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Sports Car

Tour Auto Race Celebrates 25th Year In 2016

The French Motoring Event Runs From the 18th to the 23rd of April.

The Tour de France Auto Optic 2000 returns this month for its 25th year, featuring a new route for participating drivers.

What Is The Tour Auto Race?

The Tour Auto is a 2000km (average) road rally in France which lasts a week, and exclusively features cars from the 1950s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s. It begins in Paris and ends on the French Riviera, a popular holiday destination since Victorian times.

What’s New This Year?

A special anniversary night time route has been arranged by Peter Auto, the organisers of Tour Auto. After finishing the final leg of the rally, the remaining crews will rest until dark, and then head out to back roads of the French Riviera for a night run with two stages.

Tour Auto 2015

Rally-goers were treated to sunny weather as Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet won the 2015 Tour Auto in a Jaguar E-Type, making it their second victory having won it in 2010.

2015 Winner Jaguar E type

What Can We Expect From The 2016 Edition?

The 2016 Tour Auto will begin in Paris, with the cars being displayed in the historic Grand Palais exhibition hall on Monday 18th April. The following day the crews will depart from Paris at the crack of dawn, and make their way down to Château de Courances, the official start of the Tour Auto. Tuesday sees the start of the rally with the first leg from Paris to Beaune, while on day three, the crews continue to Lyon, on the Thursday the rally continues to Valence, from where the crews proceed to Marseille on the Friday. The regular rally ends in Cannes, famous for its film festival.

Who Will We See There?

Ari Vatanen and Frannçois ‘The Cat’ Chatriot will be the Tour Auto 2016 top-line road-closing car drivers. Vatanen was the World Rally Champion in 1981, as well as a four-time Paris-Dakar winner. The Finnish driver also set a new record for the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1988 which was featured in the film Climb Dance. Chatriot came to prominence in the 1980s as a top dog in the French Rally Championship winning back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990. Jean-Pierre Lajournade will return to defend his title in a Jaguar E-Type, and he’ll be up against 1975 Spanish Grand Prix winner Jochen Mass amongst other well-known motor racers.

What Cars Will We Be Able To Spot?

An estimated 100,000 plus spectators will be able to get a glimpse of an array of classic sports and supercars including 1960 Tour de France winner the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta, which will be joined by 23 other Ferraris, as well as the Mk1 and Mk2 Jaguars which won the Tour de France Automobile touring car category from 1959 to 1963, and 12 E-Types. Everything from the Porsche 356 to the 911 2.5 L ST will be on show, as well as four Ford GT40s and eight Shelby Cobras.