afternoon race. The accident was a driving error causing the deaths of two spectators who were located dangerously outside a turn and ending his own life.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Presse, Paris
La Vie Automobile, Paris
L'Auto, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
Omnia, Paris
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
Hugo Boecker
John Humphries
Vladislav Shaikhnurov


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 08.02.2024