Petr Nikolaevich Belyaev died
On January 15th, 1923…
… died Petr Nikolaevich Belyaev, the winner of the first “race of motors” in the history of Russian motor racing, which took place in 1898 on the route Aleksandrovo – Strelna – Aleksandrovo.
A successful merchant, a hereditary resident of Saint Petersburg and afterwards his honorary citizen, one of the pioneers of automobile, motorcycle and water motor sports in Russia, a race car driver and public activist Petr Belyaev was born in 1867 (the exact date is unfortunately unknown). At the turn of the century he became passionately keen on the new infatuation of that time – automobiles, or motors, as they were called then, all the more that the personal income allowed that quite well. And namely Belyaev became the winner of the first motor race in the history of Russia in 1898, to the organization of which he was related, by running 39 versts of the distance in a little more than an hour and a half on his “Clement” tricycle equipped with the De Dion-Bouton 1.75 hp petrol engine.
Belyaev continued to participate in automobile competitions – in particular, the information is available that he won (driving Vivinus) the first Russian speed hill climb that was held on July 15th, 1900 near Krasnoe Selo, but, for example, according to the reports of “Peterburgskaya gazeta” (Petersburg newspaper), which covered this race, his time was not the fastest one. Besides, Petr Belyaev driving 16-hp Richard-Brasier has set the best time in the record runs in the vicinity of Saint Petersburg organized by the Saint Petersburg automobile club on July 30th, 1905.
Belyaev was performing in the series of major competitions on the motorboats, which he usually designed by himself. In 1907 he won the first place in the race of motorboats for the prizes of His Emperor’s Highness Grand Duke Aleksandr Mikhailovich and the Naval department, donating afterwards the won cup for the participants of the competitions of motorboats during the first international automobile exhibition in Saint Petersburg in the same year.
But a far greater result was achieved by Belyaev not as a driver but as an organizer. In 1902 he founded the Saint Petersburg automobile club (SPAC) with a group of supporters, where he obtained an honorary membership in 1905 and consequently was a head from 1907 to 1912. The Leningrad automobile and motored vehicle club became the successor of SPAC in the soviet years. Belyaev also was among the creators of the Russian automobile society, founded in 1903 (from 1909 – the Emperor’s Russian automobile society, ERAS, and from March 1917 – the All-Russian Automobile Society, ARAS). From 1904 Petr Nikolaevich Belyaev has become the valid member of the Committee and the chairman of the Joint racing commission of this society, occupying the position of the one of vice-presidents in ERAS and ARAS subsequently.
In 1907 Petr Nikolaevich Belyaev organized the international race Saint Petersburg – Moscow, and also was one of the main organizers of the Saint Petersburg – Riga – Saint Petersburg Trial in 1909 and the consequent trials for the Emperor’s prize on different routes at the territory of south and west of the European part of the Russian Empire of 1910-1912. By the efforts of Belyaev the race on the route Aleksandrovo – Strelna – Aleksandrovo was revived – in 1904 he established the cup after his name and was personally handing it to the winners of this race, which was held annually in 1905-1908. Belyaev also participated in the organization of the International automobile exhibition in Saint Petersburg in 1907, 1908, 1910 and 1913.
Apart from the automobile interests, P.N. Belyaev did not forget about the commercial and other public affairs. He was the director of the board of the Nevskiy steamboat Limited and the Successors of Piotr Belyaev Limited, a homeowner, the headman of the church of The Holiest Mother of God and the member of the Emperor’s Saint Petersburg society “Trotting races”.
According to the data on 13.08.1912 Belyaev owned the following automobiles (license plate number in the brackets): “Fiat” (27), “Panhard-Levassor” (28), “Brazier” (1001), registered at the address: Saint Petersburg, 15 Smolninsky avenue.
After the October revolution of 1917 the further destiny Petr Nikolaevich Belyaev is unknown, presumably he emigrated to Italy, where he dies in 1923.