French Tour Highlights Best of France and Classic Cars (1 of 2)
Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Petrolicious
The French Tour Auto began as a road race in 1899 when speeds where much, much lower and lawyers far less litigious. Sadly, it was discontinued, but revived twenty-three years ago as a vintage event featuring both race and regularity (TSD) formats. Spanning five days, it is a dream rally covering much of eastern France from Paris towards Germany, then south over the some of the Alps and down to the warm Mediterranean. With the majority of the time spent racing and driving on the most beautiful French country roads, some track sessions, and all of this, for only 250 eligible cars.
As it happened a few years ago around the Trocadero fountains, at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, the technical inspections now take place under the nave of the famous Grand Palais, on the Champs Elysées, were the International Paris Motorshow took place until 1962. While the first day is primarily spent on administrative necessities, the excitement is almost palpable as all the cars gather under the Grand Palais’s gleaming glass roof. This year, the rally wound its way through Burgundy, Alsace, the Alps, Dauphiné, and Cöte d’Azur finally terminating in Marseille, just along the sea! Everyone agreed on the quality of the roadbook: the trip was just amazing, with great views, wonderful landscapes, and incredible roads.
And the fight for first place was also amazing! In Competition, the famous Ludovic Caron was leading with his black Cobra until an off-road, which let some free space for Jean-Pierre Lajournade and his very efficient E-Type Coupe. But as he was leading on friday afternoon, he got a penalty, and Shaun Lynn and co-driver Kevin Kivlochan took the lead with their mean, historic Cobra. In the Regularity class, Georges-Henri Meylan and Julien Stervinou took first place with their Alpine A110 1600S, while teammates Pierre Le Gloahec-Henanff and Alexandre Brasseur won the Performance index in their wonderful Jaguar MkI.
The pictures speak volumes about the quality of the cars and route. In summary, we can only say we’re looking forward to 2015, the 24th edition of the Tour Auto, and spending one more incredible week!