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Aix-les-Bains, 18 April, 2012

The second leg of this year's Tour Auto led from Beaune to Aix-les-Bains.

The weather was quit cloudy in the morning with some drizzle on the first kilometers before the sun finally came out. The first stop in the morning was the race track in Bresse that was already part of the Tour Auto in recent years. This is a small winding track with no infield so the cars are driving on a huge grass field criss-cross.

After their races the classes headed to the lunch stop at the Chateau d´Epeyssolles with a beautiful small lake in front of the main building. After a few more miles along rape fields the landscape became rawer when the tour reached the mountains. In the afternoon the first special stage of the day was a hill climb but some competitors where not very happy with the start as they were lined up uphill giving the racing clutches and the handbrakes a big challenge before the actual start. When descending the hill on the other side one could still smell the clutches of some overstressed cars.

The finish in Aix-les-Bains was already in sight when the Tour turned once more to the mountains for another special stage late in the evening. The Col du Revard has an altitude of more than 1450 meter so it was no surprise to see snow up there as the last days were not very warm. Although the last cars arrived very late on top with the sun already down this was the highlight of the day giving the same impression as driving the Monte Terminillo during the Mille Miglia that usually also has snow even in May.

After another small loop the cars arrived at the parc fermé at the harbour of Aix-le-Bains. With the last cars finishing at 9:45 pm this will be again a short night as the next stage will start tomorrow at 6:30 am again the head from Aix-les-Bains to Clement-Ferrand with a total distance of 426 km. Part of the stage will be the circuit Charade, a very interesting hill circuit with a vintage flair that matches the cars. Also on the program will be another hill climb where the leading AC Cobra of Shaun Lynn/Kevin Kivlochan have to defend its lead in the field.

Report & images ... Peter Singhof ... www.ClassicCarPhotography.de