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Paul Baras was the son of an engineer who had been a professional bicycle racer since 1893. He and won the 1899 Paris-Boulogne race on a Darracq quadricycle and was soon racing that company’s cars.
Car racing success
He won the voiturette class at the 1901 La Turbie hillclimb on The Riviera – the first of a number of minor victories in those pioneering days. His successes included leading all-the-way in the light car race at Ardennes in 1903 and establishing a new Land Speed Record of 104.53mph at Ostend a year later.
Grand Prix pioneer for Brasier
Having represented Darracq throughout his career to date, Baras switched to Automobiles Brasier for the inaugural French Grand Prix in 1906. His Brasier 105hp led after the first 64-mile lap and finished that historic race in seventh position after numerous and slow tyre changes blunted his challenge.
He was successful again in 1907 – finishing third in the French GP when the race was run outside Dieppe. A third and final appearance in the GP ended in engine failure in 1908. Baras stopped racing after the birth of his second son and some pressure from his wife. He continued to be involved in French cycle racing and ran a garage business into the 1930s.