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Association Belge des Racers 500

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#1 RAP

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:28

I would like to find out more about events run by the Association Belge des Racers 500 for 500cc F3 cars in the mid-1950s. Autosport 6th August 1954 refers to an event at La Louviere "promoted by the new Association Belge des Racers".

The only events I have found are
La Louviere (date unknown) - heat 1 1st Jeff Scherens
Final 1st George Dardenne Cooper
(could this possibly be the same race as "Louvain" listed with no details in Sheldon's F3 Fact Book on 27-6-54)

Mons 11 July 54 1 Y Dardenne (Cooper) 2. Borremans (Effyh) - Autosport 20-8-54

Mons 22 May 55 St Ghislain circuit
Heat 1 1st Gaertner (Cooper) 2. Swaelens (Cooper) 3. Ellis# (Cooper)
# probably error for Ellison-davis
Heat 2 1. G Dardenne (Cooper) 2. Borremans (Effyh) 3. Chappelle (Dyna Panhard)
Final 1. Gaertner 2. Borremans 3. Swaelens
Autosport 10 June 55

"The next event will be at La Louviere at the end of June" - this might have been cancelled after the Le Mans disaster?

I would much appreciate any further information on these events and any other Belgian 500cc races.



#2 HiRich

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 13:58

I can't tell you whether these races were organised by the Association Belge des Racers 500, but here are the Belgian events that I know of:

22nd May 1949, Bois de la Cambre, Brussels
1- Bill Aston (Cooper Mk II JAP)
2- Don Parker (Parker-CFS)
3- Stan Coldham (Cooper)
4- Sir Francis Samuelson (Cooper, probably Mk II)
5- Rene Chaix (Chaix)

14th May 1950, Mons (Grand Prix de Mons)
1- Harry Schell (Cooper Mk IV JAP)
2- Bill Aston (Cooper JAP)
3- Dillenius (Cooper_
Retirements for Moss (Cooper Mk IV), Ken Carter (probably a Cooper Mk III) and Ken Gregory in the prototype Kieft Vincent - "Ken crashed through straw bales into a first aid post and finished up spectating from an upstairs window, and taking refreshments with the house owners.”

14th August 1950, Ostend Middelkerke Airport (Coupe di Monde, organised by the Ostend & Litteral Automobile Club of Belgium)
Two heats (won by Bill Whitehouse and Alf Bottoms), a Repechage (Don Parker). Final:
1- Ken Carter (Cooper Norton)
2- Curly Dryden (Cooper Norton)
3- Ken Wharton (Cooper JAP)
I have more information on this. I recall that the airport was still in operation, with flights landing during the racing.

11th May 1952, Bois de la Cambre, Brussells (Grand Prix of Belgium)
No information on heats, but the final was:
1- Ken Carter
2- Alan Brown
3- Les Leston, all in Cooper Nortons
Moss destroyed the Moss-Kieft prototype (for the first time) in a first lap accident.

31st May 1952, Chimay (Grand Prix des Frontieres 500cc)
1- Stuart Lewis-Evans (Cooper Mk V Norton)
2- John Coombs (Cooper Norton)
3- Austen May (Cooper JAP)

20th July 1952, Namur
No information on heats, but the final went:
1- George Thomas (Cooper JAP, not a name I've come across before)
2- Lex Beels (Beels JAP)
3- P Swaelens (Cooper JAP)
Moss retired the/a Kieft

24th May 1953, Chimay
1- Andre Loens (Kieft Norton)
2- Lex Beels (Cooper Mk VI JAP)
3- A Bosseart (BMW Special)
4- Fournier (Cooper Norton)
5- Frank Bacon (Cooper Mk V JAP)
and i have several more entrants.

9th May 1954, St Annastrand, Antwerp (my notes say "Association Belge des Racers (ABR-BRV), Antwerp Grand Prix")
Three heats (Wayaffe in a JAP Special, Willy Vroonen in a Cooper JAP, Texidor in a Kieft JAP), a repechage (Andre Milhoux in an Effyh JAP. |the final went:
1- Borremans (Kieft Mk1 Norton, almost certainly the streamlined model bought from Oskar Frank)
2- Duesberg (Cooper JAP)
3- Gaertner (Cooper JAP)
4- J Vroonen (Beels JAP), note, not Willy
5- Grauwels (Beels JAP)
6- Andre Milhoux (Effyh JAP)
apparently this was an all-local race. I have a bit more on this if you want it.

27th June 1954, La Louviere (I believe the event is the Louvain)
1- Borremans (Kieft Mk 1)
It is possible that Borremans won a heat rather than the Final

11th July 1954, St Ghislain, Mons - matches your result
1- Georges Dardenne (Cooper Norton)

22nd May 1955, St Ghislain, Mons - matches your result
1- Raymond Gaertner (Cooper Norton)

No events have come up after May 1955

#3 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 14:38

A little sum up about the racer 500 movement in Belgium (and Luxemburg)

First there were some well known internationl official races, ie recognised by the RACB
1949, Brussels (Evère), before the F2 race won by British drivers
1950, Mons, before the F2 race won by Harry Schell
1950, Ostende, Coupe du Monde des Racers 500, Ostende Airport won by Ken E. Carter
1951, Luxemburg, well known race won by Alan brown
1951, Brussels (Bois de la Cambre) well known race won by Ken Carter
1952, Luxemburg, won by Les Leston
1952, Chimay, before the F2 race, won by Stuart Lewis-Evans
1952, Namur, won by Thomas
1953, Chimay, won by André Loens.

In 1954 a new association called the Association Belges des Racers (ABR in French, BRV in Dutch) was recognised by the RACB. They tried to organised a serie of races all around the country but just 3 races were held: Antwerpen (Linkerhoever, St-Anna), La Louvière and St-Ghislain (near Mons and Valencienne in France). In 1955 just one race before Le Mans drama, at St-Ghislain.

Antwerpen, 9 May 1954, see here

GP de La Louvière (Track = Circuit du Tivoli, 1,.700 km, just more than 1 mile), 27 June 1954
Heat 1 won by Jef Scherens, le "Poeske", a well known former racing cyclist champion.
Heat 2 won by A. Crauwels
Heat 3 won by Georges Dardenne
Repêchage won by Willy Vroomen (NL)

Final (results), 20 laps = 34 km.
1- Georges Dardenne, Cooper JAP #45, 23' 49" (85.654 km/h)
2- A. Grauwels, Beels-JAP (or Cooper-JAP #48), 24' 44"
3- Raymond Gaertner, Cooper-JAP #40, 19 laps
4- André Milhoux, Effyh-JAP #18, 18 laps
5- Dujourie, DB #41, 18 laps
6- Guy Duesberg, Cooper-JAP #55, 13 laps

Fast lap- Willy Vroomen, Cooper-JAP

DNF- Edmond Borremans, Kieft-Norton #21
DNF- Willy Vroomen, Cooper-JAP #24
DNF- Charly Texidor, ? #50
DNF- Jef Scherens, Effyh-JAP #19
DNF- Paul Swaelens, Kieft-JAP #?

GP de Saint-Ghislain, 11 July 1954, Track = Circuit du Viaduc)
1- Georges Dardenne (Cooper)

well I can't add more now (It's somewhere in my handwritten notes)

GP de Saint-Ghislain 1955, 22 May
Heat 1, 20 laps = 24 km)
1- Raymond Gaertner (Cooper), 15' 55" 9, 90,386 km/h
2- Paul Swaelens (Cooper), 16' 20" (or 16' 30")
3- Ellis (Cooper), 19 laps
4- Brouir, 18 laps

Heat 2, 20 laps
1- Georges Dardenne (Cooper), 16' 07" 4
2- Edmond Borremans (Effyh), 16' 07" 6
3- Chapelle (Dyna Panhard)

Final, 25 laps = 30 km
1- Gaertner, 19' 49" (90.832 km/h)
2- Borremans, 20' 06"
3- Swaelens, 20' 37"
4- Ellis, + 1 laps

Fast lap- Gaertner, 45" (96 km/h)

DNF- Borremans (10 laps)

Starting grid order (Final), 8 starters
1- Gaertner, 2- Swalens, 3- Dardenne, 4- Borremans, 5- Chapelle, 6- Ellis, 7- Brouir, 8- Dujourie.

DNS (after practice)- André Milhoux.

That's the offical Racer 500 story in Belgium but there were also many pirate races, unrecognised by the authority, a lot of "races" or exhibitions on velodrome or short in the city tracks. In 1952 a driver called Albert Van Hove founded an organisation pompously called the International Racer 500 cc Club. Its's difficult to find information about those events because many decided to ignore those mockeries of races. Local organisers were a little bit duped by the IR500. In 1953, new names - in French Fédération Belge des Racers, FBR, in Dutch BRF - but same guys. And a Belgian Championship (of course unrecognised by the RACB).

They took part in 1952
Henri Banal (B), Paul Barris (F), Charles Bernard (F), Bernard Bertrand (F, Roubaix), Italo Bouscardo (I), Piera Bouscaro (I), Carl Budde (D), Calvanis, Coquard, Alphonse Crauwels (B), Henri Delhaes (B), Lambert Delhaes (B, Liège), Georges Delmez (Delmet, Delmée) (B), Aldo Dinale (I), Guy Duesberg (B), Harold Ellis (USA), Raymond Gaertner (B, Liège), Joseph Gerard (B), Ludwig Haucklandt (Hauchland) (Aut), Helmann, Walter Helmut (D), Gunther Hildebrandt (D, Bremen), Karl Hildebrandt (D), Henk Hoogland (NL), Lodewijck Hoogland (NL), Karl Koenn (D), Emiel Lambrechts (B, Herenthals), A. Lauwers (B), Walter Lauwers (B, Anvers), Eugène Lempereur (B, Liège), P. Longé (F), Ludwig (USA), Henri Massin (F), Georges Mathot (B, Herenthals), Basil Niell (GB), Walter Petz (D), Henri Remy (F or B), Georges Ronsse (B), Lambert Roufosse (F), Jeff Scherens (B, Leuven), Helmut Schoo (D, Bremen), Servais, Steve Stevenson (USA), Piet Van Amsterdam (NL), A. van Eenaeme (B), Raymond Van Hauw (B, Liège), Albert Van Hove (B, Herenthals), Van Iseghem (B), Fritz Van Mol (B, Aalst), Yvan Vandenbroeck (B, Liège), Willy Vroomen (NL), O. Willems (B, Herenthals)

They took part in 1953
Alloidach, Rob. Base, Bondwit, Edmond Borremans (B), Borremans (an other !), Brauwers, Daniel Coeckaert, Crauwels, Crockaerts, Albert Delaer, Guy Duesberg, Duvivier, Harold Ellis (USA), Norbert Feys, Filée (F), Fournier (F), Raymond Gaertner (B), Goffinet, Dr Louison Heymans (Hymans) (B), Julot Hollevoet (B, Ostende), Walter Lauwers, Lefrançais, G. Maria (I), Mathot, Fritz Mathot, Neys, Mario Orlando, Paffin, Pirotte (B, Liège), Quepatz, Lucien Quoidbach (B, Haccourt), Jim Reges (GB), Reves, Lambert Roufosse (F), Rozemayer (F), Jeff Scherens (B, Leuven), Helmut Schoo (D), Scotty, Seghers, Van Bilzen, Van den Broeck, Van der Pas, Van der Schelden, Van Giel, Raymond Van Hauw (B, Liège), Van Hilleen (D), Albert Van Hove (B, Herenthals), Van Iseghem, Fritz Van Mol, Vandenbroeck, Vander Plas, Vander Schelden, Verschelden, Willy Vroomen (NL), Josef Vroomen (NL), Jan Zeghers (B).

Those lists are probably incomplete.

#4 RAP

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 17:01

Marc and HiRich.
Thank you very much for such comprehensive information. I have sent you both a PM.

#5 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 20:10

Saint-Ghislain, 11 July 1954

Heat 1, 20 x 1.2 km = 24 km
1- Raymond Gaertner, 16' 01" (89.91 km/h)
2- Guy Duesberg, 16' 31" (87.134 km/h)
3- Neels, 17 laps
4- Chapelle, 16 laps
5- Carpentier, 14 laps
6- Dujourie, 14 laps

Fast lap- Neels, 46", 93.913 km/h

Heat 2, 20 laps
1- Georges Dardenne, 16' 08", 89.256 km/h
2- Crauwels, 16' 46" (86.799 km/h)
3- Bariat, 17' 06"
4- Paul Swaelens, 18 laps
5- Carpentier, 14 laps

FL- Dardenne & Swaelens, 47", 91.904 km/h

Consolante (for non direct qualified), 20 laps
1- Vroomen, 15' 48" (93;913 km/h)
2- Edmond Borremans
3- André Milhoux
4- Dujourie
5- Ch. Texidor

Final, 25 laps = 30 km
1- G. Dardenne
2- E. Borremans
3- Crauwels
4- Vroomen
5- Bariat
6- Gaertner
7- Duesberg, 23 laps

Event organised by the ABR and benefit for local charity.

Same period, 2 race meeting organised by the pirat organisation FBR (Fédération Belge des Racers). Informations taken from local newspapers La Gazette du Centre (La Louvière) + La Province (Mons).

13 June 1954, Charleroi
rain, 2 pictures in La Gazette du Centre (start + local driver André Bariat)

Heat 1
1- Van Feys (FB Jap)
2- Delarge
3- Gil Vanisi (BMW)*
4- André Baria (from Couillet, near Charleroi) (JBS)
5- Jean Swennen (DP)

Heat 2
1- Raymond Van Hauw (Champion of Belgium) (DB)
2- Van Feys (FB Jap)
3- Eric Von Paffen (DP)
4- Jean Swennen (DP)
5- Gil Vanisi (BMW)*
6- Helmut von Drosbeck (BMW)*

Overall results
1- Von Feys
2- Van Hauw
3- Vanisi
4ex Delarge, Swennen & Von Paffen
7- Bariat
8- Von Drosbeck

* = sic !

Braine-Le-Comte, 27 June

Heat 1
1- Raymond Van Hauw, 11' 25"
2- André Bariat
3- Pierre Bastien
4- Henri Bossaert
5- Norbert Standaert Van Feys
6- Dole Swennen
7- Fournier
8- Helmut von Droesbeck
9- Douglas Goman

Heat 2
1- Raymond Van Hauw, 11' 15"
2- André Bariat
3- Swennen
4- Bossaert
5- Bastien

Overall results
1- Van Hauw, 16 points
2- Bariat, 14 points
3ex Bastien & Bossaert, 10 points
5- Swennen, 9 points
6- Von Droesbek, 6 points
7- Standaert van Feys, 5 points
8- Fournier
9ex Gomand, Forholly & von Paffen.

#6 Bonde

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 20:53

Somewhat OT, but I've long wondered why French speaking countries adopted the very English sounding "Racer 500" to denote 500cc cars, which quite early on became international F3. I'm sure they coined the phrase prior to the adoption of 500cc cars for international F3, but I still find it somewhat surprising. But perhaps I shouldn't be in Scandinavia, or Denmark at least, we called them "Midgets", IIRC even after F3 was introduced.

If only I'd been born earlier (all else being equal!), I would have loved to have been part of the 500cc (F3) movement - it must have been an incredibly exiting time for the "impecunious driver-constructor" even though Coopers soon pretty much cleaned up...

#7 HiRich

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 13:10

On the former, that's a good point. i can't turn up any obvious reason.

on the latter, you still can. There is a small bunch of midget racers, who are always welcome guests whenever the 500s are at Goodwood. But be warned, they are slightly mad, in the way only retired Vikings can be!