|Birth: ||Mar. 7, 1886|
Departement de la Dordogne
|Death: ||Sep. 23, 1975|
City of Paris
French motor racing champion and pioneer aviator. A leading driver in his native France, René Thomas traveled to the United States to compete in the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions. He won the prestigious race on his first try in 1914 driving a Delage, leading 102 of the 200 laps.
Beginning around 1910, Thomas also flew airplanes for the Antoinette company. He competed in early aviation competitions throughout Europe, and was involved in the world's first mid-air collision during an air meet in Milan Italy on October 2, 1910 when his Antoinette monoplane rammed onto the Farman biplane of England's Captain Bertram Dickson. Thomas miraculously wasn't seriously injured, and Dickson survived the crash but didn't fully recover from internal injuries which led to his early death in 1913.
Thomas returned to America to compete in three more Indy 500 races, finishing second in 1920 behind Gaston Chevrolet.
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Created by: Chuck X
Record added: Dec 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82326442
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