Oct 26 2010

Q & A with an Expert: The Facts on Vanderbilt Cup Race Winner Victor Hémery

Author and artist Jean-Yves Lassaux of Paris France is currently writing a biography on Victor Hemery, winner of the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The creator of the new VanderbiltCupRaces.com banner has provided these facts on life and racing career of Hemery.

Question: Where was Victor Hémery born?

Jean-Yves: Contrary to what we can read almost everywhere on the web, Victor wasn't born in Brest! (don't believe wikipedia) He was born in Sillé-le-Guillaume, a small town in La Sarthe, about 22 miles northwest from Le Mans, in November 18, 1876 at 9 am.

Question: Prior to winning the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race, what were Hémery's racing accomplishments?

Jean-Yves: His first appearance in motor racing was in the "Circuit du Nord" (Paris/Arras/Paris) held on May 15, 1902. His first significant result was 8th overall in Paris/Vienne (June 26 to 29, 1902). His first participation in the "Circuit des Ardennes" (Belgium) was in June 1903.

Question: Was Hémery suspended for a year after winning the Vanderbilt Cup Race?

Jean-Yves: In fact, Italian Automobile Club ask for a suspension for one year after being insulted by Hémery, but after negotiations with the ACF (Automobile Club de France) and official apologies from Hémery the suspension was removed. Otherwise he could not set the record at La Crau in December 1905 and take part in Ormond, GP de l'ACF and Circuit des Ardennes in 1906!

Question: What happened to Hémery after his racing career ended?

Jean-Yves: At the end of his life he was a driving license inspector for the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest). He also drove an "official service car" in the first 24 hours of Le Mans in May 1923, and was at the side of Charles Faroux to wave the starting flag of the 1931 Le Mans race. Forgotten and living in poor conditions, he committed suicide at the age of 73 in September 8, 1950 at 8 pm in Le Mans.

Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com

Index: 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race


Oct 31 2010 Dennis Mamchur 10:22 PM

Great!  I wish I was there. I was honored when Janet Guthrey presented me with a 1st place award at the 2009 Eastern Concours with my 1935 Triumph Southern Cross.  It was indeed a thrill.  Thank you for all the work you do in keeping the Vanderbilt Club Races alive.  Dennis Mamchur

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