Tour Auto Lissac 2007
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It was Lotus Elans all the way on the 16th running of the Tour Auto Lissac, with the Hugenholtz/Hugenholtz pairing winning (again!) followed by two more of Colin Chapman’s brilliant creations. As usual though, the Tour Auto provided a historic motor racing spectacle like no other, with an entry that included Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins and Maseratis, all of the type of – or actually were a – car that competed in period.
The 2007 event started in Paris under the magnificent glass and cast-iron ceiling of the Grand Palais on Monday 23rd April, a hugely innovative development this year, and one that saw 10,000 spectators paying a modest charge to view the very best GT and sports racing cars in the world. At 8.00 o’clock the next day the cars, divided into classes and either entering a ‘Competition’ or ‘Régularité' (or Touring) section, set off on an adventure that was to end at Evian by Lac Léman on Saturday afternoon.
Tuesday saw the cars negotiate a massive traffic jam exiting Paris, and then drive on to the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans where the first races started (with some delays and cancellations due to the problems with the traffic), before completing a special stage at La Roche Posay and staying overnight at the Futuroscope at Poitiers.
The next day it was an early start as usual, and in ‘Competition’ the Monteverde/Pearson Jaguar took first place ahead of five Elans, all ready for the next day’s special stages. In ‘Régularité’, the Citroën SM is ahead of the Ferrari Dino 246 GTS driven by Haquette and Vanlanduyt.
The Tour stopped overnight at Sarlat, and on Thursday morning set off for Albi, by way of two special stages and a race at the Albi circuit. Ludovic Caron’s AC Cobra had been able to hold off eventual winner Hans Hugenholtz in his Elan, but the small car was soon able to take advantage of its better handling and move into the lead. In the other classes in ‘Competition’, Porsche 906s dominate Group G while veteran race and rally drive Jean Ragnotti is on the top of Group H in his Alpine Renault A 1.
The fourth day, Friday, sees some serious action on the Charade circuit where six-times winner Hugenholtz fends of a challenge from the similarly-mounted duo of Lajournade/Bachard, who had done well in the earlier special stage. The crowd at Charade is treated to a wonderful wet-weather driving display by the veteran French ex-Works drivers Serpaggi and Ragnotti. The Tour overnighted at Vichy, with just two special stages on the Saturday to come.
These were held on closed roads in Renaison and Marchampt, so Tour Auto Lissac competitors could enjoy a lunch-stop in the Hameau du Vin à Romaneche Thorins, before driving to Evian for a successful finish amidst the applause of enthusiastic local residents, the Lotus Elan of Hans Hugenholtz taking the laurels yet again.
Jean Sage and Caroline Knuckey won the Index of Performance in an Alfa Romeo 1900 CS, while the British husband and wife team of Linwood/Linwood were supreme in ‘Régularité’ in their superb Franco/Italian masterpiece, the Citroën SM. They shared the podium with a Porsche 356 B and a Ferrari 275 GTB.
1 Hugenholtz/Hugenholtz – Lotus Elan
2 Lajournade/Bachard – Lotus Elan
3 Merlin/Mouret – Lotus Elan
1 Mathai/Jodnexis - Porsche 906
2 Rocher/Martin - Porsche 906
3 Choquart/da Rocha - Porsche 911 S 2.4L
1 Ragnotti/Mercier - Alpine Renault A 1
2 De Lesseps/Beaufort - Porsche 911 RSR 2,8L
3 Miloe/Miloe - Porsche 911 RSR 3,0L
1 Linwood/Linwood - Citroën SM
2 Ruston/Haylock – Porsche 356 B
3 Warburton/Holroyd – Ferrari 275 GTB
Index of Performance
1 Sage/Knuckey - Alfa Romeo 1900 CS
2 Cajani/Cajani - Alfa Roméo Giulietta
3 Faure/Faure – Porsche 356
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Classic Driver
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