Reims-Gueux was a historic motor racing circuit located in the Champagne region of France. It was situated approximately 10 kilometers west of the city of Reims and was operational from 1926 to 1972. The circuit was known for hosting the Formula One French Grand Prix on 14 occasions, as well as numerous other major motor racing events.
The circuit was initially built in 1926 as a high-speed triangular circuit that was used for various types of motorsports. The original track layout was around 7.8 kilometers long and consisted of three long straights connected by tight hairpin corners. The track surface was made of concrete, which made it extremely durable and long-lasting. In 1938, a new section of the circuit was added, bringing the total length of the track up to 8.3 kilometers.
Reims-Gueux was a very fast circuit, and it was known for its long straights, which allowed drivers to reach incredibly high speeds. One of the most famous corners on the track was the Thillois hairpin, which was a very tight right-hand corner that required drivers to brake heavily before turning in. The Thillois hairpin was also the site of numerous crashes throughout the years, as drivers often misjudged their braking points and collided with each other.
The circuit was popular with drivers and fans alike, and it was known for its excellent facilities and large spectator capacity. The grandstands at Reims-Gueux could accommodate up to 100,000 spectators, which made it one of the largest motorsports venues in Europe at the time.
The circuit’s most famous event was undoubtedly the French Grand Prix, which was first held at Reims-Gueux in 1938. Over the years, the race became one of the most important events on the motorsports calendar, and it attracted some of the biggest names in the sport. Reims-Gueux was also a popular venue for endurance racing, and it hosted the 12 Hours of Reims, which was a major event on the sports car racing calendar.
Despite its popularity, Reims-Gueux was not without its problems. The circuit’s high-speed nature meant that it was inherently dangerous, and numerous drivers were killed or injured while racing at the track. The circuit was also located in a heavily populated area, which meant that noise complaints from local residents were a constant issue.
In the late 1960s, the French government began to clamp down on motorsports events held on public roads, and Reims-Gueux was one of the circuits that was targeted. In 1972, the circuit held its final race, and it was subsequently abandoned. Today, the site of the former track is largely overgrown, and the only remaining evidence of the circuit is a few sections of the track surface and some of the original grandstands.
Despite its relatively short lifespan, Reims-Gueux is still remembered fondly by motorsports fans around the world. The circuit was one of the fastest and most challenging on the calendar, and it played host to some of the greatest races and drivers in the sport’s history. Today, it is a reminder of a bygone era of motorsports, when danger and excitement were an integral part of the sport.