PANIS, COMAS, BLUNDELL, ALREADY ON THE ENTRY LIST!
Former F1 drivers, team bosses, a famous co-driver and an actor are among the first entries for the 23rd Tour Auto Optic 2ooo taking place between 7-12 April 2014. Olivier Panis, Erik Comas, Jean-Paul Driot, Denis Giraudet and Alexandre Brasseur, who all raced in this year’s event, will again be at the start.
Olivier Panis, 158 Grands Prix and a victory (Monaco) during 10 seasons in F1 (1994-2004), and Erik Comas, 59 Grand Prix over four seasons in F1 (1991-1994), marked ten years of French participation in the world championship with some great performances in the races. The two drivers then quit the top category of motor sport, and turned to other horizons with just as much passion as proved by their participation in the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo. Comas, winner of Group H in the 2013 Tour Auto is back to defend his title at the wheel of his Lancia Stratos Gr. IV (1974). Panis will again join up with his former team boss, Jean-Paul Driot (DAMS), on board a Ferrari 308 Gr. IV Michelotto (1981).
Brit Mark Blundell another ex-F1 driver (61 Grand Prix and an overall victory in the 1992 Le Mans 24 Hours) will also enjoy flying along French roads and racing on circuits in an Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA (1965) shared with American Zak Brown. This former single-seater and GT driver has been at the head of Just Marketing International (the biggest marketing company in motor sport) for several years, and the United Autosports team entered in GT: he has taken part in a series of historic races in the United States associated with Bobby Rahal, another great name in the motor sport world.
Denis Giraudet, Didier Auriol’s, Juha Kankkunen’s and François Delecour’s former co-driver in rallies will drive a Porsche 906 (1966). Actor Alexandre Brasseur, who loves driving in historic events (a worthy successor to his father, Claude), will also be back in a Jaguar Mk I (1959).
The Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan at the startAmong the cars selected on the first list, BMW, star of the 23rd Tour Auto Optic 2ooo, is already represented by 11 models ranging from the 700 S to the 3.0 CSL as well as the 1800 Ti, the 2002 Turbo and the 2800 CS. Among the numerous Ferrari 250s, 275s and 365s down to run, it is worth noting the entry of the 250 GT Breadvan, a unique model designed and developed by Piero Drogo and Giotto Bizzarrini, which raced at Le Mans in 1962 under Count Giovanni Volpi’s banner. Other Ferraris to be admired include a rare 250 GT Boano from 1957 as well as a 212 Inter from 1952. As it has been the case every year since 1992, AC, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, Austin Healey, Ford, Jaguar, Lancia, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, MG, Mini, Porsche, Studebaker and Triumph will all be competing. The list also includes a Ligier JS2 Cosworth (1972), a Citroën 15-Six (1950), a Salmson 2300 S (1954) and two Renault 8 Gordinis, which will be a big hit with lovers of French cars. Rendezvous on 7th April under the dome of the Grand Palais to see all those taking part in the 2014 Tour Auto Optic 2ooo who will try and make it to the finish in Marseille five days later!