Grand Prix de Pau Historique, Major Grand Prix, Major Challenges

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For two days, six competing grids challenged their contenders with skies alternating rain showers and bright sun. 800 club cars were displayed in the Palais Beaumont garden,  the  highlight of which  was the Concorse organised by French historic cars federation FFVE.

Trophée Phil Hill – Sixties Endurance: Dancing Cobras

Saturday 5 May: the weather was clear for qualifying, except  for the Trophée Phil Hill which suffered from a shower during its session. Jean‐Marc Bussolini, Damien Kohler and Juan Orjuela took advantage from the situation.

On the following day, the start of the first race was given under a bright sun, resetting the positions. Yvan Mahé, aboard his AC Cobra took the lead until  mid‐race when  Dominique Guenat reset the pace until the finish. The public were treated to a fight between Bussolini and Kohler, Keith Ahlers playing the outsider with his splendid 1963 Morgan SLR.

The chequered flag followed a red flag due to local driver Mike Parisy who slipped off the track with his Lotus Elite (without injury) nine minutes before the finish of the race. In the afternoon, for the second race, Yvan Mahé decided not to start due to an engine problem. Dominique Guenat, breaking down, could not take advantage of the situation, while Shaun Lynn made up for the problems he met in the morning. The Brit took a deserved win in front of Keith Ahlers' who had an interesting race at the wheel of his Morgan SLR. Right behind, Damien Kohler and Jean‐Marc Bussolini did not spare any effort to rank third. At last Damien could be on the podium.

Race 1:VHC: 1. D Guenat – AC Cobra; 2. Y Mahé – AC Cobra; 3. JM Bussolini – Porsche 911 2LIndex of Performance: 1. J. Orjuela – Porsche 356 Pre A; 2. J. Guzen/A Schrauwen – Lotus Elite S1; 3. F Perruchot – Lotus EliteRace 2:VHC: 1.Shaun Lynn – AC Cobra; 2. Keith Ahlers/James Bellinger – Morgan SLR ‐3. Damian Kohler – Porsche 911 2LIndice de Performance: 1. Juan Orjuela ‐ 2. Jan Gijzen/AnthonySchrauwen – 3. Frédéric Berchon/Jean Berchon

Trophée des Pyrénées: Infernal trio

The full 36‐single seater grid, made of cars perfectly adapted to Pau's sinuous streets is a sight for sore eyes. The starting grid solely made of Fords, includes one of the two lady drivers, Line Piguet who drives a Van Diemen RF 77. During the first race, Alex Lynn, the son of this year Tour Auto Optic 2ooo was on the first step of the podium. He will also be there next week for the modern Grand Prix de Pau, competing in the star discipline: the Formula 3. The second race held no surprises,  you take the same ones and play the same game: Alex Lynn ‐Alain Girardet and Pierre Lombardi ranked 1‐2‐3.

Race 1:1. A Lynn (Van Diemen RF81)‐ 2. A Girardet (Van Diemen RF79) –3. P. Lombardi (Lola T540)Race 2:1. A Lynn (Van Diemen RF81)‐ 2. A Girardet (Van Diemen RF79) –3. P. Lombardi (Lola T540)

Trophée Flat4: A successful premiere

The Porsche brand new grid by Peter Auto for the 2012 Grand Prix de Pau Historique has reached its target with a 21 car grid. A varied grid from the Pre‐A 356 Speedsters to 2L‐Carreras. The first race featured  the fight between the leading trio,  Albert Otten, Jean‐Marc Bussolini and Juan Pablo Orjuela.

Race 1:1. A Otten (Porsche 550A Durlite) 2. JM Bussolini (Porsche 356 A) 3. JP Orjuela (Porsche 356A)Race 2:1. A Lynn – Van Diemen RF 81; 2. A Girardet – Van Diemen RF 79 – 3. P Lombardi – Lola T540

Trophée Légende: Elegance Prize

This  pre‐war grid is exceptional due to its rarity and quality. Peter Auto was very proud to be able to gather twenty of them. Among the competitors, was the second Lady driver of the meeting who made a good job in front of her male contenders.

Alexandra du Boucheron, with father Olivier in a Bugatti 37 A, made a good race, with an only tiny mistake at the start. In the leading pack, three men made a good performance, taking the lead by turns. Finally, Richard Pilkington imposes himself in front of Grégory Ramouna and Nicolas Chambon who both bravely resisted.

Race 1:1. R Pilkington (Talbot T26 SS) 2. G Ramouna (Bugatti 35 B) 3. N Chambon/P Rageys (BMW 328)Race 2:1. R Pilkington – Talbot T26 SS; 2. F Courteix – Bugatti 35 B; 3. JJ Bally – BMW 328Trophée Junior: the leaders remain the leaders

The 19 little single seaters have had fun on the circuit in the city. Definitely at ease along this kind of layout, the Formula Juniors had tremendous time. At the front row, was Frenchman Stéphane Rey ahead of two Brits: Harry Tincknell and John Truslove. Second round, same podium…

Race 1:1. S Rey (Lola Mk5A) ‐ H Tincknell (Lotus 20) ‐ J Truslove (Brabham BT6)Race 2:1. Stéphane Rey – Lola Mk5A; Harry Tincknell – Lotus 20; John Truslove – Brabham BT6

Trophée Mini Classic : small but pugnacious!

On the occasion of their first race, the Minis drew a lot of attention. The race was interrupted right after the start due to a collision between two cars. Then five other nervous cars clashed all together and put a final end to the race. Thanks to God, the incident was more impressive than serious but the little ones will have to slow a bit down... The second race was much less eventful even if a few excesses caused track exits. Nick Swift imposed himself whereas his father, after doing the best time had to abandon after swerving out of the track.

Race 1: No classification.Race 2: 1. Nick Swift – Morris; 2. Christian Devereux – Austin; 3. Jonathan Hartop ‐Austin

To celebrate this new edition, the Clubs met up once again in the Palais Beaumont garden for a collection; car display. A gathering overwhelmingly appreciated by the numerous public ambling around

The city woke up on Friday morning at the historic cars tempo: the City Aurhorities, the Chamber of Commerce, the shops had joined forces. As a result, Pau was bearing its festive gear branded with the Grand Prix colors. Pau local specialties were updated thanks to casetas dispatched through the town and in the “Grand Prix Villages”. In the core of the paddock, the exhibitors were also there to experience this automobile adventure

The Grand Prix de Pau Historique is over now for this year, but the show goes on. The Grand Prix de Pau in its modern version will be hosted by the city next weekend.