Racing Drivers

Victor Hemery

April 15, 2013

Victor HemeryVictor Hemery was born in France on 18 November 1876. He joined Automobiles Darracq as a test driver and mechanic in the early 1900’s.

Victor Hemery was a successful racer in the early days of Grand Prix racing. In 1905 he won the Vanderbilt Cup Race driving Darracq. That same year he set a new land speed record of 176,46 km/h (109.65 mph) on 30 December 1905 at Arles, France driving a Darracq.

In 1907 Victor Hemery joined the Benz & Cie. as a racing driver. In 1908 he drove Benz to victory in St Petersburg-Moscow race, and finished second at the French Grand Prix. In 1909 at a sprint race in Brussels, Victor Hemery totally outclassed the competition by driving a new 200-hp Benz race car, which was later known as the “Blitzen-Benz”.

On 8 November 1909, Victor Hemery looked to exceed 200 km/h on the track at Brooklands driving the Blitzen-Benz. A speed of 202.648 km/h was recorded for the kilometre, and he even reached 205.666 km/h over the half-mile, from flying starts in both cases. He covered the one kilometre distance from a standing start in 31.326 seconds, the half mile in 25.566 seconds and the mile in 41.268 seconds. This was the first time that the 200 km/h mark had been broken in Europe.

Driving with Fiat, Victor Hemery won the French Grand Prix in 1911. However, this was his last big victory. Later years he tried to make a comeback but without success. Victor Hemery died on September 9, 1950 at the age of 73.

Blitzen-Benz record runs on the Brooklands circuit, 8 November 1909