Henri Cissac was born in Ivry-sur-Seine in France. He was racing cyclist before taking to motorised two wheel competition and winning the French Championship. He became the first Grand Prix fatality when he crashed in the first Grand Prix, the Grand Prix de l'ACF in Dieppe, France.
Henri Cissac was born in Ivry-sur-Seine in France. He started competing as a racing cyclist before taking to motorised two wheel competition and winning the French Championship.
He made the switch to four wheels in 1907 finishing 4th in the Coupe des Voiturettes driving an Alcyon. In January 1908 he finished second in the Corsa Vetturette Torino driving an Alcyon but in July in the first Grand Prix the Grand Prix de l'ACF he became the first Grand Prix driver to loose his life.
Panhard-Levassor had brought three cars to the race for Cissac, Henry Farman and Georges Heath. Before the race, Cissac said: “My Panhard is excellent and I am magic. It is perhaps a little slower than some of the other competitors, but its speed is so regular that the spectators will be able to adjust their watch by it. I do not think of stopping, except taking gasoline. I am certain to arrive and it is there that I will find you, on the finish line.” Alas it was not to be. Both he and Heath had tyre touble that delayed them and were back in 5th and 6th place. Then on the eighth lap, Cissac lost a tire which caught in the chain causing the accident which took his life and the life of his mechanic, Schaube.