At 6.30 am, the Grand Palais opened its doors to free the 2012 edition’s 230 competitors. After gathering the day before beneath the huge glass roof, they left in the direction of the Château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte for the official start. Destination the Château de Thenissey after the first Tour Auto Optic 2ooo 7,340 km special stage of - la Puysaie – which included crossing several villages and had two particular difficulties, hairpin bends which occasioned more than one car to back up. This first timed stage was won by the Von Oppenheim/De Siebenthal crew on Porsche 911 in front of Freeman/Freeman on AC Cobra in the Competition VHC category.
The second timed stage was held in the afternoon on the Dijon-Prenois circuit with some fierce battles in the three Competition grids. Grid 3 was dominated by Alfa Romeos against the very forlorn Jaguar MkII of French Abel de Libran who finally is classified in second position behind German Von Wildenburg’s GTA. Gérard Holtz and his Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint were stopped in their momentum because of engine trouble which should be fixed before tomorrow morning to allow the France 2 journalist to continue the competition.In grid 4, the pole position is taken by a Ford GT40 but the AC Cobras had the advantage before the race was shortened after an incident which caused a red flag and the early stop of the race. Finally, the grid 5 with cars built for track racing acknowledged the supremacy of British Paul Knapfield’s Ligier JS2 leaving Porsches and Alpines far behind.After this first stage, the classifications have yet to be validated by the Race Direction.
Tomorrow, the competitors will leave Beaune to reach Aix-les-Bains after a first stage on the Bresse circuit and a special stage.