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24 Paris Scutineering
The itinerary, which is different every year as has been the case since the Tour Auto has been run as an event
for historic cars since 1992, will bring the entrants to Brittany for the first time with the end of the leg on
Tuesday evening on the Quai Saint Vincent in Saint-Malo. They will then head off to the Nantes region the
next day followed by Limoges on Thursday, Toulouse on Friday and the famous seaside resort Biarritz where
the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo will finish in the night of Saturday/Sunday.
Topping the bill of the 26th event are Ford GT40s, E-Type and MKII Jaguars, Ligier JS2s, Porsches, Shelby
Cobras and other jewels from the world of motor cars including representatives of the French makes that have
vanished and are being specially celebrated this year. Thus, almost 10 000 fans of historic vehicles came to
the Grand Palais to feast their eyes on this ephemeral museum comprising cars from Germany, the USA,
England, Italy and France all beautifully presented and lined up by make and by model.
They were also able to rub shoulders with some famous racing drivers like Englishman Derek Bell, 5-time
winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, who is driving a Porsche 911 RS 3.0L from 1975 in the Tour Auto, Michel
Périn, famous co-driver who won the 1986 Tour de France Automobile with François Chatriot, as well as two
French Rally titles and six in the Cross-country Rally World Championship. On the Tour, he will team up with
Nicolas Pagano in a 1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV. Scot Guy Berryman, bass player in the group Coldplay, is
taking part in this type of event for the first time in his Dino 246 GT with another musician, Australian Gleen
Moule, drummer of the group, Howling Bells. Actor Alexandre Brasseur (a worthy heir to his father Claude and
his grandfather Pierre) is back again at the start in an MKI Jaguar (1959) shared with Pierre Le
Gloahec-Henanff. Also racing are starred chefs Michel Chabran (BMW 1600 Ti), Michel Rostang (Lancia
Fulvia 1.6 L HF Fanalone) and Jean-Paul Lacombe (BMW 2002 TI), all Tour Auto regulars.
Today numerous events were shared between the crowd, the media and the partners of the event. Thus, at
12:00, on the BMW stand (official motor car partner) Vincent Salimon (Chairman of the Board of the BMW
Group France) presented the BMW M4 Magny-Cours Edition, BMW S1000 RR Magny-Cours Edition and the
BMW M1 entered in the Tour Auto in the presence of the road-closing drivers Ari Vatanen and François
Chatriot, respectively world and French rally champions. Patrick Peter, the organiser of the event, then
explained the main guidelines of the race and said that every year it has met with great success. Didier
Papaz (CEO Optic 2ooo) and Yves Guénin (Optic 2ooo general secretary) reminded everybody about the
partnership that has linked the leading optical network in France to the Tour Auto since 2009. Then it was the
turn of Pierre-Louis Le Faou (Président of Vicomte A.), the new official clothing supplier of the Tour, to unveil
the Trophy jacket awarded to each category winner of the 2016 event. Zenith, the official timekeeper of the
race for the last three years, presented the Chronomaster El Primero Open Tour Auto Edition watch in its
boutique. On the Gitana stand, Cyril Dardashti (general manager of the Gitana Team) and Sébastien Josse
(Edmond de Rothschild skipper) talked about the world of open sea racing and the numerous common points
linking its universe to that of motor racing. And finally at 14h00, Ferrari East West Europe & Africa, which has
chosen the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo as the first event in France to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the make,
unveiled as a premier to the French public, the Ferrari 812 Superfast. Alongside it the very exclusive LaFerrari
Aperta marking the start of the 70th anniversary was also the centre of attention.
The first day of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo closed with a “soirée” during which drivers, partners and well-known
figures got together to talk about their common passion for the motor car. This year Chantal Thomass, Jean
Todt, Jean-Pierre Pernaut, Thiago Motta, Toto Wolf and Eric Woerth were all present in the Grand Palais.
On Tuesday 25th April at 06:00 the drivers will leave this exceptional setting to go to the Château de Neuville,
the official starting point of the rally at 07:00. They will head for the first timed stage and then the Le Mans
Bugatti circuit for lunch after which they will go head-to-head on the track before setting out for Saint-Malo.
Images … Peter Singhof