1908 French GP Preparations

The attached articles from the Indianapolis Star published in June and July 1908 disuss preparations for the upoming French Grand Prix, the first Grand Prix auto race - the inaugral event occurring in 1906. The motor racing world still revovled around France in 1908 and this event was far and away the most important auto race on Earth. Despite the success of the Thomas car in the New York-to-Paris endurance run that same year American automobiles were still behind the curve when compared to those produced in France, Germany and Italy.
The atricle in attachment FrenchGP062808 discusses practice for the event with top drivers Vincenzo Lancia, Felice Nazzaro, Louis Wagner, Ferenc Szisz, Henri Cissac, Henri Farman and George Heath mentioned as already having been on the course weeks prior to the race. American Lewis Strang, in the middle of the best year of his career was entered in a Thomas. Keep in mind the race did not run until July 7 so there was still well more than a week of practice and preparation left.
As a side note the ongoing feud between the Automobile Club of America (ACA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) referenced even though those clubs are not named. The ACA, which sanctioned the American Grand Prize and the AAA, which sanctioned the Vanderbilt Cup are mentioned in the context of the entries they were attacting - the European cars in the Grand Prize, the American cars in the Vanderbilt Cup. This feud between the two clubs proved to be one the biggest if not biggest auto racing stories of the year. The two organizations resolved their differences but the Vanderbilt Cup was forever reduced in stature.
The article in attachment French070508i was published in the Indianapolis Star just days before the July 7 Grand Prix. While the article mentions Renault and Brasier as the favorites along with Benz, the main focus of this brief item are the results of a Voiturettes race (light cars) in which Albert Guyot won the contest going away. Note that 1916 Indianapolis 500 (Ok, 300 miles) winner Dario Resta placed third.
Also published on July 5, 1908 the aritlce in attachment FrenchGP070508 returns focus to the main event. The American fortunes are discussed. Note that Montague Roberts who did much of the driving for Thomas on the American roads of the New York-to-Paris race accompanied Lewis Strang on the adventure to France. Access to the course was apparently limited in the closing days before the race as the article reports that tar was being applied, obviously with the goal of improving the running surface. Harry Houpt also traveled with the American Thomas team, whose car is reportedly a stock machine pitted against purpose-built European racing equipment.

FrenchGP062808.pdf619.62 KB
FrenchGP070508i.pdf300.64 KB
FrenchGP070508.pdf262.45 KB