... Galleries >>>
24 Paris Scutineering
After the extravagant excursion to the coastal line yesterday todays route was more back to normal with a
nice mix of narrow streets through the forest, in between hedges and rape fields as well as the faster
transitions on the motorway or the bigger country roads as just at the beginning of the day when the first
miles were taken by express. After the first visit at the sponsors Optic2000 shop the scenery became more
pleasant both for the drivers and the spectators. Although the enthusiasm certainly cannot match the one in
Italy in a few weeks during the Mille Miglia one could see a large number of visitors along the road, for some
reasons most of them in the roundabouts where the scenery might not be so great but the cars are slow
enough to be admired.
As todays visit to the race track was intended in the later afternoon this gave enough time for a separate
lunch stop in one of the chateaux along the road, one of the specialties’ of the Tour Auto for years and main
attraction for the visitors.
But despite the fact that one could enjoy the Tour Auto by just driving it one does not have to forget that most
of the entrants are seriously into the competition as one could see by the hordes of sprinters full of
mechanics and parts following the tour and the provisional service points along the road just before or soon
after every special stage, were tires are checked and made sure that not too much fuel load gives extra
weight. Whereas the regularity and less competitive competition drivers might purely go to a filling station the
more ambitious one work with care on every detail including the amount of fuel.
As the days before the main category in the competition class was dominated by the Ford GT40 of
Smith/Cottingham setting again the best time on all of todays timed trials enlarging the lead by another
minute after day 3 to the second placed Caron who fought his way back after the bad result in Le Mans on
day 1 taking over from previous winner Lajournande for the second place.
In the regularity class the pure Ferrari podium just lasted for one day as both the Argentinian Ferrari of Sucari
and Oxenford dropped back four places leaving the first 5 places in French hands with the Ferrari 250 GT
Lusso of Eric Hamoniau & Arnaud Dernoncour still leading.
Today will be a short night for the regularity class 1 as the order is changing traditionally after day 3 and so
the start at 6:30 is theirs although they just arrived in the dark at Limoges. Tomorrow’s leg will led towards
Toulouse and the circuit of Albi will be visited in the late afternoon.
Images … Peter Singhof