The 1906 and 1907 Coupe l'Auto was run on a road circuit to the south of Rambouillet in France. I believe these were the only races ever run on this circuit. As I don't live very far from Rambouillet and as it was a beautiful crisp but sunny winters day, today, I ventured out in my Alfa Romeo to trace the old circuit. It is still relatively easy to follow and must have been a real challenge on the roads of the time. Two thirds is rather a nice drive with the other third being a straight blast up the N10/D910.
|The D936 through Greffiers passes by this old church|
Continue all the way into Saint Arnoult on the D936 passing on the way Greffiers, La Huniere, Sonchamp and La Moulin Boutareine.
|The junction between the D936 and the D988 at Saint Arnoult|
When you get to the T junction in Saint Arnoult turn right onto the D988. Shortly the road starts to climb, which must have been a challenge for the Voiturettes. At the top the road flattens and straightens.
|Beginning the climb out of Saint Arnoult|
|Imagine William Vanderbilt driving his Mors at record speed alomg this straight|
|Where the course turned right back towards Rambouillet in the centre of Ablis|
The 1907 race was a one-two for the Sizaire-Naudin team with Louis Naudin winning from Sizaire. Jules Goux finished third in a Lion-Peugeot the forerunner of the Peugeot cars we know today. Naudin covered the 190 miles at an average speed of just over 40 mph.
The drive along the D936 and D988 is definitely worth a detour for this little brush with motoring history. Wishing you all happy and safe motoring in 2015.