2/2/09

Circuit of Cadours-La Réole


At the time of the start of race-track, Cadours and more importantly its 600 inhabitants have demonstrated their capability to organize important events.
In 1948, the first race will be won by René Mauriès, from Albi, for this very first event, at the average speed of 121.97 km/h (75.79 mph) on this 4,015 m (2.5 mi) race track.


For the 1949 season, the first Grand-Prix of Cadours by the “France Automobile Club” in the Voiturette/Formula 2 category was in place.



This second Grand Prix, in 1950, will be bereaved by the accidental death of Raymond Sommer, and killed by the failure of the steering mechanism of his Cooper T12-Jap. The resulting crash was fatal.
 On September 9th 1951, the following year, before the start of the third «Grand Prix de Cadours», a monument sculpted by Lucien Passey, to the memory of Raymond Sommer was unveiled. This monument was funded by people’s money collection. A second identical monument was set in Mouzon, in the French Ardennes, the village where Sommer was born.
This second GP was a success, a bike race was in place with lot of known riders: Houel, Bret, Lafon, Collot and Roland Gauch, winner in 350 category. 
I known personaly Roland, today dead, he attended the first "Coyote Days" with his 350 Manx and his Gilera Saturno.
In 1955, most of the race car events were cancelled because of the Le Mans accident. Drastic safety measures were set in place. Most would led to too expensive investment. At this time several event died…. It became the beginning of the end of the «circuit de Cadours-Laréole» as for several other in France… and in Europe.
The 13 of July 1958, during a bike race, the australian Keith Campbell, world champion in 1957 on a 350 Moto Guzzi, crashed and dead, during the 500cc race at the age of 26. He won the same day the 350 race with a Norton Manx. Remerber also that Florian Camathias won the in side car race in 1958 on a BMW.
Cadours was a famous place in the 50's, for racing, Formula 2, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jean Behra, Maurice Trintignant, Louis Rosier and so on have ridden in the past.

Since 1980, the Cercle T, famous classic club from Toulouse organized the Raymond Sommer Trophy each year. Raymond Sommer was a gentelman car rider in the 50's.

So,Classic cars and bikes drivers were invited to ride as a demonstration, in memory of Raymond Sommer and Keith Campbell.

Let's see the pictures:

Mister de Naidai on the BSA 500 DBD 34 fitted with a Jawa grass track crank, the Alain Bondu's Vincent and Triumph GP, the hungarian Gyula Marsowsky G50 Matchless, one time 2nd in the1969 World Championship GP with a Linto (Agostini was first), and the Richard's Norton 650 SS.