The 240 cars in the Tour Auto 2ooo were on display again this year under the superb glass dome of the Grand Palais halfway between Les Invalides and the Champs-Elysées. Before roaring off along the roads of France the competitors went through scrutineering and administrative checks one by one. They made the final adjustments to their “bolides” and the public came to admire these exceptional machines with their meticulously polished bodywork. On Tuesday 30th April at first light the drivers will set off to tackle 2200 kilometres peppered with events on circuits and closed roads. The 28th Tour Auto 2ooo will again provide landscapes as beautiful as they are varied and exceptional fields of historic cars.
The first leg of the 2019 event will be run on Burgundian roads and will end in Dijon. The next day the second one will finish in the historic Rhône-Alpes region. Then it’s off to the Auvergne with a stopover in Vichy. The next challenge for the competitors will be crossing the Centre-Val de Loire region to the town centre in Tours. And finally, the last leg of the Tour Auto will bring the drivers to Deauville on the Normandy coast.
The 28th staging will highlight cars that have marked the history of the race: BMW, Ferrari, Ford GT40, E-Type Jaguar, Lancia Stratos, Ligier JS2, Porsche, Shelby Cobra and other exceptional models produced between 1949 and 1981. It will provide spectators with an opportunity to rediscover vanished English makes like AC Ace Bristol and AC Zephyr, Austin Healey 100/4 M, Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupé, Healey Silverstone, Jowett Jupiter, MGA Twincam, Morris Cooper S, Sunbeam Alpine, Triumph TR2 and TR3 that are honoured this year.
After the final battle on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit and two special stages the 28th Tour Auto Optic 2000 finished in Normandy. Raphaël Favaro and Yves Badan (Lotus Elan) win for the second consecutive year. Eric Hamoniau and Edouard Lotthe (Ferrari 250 GT Lusso) are first in Regularity.
In Deauville the competitors were eagerly awaited all evening to mark the end of a journey in which they covered 2280 km including almost 105 km on closed roads. This year the rally was only the Tour in name as it executed a loop round France. The field left Paris and crossed the east of France to the roads in the Rhone-Alpes region after which it went up to the mountains in Auvergne. Then came the Loire valleys followed by the finish in Normandy alternating seaside settings and green grassy fields and hedges. While strong emotions were in evidence as the drivers passed under the finishing arch they will all have precious memories of this adventure. And for some these will be tinged with the special flavour of victory!
Regularity VHC winner
1. Eric Hamoniau and Edouard Lotthe (Ferrari 250 GT Lusso de 1963)
2. Alejandro Oxenford and José Luis Celada (Ferrari 275 GTB de 1965)
3. Tomas Hinrichsen and Solange Mayo (Maserati 200 SI de 1957)
Competition VHC winner
1. Raphaël Favaro and Yves Badan (Lotus Elan 26R 1965)
2. Damien Kohler and Sylvie Laboisne (Lotus Elan 26R 1965)
3. Bertrand and Anne Penlae (Porsche 911 2,0 l 1965)
The spirit of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 again conquered a big crowd as proved by the number of spectators who flocked massively to the Grand Palais and the finish of the five legs. It was also the case on the Dijon-Prenois, Nevers Magny-Cours, Charade and Le Mans circuits as well as the 10 special stages run on closed roads.
The organiser, Peter Auto, would like to say a big thank you to its partners in particular for their unflagging support year after year, which helps to keep the Tour Auto, the oldest race in the world, alive. Also, a big thanks to all the media who help spread the ever-growing renown of the event and help listeners and readers and TV viewers to imagine themselves in the skin of competitors. Join us next year for the 29th event, which will, yet again, take you on a journey of discovery of the most beautiful roads of France!