CIRCUITS: CLERMONT FERRAND
Name: Clermont Ferrand
The idea of circuit in the hills of the Auvergne had been looked at as early as 1908, but it was not until July 1958 that it became a reality. The result was a twisting, up and down track, winding without a discernible piece of straight, around the volcanic outcrops of the Puy de Charade and Puy de Gravenoire.
The Circuit Louis Rosier hosted the Trophee d'Auvergne races every year and in 1964 the main event was run for Formula 2 cars. The following year the Automobile Club de France agreed that the track should replace Reims as the venue for the 1965 French GP. Jim Clark led from start to finish. The World Championship did not return until 1969 and on that occasion it was Jackie Stewart in a Matra-Ford which dominated. The following year plans to hold a race in Albi flopped and so the event returned to Clermont and Jochen Rindt dominated 1970 French GP.
The track was improved to meet the new safety standards but there were serious problems with stones being thrown up by the cars. One hit Helmut Marko in the eye and blinded him.
Charade lost the Grand Prix, but continued to host races for the Trophees d'Auvergne. It closed finally in 1988 and a new shortened version of the track was built. It is still being used for French national events.