The second edition of the Dix Mille Tours du Castellet confirms the public’s interest in Peter Auto events and has become THE classic meeting of the South of France.
During the whole weekend, nearly 10 000 spectators appreciated the unique ambience of Classic meetings. In addition to the six grids, no less than 600 exceptional Club cars were present for some high level driving on the extremely technical Paul Ricard HTTT layout.
As the paddocks were open to the public, enthusiasts were able to meet the drivers and admire the racing cars from close quarters.
They also had the opportunity to browse in the Automobilia Village where dozens of exhibitors had set up for the occasion. The McLaren MP4‐12C did its first laps on a French circuit and the spectators were able to test their driving skills with simulators. At the end of this last 2011 classic racing weekend, most of the competitors confirmed the results obtained during the whole season.
Classic Endurance Racing 1 ‐ GT from 1966 to 1974 ‐ Prototypes from 1966 to 1972 Paul Knapfield and his Ferrari 512 got off to a good start going from third to first position in a few seconds. Followed closely by the Lola T70 Spyder of David Ferrer associated with Yvan Mahé, the Ferrari had to stop in the stands after a few laps allowing them to temporarily take the lead. After a disastrous start, Bernard Thuner, in ambush, let the leading cars fight each other before attacking at the right time and taking the lead until the chequered flag. To be noted the impressive performance of famous American Bobby Rahal and his Lola T212 FVC definitely deserving his podium after this last 2011 race.
In GT1, Claude Nahum and Chris Ball, both on Ford GT40 were wheel in wheel and delighted the spectators with some incredible battles. A collision between Claude Nahum and Olivier Cazalieres on Chevron B16 Mazda put an end to this duel letting Pascal Gaudard and his Chevrolet Corvette take the advantage.
UCER 1 – Proto 1U: 1. Bernard Thuner (Lola T70 Mk III n°18) – 2. Sandy Watson / Martin O’Connel (Chevron B19 FVCn°30) – 3. Bobby Rahal (Lola T212 FVC n°67)UCER 1 – GT1U: Pascal Gaudard (Chevrolet Corvette n°14) – 2. Juan Orjuela / Santiago Orjuela (Porsche 911 RSR 3,0l)– 3. Bernard Moreau (Porsche 911 RSR 2,8l)
Classic Endurance Racing 2 ‐ GT from 1975 to 1979 ‐ Prototypes from 1973 to 1979After a good start by Michel Quiniou at the wheel of his Lola T280 DFV, the pack fought fiercely. After being stuck in the traffic, Dominique Guenat, making the most of the leader’s mistake, temporarily took first position. Martin O’Connell, after relaying co‐driver Sandy Watson, on their Chevron B36 BDG, took the highest step of the podium in Proto 2.
In GT 2, Sean McNirney and his BMW M1 impose themselves in front the Mr John of B’s Ferrari 512 BBLM and the Porsche 935 of crew Michael Foveny / Stefan Roitmayer which distinguished itself at the start.
UCER 2 ‐ Proto 2U: 1. Sandy Watson / Martin O’Connell (Chevron B36 n°45) – 2.Russel Büsst (Chevron B31 Hart 423Rn°22) – 3. Patrice Lafargue (Lola T298 BMW n°17)UCER 2 ‐ GT 2U: 1. Sean McInerney (BMW M1 n°38) – 2. John of B (Ferrari 512 BBLM n°69) – 3. Michael Foveny /Stephan Roitmayer (Porsche 935 n°5)Trofeo Nastro Rosso ‐ pre‐66 Sport & GT
During race 1, Alberto Francioni & Fredy Barth on ISO A3C imposed themselves in front of their pursuer, Vincent Gaye on Ferrari 275 GT SWB.The final of the beautiful Italians underwent an ultimate development during race 2. Even though he was in front of his competitors, Vincent Gaye on Ferrari 275 GTB/C had to drop out in the last lap because of engine problems, leaving the field open for duo Alberto Francioni / Fredy Barth on a very rare ISO A3C. This sudden turn of events, unfortunate for the winner of the first edition of the Spa Classic, gave a double victory to the ISO A3C.
UTrofeo Nastro Rosso – Race 1U: 1. Alberto Francioni / Fredy Barth (ISO A3C n°84) – 2. Vincent Gaye (Ferrari 275GTB/C n°10) – 3. Michael Erlich ( Bizzarrini 5300 GT n°36)UTrofeo Nastro Rosso – Race 2U: 1. Alberto Francioni / Fredy Barth (ISO A3C n°84) – 2. Dennis Singleton / DavidFranklin (Ferrari 275GTB n°69) – 3. Carlo Vögele ( Maserati 300 S n°6)
Sixties’ Endurance ‐ Sportscars pre‐63 & GT pre 66With two hours of races, the Sixties’ Endurance sports cars were put to the test. Atthe beginning of the race, Hugo Payen / Tristan Couedel crew and their Jaguar EType had to withdraw whereas in the midst of the grid, the Porsche 911s of DamienKohler and Didier Denat fought fiercely; the latter coming out victorious. LudovicCaron, in the lead for a long time very nearly won. Thinking that the ISO A3C was inthird position, the driver slowed down during the last lap and was overtaken by then°84, second on TVR Griffith. A very regrettable mistake!By covering the whole race, the small engines have proved that they deserve their place in endurance racing. Theyparticularly shine in the index of performance; the Triumph TR2 of Fabrice Mestrot and José Da Rocha wins thecategory.
USixties’ EnduranceU: 1. Sean McInerney / Michael McInerney (TVR Griffith n°54) – 2. Ludovic Caron (AC Cobra n°12)– Alberto Francioni / Fredy Barth (ISO A3C n°84)UIndex of PerformanceU: Fabrice Mestrot / José Da Rocha (Triumph TR2 n°2) – Juan Orjuela (Porsche 356 n°88) –Michel Thoulouze / Jean Gravier (Lotus XI n°29)
Challenge ASAVE – Touring & GTs between 1947 and end of 1976As “pole man” Didier Sirgues’ car was not able to take the start, Christophe Terriou with his Porsche 911 took the advantage over the two Corvettes of Marc Godfroy and Franck Metzger. The two drivers gave all they had to take the lead after a few laps.Further behind in the classification, Sébastien Buirette’s incredible race with his spectacular Austin Cooper S, hardly adapted to the layout. At the chequered flag, Franck Metzger imposes himself.
UChallenge ASAVEU : 1. Franck Metzger (Chevrolet Corvette n°8) – 2. Eric Martin (Porsche 911 3,0 RS n°74) – 3. Jean‐Christophe Lelandais (Porsche 911 2,8 RSR n°23)Group C Racing
The Group C Racing protos enjoyed themselves on the Paul Ricard layout taking advantage of their powerful engines. At the game of who is fastest, the Sauber‐ Mercedes C11 of Gareth Evans / Bob Berridge, nicknamed « Silver arrow » wins in front of a Porsche 962 and a Spice SE88C.UGroup C Racing:U 1. Gareth Evans / Bob Berridge (Mercedes C11 n°31) – 2. PeterHarburg / Wayne Park (Porsche 962 n°8) – Mike Donovan (Spice SE88C n°111)
The Dix Mille Tours version 2011 held all its promises with a full weekend programme of competitions, activitiesand conviviality. This last event of the season under southern skies has rapidly become a must among classic carmeetings.
See all the results at: dixmilletours.com