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Old 14-11-2004, 08:06 PM
Penelope Pitsto Penelope Pitsto is offline
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Unhappy Goodbye Montlhery

A foundation is trying to save some tracks over the world, the one of the moment is Montlhéry in France.
It's an oval banked circuit where more than 1600 speed and other World car records have been homologated since 1924. This track closed its doors to the public last month. It might be demolish. We don't know yet. The foundation is trying to get informations. They need our support! That's the reason why I'm talking to you right now. They are not asking for money, just a proof of support : a signature through a web link. 20 000 people already joined
You may skip the intro and sign on the "petition" page of the website:
www.foundationoborn.org

Do you feel like doing it? please let me know.
This is my report on the last track event:

During the week-end of the 2nd and 3rd of October, the Montlhéry track vibrated to the sound of the motorcycles, side-cars and cyclecars entered in the final edition of the Gérard Jumeaux Trophy.
This event will be, according to the wishes of UTAC (the track’s owners) the last event at the circuit open to the public.
After 80 years of motorcycle and car races, of world-record attempts, and of various unique mechanical events, the usual the reward for:” good and loyal services”, is to deprive the fans access to this shrine of mechanical history!
I believe that the people who came last weekend shared the same feeling of intense (deep) frustration and disarray. It was difficult to imagine, at the time, seeing the motorcycles running out onto the track, that it was the departure for their last run on this site.
At Montlhéry there is a kind of “magic”! A sort of symbiosis between competitors and spectators. Is it the track configuration and the proximity to the track? Being allowed to stroll around in the paddocks, to smell those machines still warm from their races, exhaling a castor oil perfume, the effluvium of methanol used for some cyclecar engines, to peer over the shoulder of a mechanic to admire an uncovered engine... wasn’t this, for the passionate mechanical enthusiast a pleasure that shouldn’t be missed not on any account?!?
During two days we were privileged to sample Montlhéry’s very special atmosphere.
Of course the idea that after Sunday evening it would be no longer possible to enter this sanctuary of mechanical exploits hung like a veil of sadness over the circuit.
The motorcyclists and other mechanical sports fanatics (they were numerous in signing the foundation O’Born petition) were sauntering aimlessly along the alleys. They just wanted to be present for the last of the last and to appreciate the show.
And what a show! The most impressive were the sidecar races. See the passengers (known as the “monkey” in France) lean out until they actually touch the tarmac and even scratch their helmets on the ridged borders of the track; these are moments which send a shiver down your spine!
And what a noise! Extreme pleasure for the ears! Motors roaring at full power, and the lovely pop pop popping of the older machines! The throbs of some machines still fill your ears many seconds after their passing. This was the true mechanical spirit for both experienced lovers of the mechanical and a consenting public! What else could we wish for? The promise that we could return once more to taste these sensual pleasures? Yes without doubt but above all the promise that during our absence, someone will take good care of our racetrack, that it’s injuries caused by the ravages of careless time will be fixed. We hope one day to come back to Montlhéry and find the track re-juvenated.
Gentlemen, who are the owners of the site, would you please condescend to listen to the voice coming from the heart of hearts of thousands lovers of this historic monument!
In 1924 the cycle cars opened the circuit and helped make it famous, they also closed this chapter of automobile history. Their last demonstration could only be felt as homage to those racers and their machines who have rubbed shoulders on the track. A 1914 Morgan did not wish to leave the track on its last lap! Taking advantage of it’s advanced age (it was the oldest represented) and it’s invulnerability, it ran out of petrol on the last chicane but one. The driver and co-pilot had to get out and push to the finish line receiving a warm round of applause from the spectators. In any case it was a fitting spectacle for the closure of the circuit.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg grillle cyclecars.jpg (61.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg grille cyclecar vue de la piste.jpg (69.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg Structure de l'anneau.jpg (97.9 KB, 0 views)
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