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Of Italian extraction, Albert Divo was a Grand Prix driver for a decade or more but was seldom the star. He came from a modest Parisian family and trained as an apprentice mechanic before World War I. Divo served as a pilot with the French Air Force during the conflict before returning to his trade once peace was restored.
Grand Prix winner for Sunbeam
That was with the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq concern and he was riding mechanic for René Thomas in 1919. When Thomas defected to Delage three years later, Divo was promoted to driver and finished second in voiturette races on the Isle of Man and at Le Mans during 1922.
The following season proved to be Divo’s breakthrough as a driver. He scored voiturette success at Le Mans (Coupe des Voiturettes) and Barcelona’s Villafranca circuit as well as making his GP debut for Sunbeam. Second behind team-mate Henry Segrave in the 1923 French GP, he won the Spanish GP at the end of the season.
Successful switch to Delage
Divo switched to Delage in 1924, joining veteran Thomas and emerging star Robert Benoist. He finished second in the French GP that year before winning the race in 1925. That success was marred by Antonio Ascari’s fatal accident that prompted Alfa Romeo to withdraw. Divo retired early on but later shared Benoist’s sister winning car. He was named French Champion for 1925. Alfa Romeo were absent from the final race of the year and Delage duly dominated the San Sebastian GP with Divo leading a 1-2-3 for the team with André Morel driving as his relief.
Divo drove a Talbot during 1926 and was second in the Junior Car Club 200 at Brooklands and won the GP du Salon at Montlhéry. He led the early laps of the 1927 French GP before retiring but returned to Delage to finish third in the British GP.
Final victories for Bugatti
Both Talbot and Delage withdrew from the sport at the end of the season so Divo drove Bugattis from 1928 to 1932. His T35 twice won the Targa Florio and he was regularly placed in GPs.
He retired at the end of 1932 but returned when France switched its major races to sports car rules in 1936. His best result of those twilight years was third in the 1937 French GP with a Talbot T150C. A founding member of the "Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix" in 1962, he died after suffering a stroke four years later.