Special 25th event for Tour Auto Optic 2000

FROM PARIS TO CANNES The next Tour Auto Optic 2ooo (18-24 April 2016) will be a special celebration of the event’s 25th anniversary and will be run over a new route for the 230 crews taking part: it will finish with a night stage on famous rally roads in the Côte d’Azur hinterland. On this occasion homage will be paid to the cars that have written the legend of the Tour like the Ferrari 250 GT Competizione, the Jaguar 3,8 l MKII, the Ligier JS2 and the Matra MS650.In keeping with tradition the 2016 Tour Auto Optic 2ooo will begin on Monday 18th April with the cars on display in the Grand Palais in Paris. The next day (Tuesday 18th April) the crews will leave the French capital at the crack of dawn to go to the official start at the Château de Courances. They will then set off on French roads to do battle in the timed events (competition or regularity) on 4 circuits (Dijon-Prenois, Bresse, Lédenon, Paul Ricard) as well as 11 special stages on closed roads.Every year the route of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo is changed, and in 2016 it will include Beaune, Lyon and Valence after which the competitors will arrive on the Mediterranean coast as the fourth leg will end in Marseille. Then they will head for the Croisette in Cannes for the finish of the 25th Tour Auto Optic 2ooo after a journey of around 2000 kilometers.Two night stagesTo make sure that this anniversary event remains firmly engraved in everybody’s memory, Peter Auto has added a night stage to the programme for the first time! Thus, the crews who arrive in Cannes on Saturday afternoon will still have another challenge ahead of them. After a few hours rest they will all head for the roads in the hinterland on the Côte d’Azur for a night run, punctuated by two special stages, followed by the finish on the Croisette in the night of Saturday and Sunday bringing down the curtain on the 25th Tour Auto Optic 2ooo. Top-line road-closing car driversAri Vatanen. World Rally Champion in 1981 in a Ford Escort RS 1800, four-time winner of Paris-Dakar in a Peugeot 205 T16 Grand Raid (1987), Peugeot 405 Mi16 (1989, 1990) and Citroën ZX (1991), Finnish driver Ari Vatanen also hit the headlines by setting a new record for the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1988 in a Peugeot 405 T16 GR, a performance immortalized in the film, Climb Dance. After he hung up his helmet Vatanen became involved in politics and elected to the European parliament in 1999 and again in 2004. He is now a BMW ambassador and will be an official road-closing car driver in an M4 coupe.François Chatriot. Nicknamed ‘The Cat’, he was one of the front-runners in the French Rally Championship in the 80s winning the title twice (1989 and 1990) in a BMW M3. He will be another new road-closing car driver in the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo. He knows the event well as he won it in a Renault 5 Maxi Turbo in 1986 (the year of the last Tour de France Automobile). Chatriot also shone in ice racing clinching the Andros Trophy and victory in the Chamonix 24 Hours in 1995 in an Opel Astra.