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The Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Trail of June 1895 was the first true automobile race in history. The distance was 1,178 km and there was a mass start. The race was a triumph for Émile Levassor who won it in 48 hours and 47 minutes, finishing nearly six hours before the runner-up.[1]

The race is sometimes referred to in retrospect as the I Grand Prix de l'A.C.F.[1]

Contents

Levassor's progress

Levassor, who drove one of his cars, a 1205 cc (74 ci) Panhard & Levassor, started carefully, observing his opponents; he overtook the then leading Marquis de Dion who stopped to refuel water to his steam car. Levassor led the race since then, stopping regularly to check his car's components. He came to Bordeaux several hours before any driver was expected to come which resulted in the fact that he had to drive back to Paris as well (the driver who was his change was still asleep in a hotel, and no-one knew which one). Levassor accepted the situation calmly, waking the organisers up to prove his coming and his time, had some sandwiches and champagne, took a brief walk and set off for Paris at 2:30 am. When Baron René de Knyff met him en route, he was so surprised by Levassor's time that he nearly crashed. Levassor, after spending two days and nights behind the wheel, came triumphantly to Paris, reaching an average speed of 24.5 km/h. He said after the race: "Some 50 km before Paris I had a rather luxurious snack in a restaurant which helped me. But I feel a little tired."

Legacy

The race proved that both the riders and the cars were capable of driving such distances and it generated public enthusiasm which indicated that such events were commercially viable.

References

  1. ^ a b 1895 Grand Prix and Paris Races. Retrieved on 12 September 2009.

External links

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The Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Rally of June 1895 was the first automobile Grand Prix in history. The distance of the race was 1,178 km and there was a mass start. The race was a triumph for Émile Levassor who won it in 48 hours and 47 minutes, finishing nearly six hours before the runner-up.

Levassor, who drove one of his cars, a 1205 cc (74 ci) Panhard & Levassor, started carefully, observing his opponents; he overtook the then leading Marquis de Dion who stopped to refuel water to his steam car. Levassor led the race since then, stopping regularly to check his car's components. He came to Bordeaux several hours before any driver was expected to come which resulted in the fact that he had to drive back to Paris as well (the driver who was his change was still asleep in a hotel, and no-one knew which one). Levassor accepted the situation calmly, waking the organisers up to prove his coming and his time, had some sandwiches and champagne, took a brief walk and set off for Paris at 2:30 am. When Baron René de Knyff met him en route, he was so surprised by Levassor's time that he nearly crashed. Levassor, after spending two days and nights behind the wheel, came triumphantly to Paris, reaching average speed of 24,5 km/h. He said after the race "Some 50 km before Paris I had a rather luxurious snack in a restaurant which helped me. But I feel a little tired."

The race proved that both the riders and the cars were capable of driving such distances, and it also proved that the audience will love such enterprises.

External links


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