Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry

Autodrome de Montlhéry (established 4 October 1924) is a motor racing circuit, officially called L’autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, owned by Utac, located south-west of the small town of Montlhéry about thirty km (19 mi) south of Paris.

Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry
Map of the speed ring of the autodrome.
LocationMontlhéry, France
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
Opened4 October 1924
Major events1000 km of Paris
(Intermittently 1956–1995)
French Grand Prix
(1925, 1927, 1931, 1933-1937)
FIM EWC (1960, 1963, 1970)
Oval Circuit
Length2.548 km (1.584 miles)
Banking52° (maximal value in corners)
Full Circuit
Length12.500 km (7.767 miles)
Circuit 1
Length3.405 km (2.116 miles)
Race lap record1:21.990 (France Bob Wollek, Porsche 911 Bi-Turbo, 1995, GT1)
Circuit 2
Length5.000 km (3.107 miles)
Circuit 3
Length6.283 km (3.905 miles)
Circuit 4
Length7.784 km (4.837 miles)
Circuit Routier 1
Length7.500 km (4.660 miles)
Circuit Routier 2
Length9.181 km (5.705 miles)
Circuit Routier
Length6.530 km (4.058 miles)


L’autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry year 1923

Industrialist Alexandre Lamblin hired René Jamin to design the 2.548 km (1.583 mi) oval shaped track for up to 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) vehicles at 220 km/h (140 mph). It was initially called Autodrome parisien, and had especially high banking. A road circuit was added in 1925.

The first race there, the 1925 French Grand Prix, was held on 26 July 1925 and organised by The Automobile Club de France Grand Prix. It was a race in which Robert Benoist in a Delage won; Antonio Ascari died in an Alfa Romeo P2. The Grand Prix revisited the track in 1927 and each year between 1931 and 1937.

In 1939 the track was sold to the government, deprived of maintenance, and again sold to Union technique de l’automobile et du cycle (UTAC) in December 1946.

The last certification for racing was gained in 2001.

Motorcar racesEdit

Map of the entire autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry.

The first race, the 1925 French Grand Prix, was held on 26 July 1925 and organised by the Automobile Club de France. Robert Benoist in a Delage won; but Antonio Ascari died in a crash of his Alfa Romeo P2.

In July 1926 Violette Cordery lead a team that averaged 113.8 km/h (70.7 mph) for 8,047 km (5,000 miles) driving an Invicta, and became the first woman to be awarded the Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club.[1]

The Grand Prix revisited the track in 1927.

In 1929, Hellé Nice drove an Oméga-Six to victory in the all-female Grand Prix of the third Journée Feminine at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry.[2]

The Grand Prix revisited the track each year between 1931 and 1937.

The "Coupe du Salon", "Grand Prix de l'Age d'Or" and the "1000 km" were arranged irregularly since then, as the track has had several high-speed problems.

Motorcycle racesEdit

The Grand Prix de France (UMF French Federation) was organized in Linas-Montlhéry in 1925, 1931, 1935 and 1937 with the best worldwide racers.

A competitor Grand Prix de France (MCF Club) was also organized from 1924 to 1937 with the best French and British racers.

The Bol d'or, the well-known French motorcycle endurance race of 24 hours, was held in Linas-Montlhéry before the Second War from 1937 to 1939, and after the Second War in 1949, in 1950, from 1952 to 1960, in 1969 and in 1970. British motorcycles were victorious usually from 1931 to 1959, (Velocette, Norton or Triumph); American Harley-Davidson, French Motobécane, German BMW, Italian Moto Guzzi, Austrian Puch and Czechoslovakian Jawa won only once. A legendary French racer, Gustave Lefèvre (Norton Manx) is always the record holder with 7 victories despite riding alone during 24 hours : his average speed was 107 kilometres per hour (66 mph) in 1953. The year after, two riders were allowed. In 1969, a Japanese bike, Honda Four, wins for the first time. In 1970, a British one, Triumph Trident, wins for the last time.[3]

Another race open the year in France, the Côte Lapize, climbing around the hill of Saint-Eutrope : the new engines confidentially prepared during the winter months were shown. In early 1950s, Pierre Monneret riding the famous Gilera Four, 500 cc, sent by the official Italian team, was one of them.

Some races were open to production motorcycles like the Coupe du Salon (morning for motorcycles, afternoon for motorcars) or the Coupes Eugène Mauve.

Fatal accidents at Autodrome de Montlhéry include Benoît Nicolas Musy (1956), and the one in which Peter Lindner, Franco Patria and three flag marshals died in 1964.

Other eventsEdit

In 1933 the circuit hosted the UCI Road World Championships for cycling.

In 2010 the Speed Ring played host to Ken Block's Gymkhana Three video, an advertisement for his company, DC Shoes.[4]

Layout configurationsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • William Boddy, Montlhéry, the story of the Paris autodrome ISBN 1-84584-052-6


External linksEdit