The circuit of Reims-Gueux, also known as the Reims circuit, was a Grand Prix motor racing road course with triangular layout located about 5 km west of Reims between the villages of Thillois and Gueux.

Gueux certainly tells you nothing. Yet, in the middle of the 20th century, it was a famous place, the place to be. While the legendary Stade de Reims is just a stone’s throw away, the circuit of Reims-Gueux sees the world’s greatest riders compete against each other: Fangio, Hawthorn, Brooks, Brabham, Chiron, Wimille, Trintignant, Ligier and others mark their imprint this circuit, inaugurated in 1926.

The preliminary circuit length of 7,816 km covered two departmental roads and a section of the public road 31. The first Formula 1 Grand Prix (1950 to 1966), the Grand Prix de la Marne, the 12 Hours of Reims, considered as the revenge of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This circuit, which takes public roads, is then a reference, one of the fastest in the world as Monza or Spa.

In 1969, final sports car competitions were held and Motorcycle racing continued for another 3 years. The following is less glorious. The places become a huge open-air wasteland in the middle of which motorists always pass. The scene is surprising. In the Marne, a few hundred yards after the exit of Gueux, it is not vineyards which line the road, as often on these lands of champagne. Instead, on the right, you can see an immense grizzly grandstand, to which is in the left another long building, whose pediments display gleaming “Jaguar”, “Elf”, “BP”, “The Union” Or “The Team” …

In 2004, locals responded and reacted because they were conscious of possessing an original heritage. The volunteers then set to work: clearing the garbage and then starting to repaint the wall signs that line the circuit … which finds a bit of going, to the point of being registered with the Historical Monuments!

In 2016, if the huge platform is still forbidden to the public, several infrastructures have been renovated. On Sunday, September 18th, they celebrated both the 90th anniversary of the circuit, the 50th anniversary of Jack Brabham’s victory and the 40th anniversary of the Renault 5 Alpine. These events attract sports car enthusiasts, the British.

Gerry McGovern Gentlemen Drivers Magazine


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