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Annemasse Vetraz-Monthoux Circuit


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#1 BRG

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 17:42

In the current edition of OCtane magazine, there is reference (in an article about the Mercedes SL range) to Rudolf Uhlenhaut lapping the Annemasse Vetraz-Monthoux track in 47.5 secs in a Mercedes SL (W113 Pagoda model) which compared well with Mike Parkes's 47.3 in a Ferrari 250GT. No date given for either lap.

Clearly a short track then, and indeed the only reference I could find in TNF was a passing comment in a thread on Mickey Mouse tracks. I cannot find the track in any database, and the only references I found on Google were from motorcycle sites (see this one, which includes a map that bears out the short nature of the track).

What is known of this track? I have looked on Google Earth but cannot find any trace so far.

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#2 LittleChris

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 21:31

Ever one to take on the challenge of finding an old circuit, I think I may have found the remains.

Copy - Impasse de la Râpe, Vétraz-Monthoux, France - into google maps.

I think the boundary road ( Impasse de la Râpe ) surrounding the houses is roughly correct corner wise bearing in mind many of the old maps published weren't always that accurate . The fact it was known as the circuit de la rappe hopefully supports my theory...

#3 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 22:13

Those are indeed the remains of the small 1.007 km Circuit d'Annemasse in Vétraz-Monthoux, Chris. The track was active circa 1962-1972, but today most of it has been turned into a public street in a residential area.

Also see the website of the late Vincent Glon, and there's is a video here.

These are the exact GPS coordinates: 46°10'51.52"N / 6°16'22.53"E.

#4 LittleChris

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 22:29

Thanks Rob. Nice video on Vincents site. Didn't we have a thread a while ago about race circuits that became public road rather than the other way around or am I imagining it ?

#5 BRG

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 17:38

Ah, good old TNF - someone always has the answer!

Yes, the Impasse de la Rape certainly follows the right contours. What a bizarre thing, to turn a race track into a housing estate, using the track as the road. The video shows, let's say, rather basic safety features (as in zero) so this was presumably very much a local clubby sort of place. Was it mainly for bikes? I wonder what Uhlenhaut and Parkes were doing there? Anyone know of any significant events held there?

So close to Geneva, you might think a track could have served as a venue for Swiss racers, but perhpas it was too small and was just overwhelmed by urban development.

#6 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:34

The Circuit d'Annemasse was a private course, reportedly built by Arthur Andrey in 1962. It was a popular testing venue and hosted French and Swiss motorcycle meetings. Auto racing was seemingly limited to club events. Here is a photo of a Swiss club race with Le Mans start.

The 7-turn, 1.007 km course was usually lapped clockwise and between 7 and 9 metres wide. The lap record reportedly stood at 90 km/h average speed in 1967.

The last event I am aware of was a French motorcycle meeting on 04.06.1972. The circuit closed somewhere around that time and was apparently later purchased by a real estate developer who simply built a housing estate around it and recycled the track as a street. Same thing happened, for example, at Lynndale Farms in Wisconsin.

#7 bradbury west

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:56

O/T a bit, is Folembray still used for test/track days?
Roger Lund

#8 LittleChris

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 22:36

Seems to be ( for bikes anyway ).

http://www.eurotrax..../folembray.html

I seem to remember that Renault tested there in preparation for Monaco one year ( 1982 possibly ).

Dropped in one day on way back from Reims but wasn't able to sneak onto the circuit for a lap, don't think I missed much really :D