Even the Mistral didn’t really perturb the final round of the Peter Auto 2017 historic racing season. In fact, it’s an appropriate symbol for a branch of motor sport that is enjoying a boom at the moment.
The wind was blowing hard at Sunday, on the Le Castellet plateau obliging the organisers to take immediate action and dismantle the tents that normally shelter the cars racing in Peter Auto meetings. But it wasn’t a problem as the latter didn’t really need a roof because the three-day meeting bathed in glorious sunlight. In the paddock fans were able to run shoulders with a few stars like Laury Thilleman (Miss France 2011), Emanuele Pirro and Derek Bell (5-time winners of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Seven grids provided the on-track spectacle with a total of 10 races and some amazing cars like the turbine-powered Howmet TX, the two Ferrari 250 LMs, a Porsche 917 K, the four Alfa Romeo 33s as well as the two Mercedes-Benz C11s. And that wasn’t all. Seven sessions for the clubs and first drives in manufacturer’s cars followed one another on the circuit providing spectators with the opportunity to feast their eyes on a selection of cars from the 1950s to the 2020s with a taste of what’s to come provided by the exceptional presence of the future Ford GT.
A roundup of the season
Thus, the 2017 season of the Peter Auto series ended on a high note this weekend. When the chequered flag fell at 17:45 on Sunday evening bringing down the curtain on the last race a feeling of general satisfaction invaded the whole paddock. In Spain, Hungary, Belgium, Italy and France, spectators and entrants alike enjoyed the six rounds on the calendar. Back in 1984 Patrick Peter already foresaw the growing enthusiasm for historic car racing when he had the brilliant idea of associating the competences of his agency with the organisation of the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or on the Montlhéry circuit. It’s come a long way since then! To achieve the success it enjoys today Peter Auto has never stopped working hard at improving the appeal of its events as proved by the introduction this year of single-seaters with the Euro F2 Classic, a big hit with spectators all over Europe. At present the grid consists of around a dozen regulars and it should continue to expand in 2018 like the Heritage Touring Cup. And what about Sixties’ Endurance launched at the first staging of the Dix Mille Tours in 2010. Seven years later there are more candidates than places available! The maximum number allowed, 83, was reached on Saturday evening in the two-hour race in which Shelby Cobras, E-Type Jaguars, Chevrolet Corvettes, Lotus Elans, Porsche 911s and other marvellous machines from the 60s did battle!