Via five stages between Paris and Nice, the Tour Auto competitors did not amuse the ground. To the great happiness of an always passionate audience.
This thirtieth edition of the famous Tour Auto, initiated by the visionary Patrick Peter, was held at the beginning of September, with more flexibility than the 2020 edition, then in full health turmoil. The 222 crews gathered for the first time at the Grand Palais Éphémère, on the Champs-de-Mars in Paris, the Grand Palais being refurbished. After administrative checks and technical, a first link leads them to the Château de Courances, the official starting point of the rally. The participants are divided into two main categories: regularity and competition. If the objective of the former is to manage hourly averages on road specials and on the circuit (a difficult task if there is one), that of the latter is to highlight the full potential of their racing cars, equipped, between others, safety hoops. At this little game, it was the Christophe Van Riet and Éric Werner crew, on Shelby Cobra 289, who won on arrival in Nice, on the Promenade des Anglais. In the regularity category, the victory goes to Marc and Thomas Jay, in Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF. Note, still in regularity, the superb second place of our colleague Mélina Priam and her co-driver Anne-Chantal Pauwels (former co-driver of François Delecour), on an Opel GT of exemplary reliability.
But the real star of this edition is the Matra MS 650, which reached the finish without a hitch. This model, victorious in the Tour de France automobile in 1970 and 1971, delighted spectators with the vocalizations of its 470 hp V12. Initially intended for endurance racing, this tray has proven to be much more at ease on the tracks than during specials on closed roads, where its large tires and reduced ground clearance have handicapped it. Hats off to his pilot, Mr John Of B., for sharing this extraordinary adventure with us, and to the organizers for having obtained the necessary exemptions to allow this marvel to drive on an open road. Because that’s the Tour Auto. To vibrate, to the rhythm of mechanical watches, the regions crossed and the hearts of the public, which proves, by its presence, its attraction for the old car, in a period when the modern automobile and its prospects arouse less optimism.