Unlike the last days the crews were not greeted by a nice sunrise as the morning was grey and the sun
barely made it through the clouds. Just like in the previous days (f.e. At La Baule) the route led back some of
the same roads that were taken yesterday in the afternoon as a very catchy bridge was passed again. The
regularity group was now leading the field as we headed east towards Duras. Further to the South-East we
passed a few of the typical alleys that could be found all over France with huge trees giving a nice tunnel to
drive through. After the lunch was taken in a chateau the second of the special stages was held and the
checkpoint was next to a bull arena showing that we are getting closer to the Spanish boarder and culture.
But the only bull seen during the Tour Auto was the sole Lamborghini Miura in the regularity class but this car
was not seen the whole day. Other cars only seem to take shortcuts to get to the lunch stop and the finish
line as they are rarely seen driving.
In the evening after the final race of this year we arrived at the Place de Verdun in Pau. Pau is prepared for the
Pau GP and so one could see several streets closed making the way through the city with all these one-way
streets even more difficult. Fortunately, the road book is pretty easy to read so this should not be a major
problem for the seasoned rally participant.
After the cars entered the park fermé the daily maintenance routine is started by the service teams. Every
evening they are timed for the time they spend on the car as to long repairs result in a time penalty. It is easy
to see that basically every competition car gets a thorough check through for the tires, brakes and
suspension whereas all the regularity cars are getting a rest after the driving day. Looking along the lines of
cars in the car park one could see a lot of bended fenders, most of them on one of the regularities. The latest
victim seems to be the yellow Ferrari Daytona Comp. that is said to have made a close contact with a wine
yard. It certainly needs a nose job in one of the known beauty clinics.
After the stroll through the paddock meeting happy and tired people the dinner or the way to the hotels was a
late one, even later for the mechanics still at the car. Although France is well known for its wine and certainly
some wine will be served at the dinner the favorite in the parc fermé is still beer, and not only among the
British mechanics who made it over.
Tomorrow will be the last day before the Tour Auto has another successful edition. We will be back for one
more day and certainly also for the next years.
Report & images ... Peter Singhof