Given the nascence of car manufacturing, not many people understood yet the inherent danger of traveling that fast in a wood and steel shell filled with explosives. All day, cars crashed into trees, burst into flames, careened into groups of spectators or just straight up disintegrated. Out of all the hundreds of racers that started, more than half crashed out in that first day, at least eight people died including one of the founders of Renault.
History of Renault Book
He is survived by his magnificent beard.
At Bordeaux, the French government made the first sensible decision of the day and forced the race to be abandoned. All the surviving cars were seized and taken back to Paris by train. In fact, the authorities didn't even allow the drivers to start their engines again; each car had to be towed to the train station by Bordeaux horses. The reason being, presumably, no one was certain that the vehicles wouldn't take the opportunity to cast off their human masters and resume killing everyone.