Featured: No Pretense, Just Hard-Core Classic Racing

No Pretense, Just Hard-Core Classic Racing

By Petrolicious Productions
October 14, 2014
11 comments

Photography by Rémi Dargegen

The Dix Mille Tours is the last large event of the classic car racing season in Europe and features six grids: Trofeo Nastro Rosso, U2TC (Under 2.0L Touring Cars), Group C, CER 1 & 2 (Classic Endurance Racing), and the new Heritage Touring Cup class. It takes place at the Circuit du Castellet HTTT (High-Tech Test Track), which is a very fast track featuring the Mistral straight that measures 1.8km long. A thoroughly modern track, it is mainly used for some Formula One and endurance testing.

And if you’ve never heard of it, don’t be surprised as it’s more of a hard core vintage racing event than track parade and social scene. There are very few spectators, and nearly all the people around the track are the drivers and their crews. It’s a completely different type of event, as if people from the south of France weren’t addicted to classic cars and racing.

There were serious on-track battles during each race, and in nearly all of them the race winner would also determine the season’s series winner. The 1960s race was just amazing, with eighty cars lined up at the start of this two-hour race featuring the largest grid of the season for its class. It was a great race but the favorites didn’t win. Instead three Shelby Cobras were on the podium. The other highlight of the weekend was the Heritage Touring Cup, which made its debut at the Spa Classic. And once again, this event had the most entrants for any location this season, as well as some serious, close racing on the track. The first and second place finishers really fought it out on the track and their cars bore the scars to prove it.

There are some excellent prospects for this class, as more and more drivers are entering the series with some really legendary rides like the the BMW M635 CSi and 3.0 CSL, Rover Vitesse, and Ford Capri. Alas, it is the end of the season, but with such grids and battles, we’re really looking forward to next season beginning with the Tour Auto in April!

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Baragatti
Baragatti
7 years ago

I was there and for those who criticise it is real racing. I saw a ferrari 512S crash, a lola and some other.
You can see my photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/117860946@N06/sets/72157648089199677/
PS: I meet Rémi at the snack stand. pretty nice person! and I don’t have picture of the crashed ferrari since they took it out under cloth.

Stephen DeOreo
Stephen DeOreo
7 years ago
Reply to  Baragatti

Baragatti- Those are some great photos!!

Baragatti
Baragatti
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephen DeOreo

Thanks!

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

Matthew Lange ;

An excellent question/point about my criticism of Classic racing in general . Here’s my short response ;

There is a massive difference in ‘ exercising ‘ classic racing cars … and pretending to actually be ‘ racing ‘ them . The one .. I’m all for .. the other .. well obviously I am not . As to the level of drivers involved . Yes … some serious drivers are entered by the cars owners .. for an even more serious price tag I might add . Thing is … that is part in parcel of the Smoke & Mirrors/Propaganda said owners and series/tracks are trying to convey in order to separate the fan from his/her money under false pretenses .

I mean seriously Mr Lange . Do you for a moment think anyone would spend their hard earned money to watch people ‘ exercise ‘ their classic cars on track ? Of course not . Advertise it as ‘ racing ‘ though .. perpetuate the myth thru the media etc and watch the spectators show up in drovers

Auto Reverse
7 years ago

It was a great event! 70 cars only for the 60’s endurance race.

Few more pics here:
http://www.auto-reverse.com/evenement-les-10-000-tours-du-castellet/

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

Oops .. now the system is doubling down on me today . Apologies if I in any way caused this Petro Crew … and feel free to take down one of them .

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

I’ll believe it [ isn’t pretense ] only after seeing and experiencing it for myself . Otherwise I’ll hold true to the reality that ALL Classic ‘ racing ‘ is in fact an ego driven exercise in pretense and deception designed to separate the spectator from his/her money as well as allowing the participants to convince themselves they are in fact racing .. as well as being genuine ‘ racers ‘

Honestly .. the only classic racing series I personally know of worldwide that isn’t pretense taken to the max … is in fact the Classic Rally series being run by Reinhard Klein & Co . Now those folks … get it on ! The resultant damages after any given event being a testament as to how hard they really are … ‘ racing ‘

But errr .. nice post and photos regardless …….. 😉

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
7 years ago
Reply to  TJ Martin

I wasn’t at this particular event so I can’t say if this was real racing or just pretence as you describe it but I have been to other events in the same series. From this I can say that historic racing in Europe is a much more serious affair than the events I have been too in the States at Monterey. Certainly some of these cars will have been driven by pro and semi-pro racing drivers, who also compete in events like the Nurburging 24 hours and that little club event at Le Mans in June. For example this is Al Buncombe pushing the ex Fangio C Type Jag at the Monaco historic earlier in the year. When he’s not racing the Jag, Al races for Nissan in GT racing and at the recent Bathhurst 1000 in Australia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGVDkrVXoz4

As to the comment that it is designed to separate spectators from his or her money of course it is the same goes for any other sporting spectator event. If the spectators didn’t enjoy it the chances are they won’t come again.

I find your general criticism strange, in the fact that many of these cars cannot be exercised anywhere other than on the track so what is the problem with them being used as they are intended?

TJ Martin
TJ Martin
7 years ago

I’ll believe it [ isn’t pretense ] only after seeing and experiencing it for myself . Otherwise I’ll hold true to the reality that ALL Classic ‘ racing ‘ is in fact an ego driven exercise in pretense and deception designed to separate the spectator from his/her money as well as allowing the participants to convince themselves they are in fact racing .. as well as being genuine ‘ racers ‘

Honestly .. the only classic racing series I personally know of worldwide that isn’t pretense taken to the max … is in fact the Classic Rally series being run by Reinhard Klein & Co . Now those folks … get it on ! The resultant damages after any given event being a testament as to how hard they really are … ‘ racing ‘

But errr .. nice post and photos regardless …….. 😉

Alvaro de Garay
Alvaro de Garay
7 years ago

Great pics!!!

Ryan Weaver
Ryan Weaver
7 years ago

See, after being disappointed by the Ferrari Birthday Party article & photoset, I’m more than impressed by these. Great photos.