Paul Bablot

Paul Bablot

20/11/1873 - 23/12/1932

Winner of the 1911 Coupe des Voiturettes at Boulogne and 1913 GP de France at Le Mans. Bablot competed at Indy in 1919.

Born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, France, Bablot was a pioneering driver in the early 1900s, and when Delage decided manufacture their own three litre four cylinder racing engine, Bablot went on to win the 1911 Coupe des Voiturettes at Boulogne and 1913 GP de France at Le Mans.

He raced at Indy in 1919 but crashed out.

He was not a great fan of riding mechanics and once said: "I would not to be racing mechanic for millions...Sharing the risk, having none of the glory, useless, powerless, the mechanic is merely a bundle carried around as a concession to an old practice...as he understands a good deal about the handling of a car and has no duties to keep him occupied, his mind is constantly fixed on the dangers of the next turn...when there was a time to change a valve and still win a race there was need for a mechanic, but his place nowadays is at the pit."

He later became a circuit designer being responsible for amongst other circuits, Miramas the one-time racing circuit southwest of Salon de Provence, shown on the Michelin maps as a Centre d'essais. It was built on the general lines of Indianapolis, although with much more gentle gradients on the banked corners.

It hosted the first Grand Prix of Provence in 1924 - that and the following year's race were won by Sir Henry Segrave in a Talbot, the second time at an average speed of over 80mph - and the bizarre French Grand Prix of 1926, when the entry list consisted of three Bugattis, one of which retired, with the winning car driven by Jules Goux finishing 15 laps ahead of the third, which was mercifully flagged in.

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