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24 Paris Scutineering
In the morning the three grids entered for the competition category were the first to tackle the La Sarthe stage
on cold damp tarmac starting with a twisty, relatively flat section followed by a fairly fast wide final run. British
crew Andrew Smith-James Cottingham in their Ford GT40 set the quickest time from the Shelby Cobra 289
driven by French duo Ludovic Caron-Denis Giraudet and Bertrand and Anne Penlae’s Porsche 911. Then
came the turn of the two regularity fields in which the most consistent was the Argentinean crew of Martin H.
Sucari-Francisco Sucari in their Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, winner of the 2016 Tour Auto.
After getting the adrenaline flowing in the first rally stage the drivers followed the liaison section to the Le
Mans Bugatti circuit where lunch awaited them followed by the first on-track jousts! In the VHC Competition
category Andrew Smith racked up another victory in his Ford from another GT40 driven by Olivier Ellerbrock
from Germany and Frédéric Jousset’s Shelby Cobra 289. These three crews currently fill the first three places
in the overall VHC classification. In the G1 and G2 categories, another GT40 in the hands of Philippe
Vandromme-Frédéric Vivier was the quickest, while the Ligier JS2 DFV of Mr. John of B-Sibel came first in the
H1, H2 and I classification. In the regularity section, Claudio and Arturo Scalise in their 2.7L Porsche 911 RS
topped the time sheets at the end of the first day’s racing.
Once the cars had been put to the test in the first circuit events in the 2017 Tour de France the entrants set
off again for Saint Malo. As the evening unfolded the majority of the cars passed under the finishing arch and
went to line up in the parc fermé where the expert hands of the mechanics got to work to repair the different
glitches they suffered along the way. However, a few crews had already been forced to retire.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, they will tackle the second leg measuring 540 km (Saint-Malo/Haute-Goulaine) with
three special stages on the programme and lunch in Port-Louis where the Team Gitana will put on an
off-shore demonstration in one of the Edmond de Rothschild yachts.
Images … Peter Singhof