Jump to content


Photo

Bourg-en-Bresse - with photos of a lap now added!


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 20 May 2006 - 02:03

Being an inveterate old circuit searcher, can anyone provide any info about this track ?"

From what I know, TNF member T54 raced there on bikes and reckoned it beared comparison with Rouen-Le-Essarts. I've tried a lot of combinations in search engines, but nothing yet. I know they've recently built a new autodrome there, but would like details of the old track since me & 'er will be in the general area ( within 300 km but I can always say I'm off for a swift pint down the local bistro ) during August and I might be able to take a few photos.

Chris

Advertisement

#2 bradbury west

bradbury west
  • Member

  • 4,569 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 20 May 2006 - 06:43

Try googling Bourg en Bresse; Office de tourisme, and see if there is any joy. The French local tourist offices are usually very helpful and can put you in touch with local contacts. It has worked very well for me for something similar elsewhere in France.

Roger Lund.

#3 Hugo Boecker

Hugo Boecker
  • Member

  • 689 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 20 May 2006 - 10:04

Or try this one
http://www.chez.com/...SPORT/Index.htm
Vincent who runs this site has a wide knowledge, I think, about French bike circuits

#4 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 27 May 2006 - 00:00

Thanks Chaps.

I've pinned it down to a general area south of the town.

T54 - Would love your input here as someone who raced on the track.

Thanks

Chris

#5 T54

T54
  • Member

  • 2,479 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 29 May 2006 - 03:44

Ooops, sorry, I had not been on the Nostalgia Forum for a while as I am a bit busy trying to get that old Cooper of mine ready for a possible demo at the Monterey Hysterics this coming August. That is, if the Powers-to-Be running the show want it there of course. :| . For quite a while, I have been contemplating the broken bits of that slapped-together mess that I purchased in lieu of a proper C5S transmission for way too much money from a British dealer who will remain nameless. Fortunately and after getting new bits from world-saviors Crosthwaite & Gardiner, John Collins did a pretty good job to get it back in hopefully proper fettle. Now I got to get the old girl running again after 2 years parked inside a museum.
So now onto Bourg:

Bourg-en-Bresse is a small town about 40km north-east of Lyon. Famous for its fine cuisine if I recall. The racing track called "Circuit des Vennes" was composed of three rather narrow intersecting regional paved roads on a couple of kms on the south of town (not absolutely sure of exact location). The unpaved pits were on the left side of the front straight that climbed up to a near-hairpin right-hand turn on top, through a wooded area. Then there was a downhill straight with a fairly fast 120-degree right turn where another road intersected, down to another near hairpin at the very bottom of the track and back to the front straight. Pretty simple but quite fast. All the turns had "protection" by the usual hay bales, but there was hardly anything behind them so a violent crash still left some chances of survival.
The only pictures I have are from some motorcycle magazines that for some weird reason I kept, and show only the 50cc class race in 1964 (apparently the 12th year in which the race was held), to which I participated but did no good as my own machine seized up and I did not have any spares to repair in time for the actual race.

Posted Image

This is multiple-time French champion Jacques Roca (now retired and living in Spain) winning the race on his works water-cooled 14HP Derbi 8-speed at an average of nearly 60MPH, a lot more impressive of a speed if you would have seen the actual track.

Posted Image

At the same spot (the final corner before the front straight and shot from the pits edge), the future Paris-Dakar winner with a works Rothmann's Porsche 959, Rene Metge on a Derbi production-racer. Victim of his own enthusiasm, he will kiss the dirt on the second lap.

Posted Image

On top of the hill and going downhill at the "Virage de la Foret" are the backmarkers on their first lap: # 8 Hausel (DKW), # 15 Nicholas on a Ducson, a now disappeared Spanish company, # 4 Bustin (Itom), # 5 Albertini (Itom).

Posted Image

An excellent rider was Jacky Onda, here on the home-built 4-stroke twin-cam Nougier, a beautiful little machine that revved at 15000 rpm and sounded great. A bit shy of power against the works Derbis but Onda finished in third place behind Roca and future F3 driver Jean-Pierre Cassegrain.

The same day, Walter and Francesco Villa (who later gained fame later with Mondial, Montesa and Aermacchi-HD) presented the new 50cc Mondial, the world's first motorcycle to be fitted with a front disc brake. It looked wonderful in its pale metallic blue and silver works livery. The brake was built by Campagnolo and was mechanichally activated. It kind of worked but drums were still a better choice then.

The only other thing I remember from Bourg was the great hospitality of the locals who were truly fascinated and very enthusiastic about all this noisy stuff. Even the local girls were being nice. I came back in 1968 but had equally appalling luck. Start-money at least covered some of the expenses.
Hopefully someone will find more information maybe from the town's archives?

There were other similar venues in little towns, like in Trelivan (Brittany) where the money was really good if you would place well.
Regards,

T54

#6 T54

T54
  • Member

  • 2,479 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 31 May 2006 - 01:04

I think that I located the track. It is indeed south of the city by the "Orphelinat" (Orphan Hospital).
I circled the actual track, that must be overwhelmed today with some kind of housing.

Posted Image

According to the Michelin map on Yahoo.fr, it would be about 2 miles in length.
Hope that this helps... :)

#7 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 June 2006 - 16:39

Thanks T54.

Based on your earlier description, I came to the same conclusion as to the roads concerned. Looks like just the north end has housing so maybe the other parts are much as they always were until it closed

Cheers

Chris

#8 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member

  • 240 posts
  • Joined: June 04

Posted 21 July 2006 - 12:59

Tour de France goes thru Bourg today approaching from the east on D979, maybe a heli shot might show the old circuit south of the town

#9 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 31 August 2006 - 20:37

Back from my visit to Bourg En Bresse having taken about 30 photos and videoed a lap.

This is my first time with imageshack so hope it works !! If it does, this picture is of a memorial to Swiss rider Jean Claude Milliet who sadly died during practice for the first races on the Circuit Des Vennes in 1954. The stone is sited on the outside of the left hand kink immediately following the hairpin after the start which connects the Route De seillons and the Chemin des Bouleaux. On the map it is under the 2nd U of BOULEAUX.

Posted Image

Chris

Hoorah it worked which means I'm not the technophobe I thought I was. More pics to follow

#10 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:32

Here are the rest of them in small batches

1)
Posted Image
2)
Posted Image
3)
Posted Image
4)
Posted Image
5)
Posted Image

#11 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:33

6)
Posted Image
7)
Posted Image
8)
Posted Image
9)
Posted Image
10)
Posted Image
11)
Posted Image

#12 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:34

12)
Posted Image
13)
Posted Image
14)
Posted Image
15)
Posted Image
16)
Posted Image
17)
Posted Image

#13 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 September 2006 - 11:35

18)
Posted Image
19)
Posted Image
20)
Posted Image
21)
Posted Image
22)
Posted Image
23)
Posted Image
24)
Posted Image
25)
Posted Image
26)
Posted Image
27)
Posted Image

#14 Twin Window

Twin Window
  • Nostalgia Host

  • 6,609 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 04 September 2006 - 22:44

Great pics, Chris :up:

Thanks for taking the trouble.

#15 T54

T54
  • Member

  • 2,479 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 04 September 2006 - 22:52

Things have changed but indeed it is the circuit I remember. The roads are wider, lots of trees are missing...
Thanks for the pics!

T54

#16 Twin Window

Twin Window
  • Nostalgia Host

  • 6,609 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 04 September 2006 - 22:58

What's happened to your pics, Philippe?

#17 LittleChris

LittleChris
  • Member

  • 2,159 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 05 September 2006 - 20:47

Glad you enjoyed them and especially glad that I did take photos of the right place not a random selection of french country roads :D

Thanks for amending title Twinny. Off to work out the next photo project !