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Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour

15th - 17th June 2018

Event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello

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The hexagonal journey of the Historic Tour continued this weekend as part of the 74th edition of the Albi Grand Prix in southwestern France.

The GP of Albi, run from 1933 to 1955 on the Circuit des Planques, a rectangular layout of more than 9 km along the national and departmental roads, notably crowned legendary pilots like Pierre Veyron, Maurice Trintignant ou Juan Manuel Fangio, before emigrating to the current Sequester circuit from 1962.

Then followed other great hours, especially rewarded by the successes of Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Jim Clark, Emerson Fittipaldi or Henri Pescarolo.

Trophée Formule Renault Classic

Race 1

Defeated by next to nothing by Laurent Majou (Martini MK44), "Nelson" (Martini MK51) imposed his pace from the first laps and moved from the halfway in the lead in front of GHIO Michel (Martini MK27) the "poleman" and Fabrice Porte (Martini MK36).

Imperial, the Palmyr team member eventually build a small safety margin on his chaser and joined the finish line with six seconds in advance.

Without further change, Fabrice Porte completed the podium after distancing Jonathan France Martini MK54).

Took ninth place on the grid, Marc Klein Martini MK41) signs a nice comeback to integrate the top 5.

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Race 2

Leader in the first pass, "Nelson" was bereft of the command by Laurent Majou the next lap.

The latter, ubiquitous this weekend, held steady until halfway and his crash out of the track.

Therefore, "Nelson" could move towards a new success in front of Bruno Mottez (Martini MK51) and Jonathan France. Brady Beltramelli (Van Diemen FR93) put the first naturally aspirated engine Formula Renault in eighth place.

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Trophée F3 Classic

Race 1

Author of the pole for 21/1000 second, Frédéric Rouvier Martini MK31 - Toyota) took the lead from the start, but the Englishmen Simon Jackson (Chevron B43 - Toyota) and Ian Jacobs (Ralt RT3 - VW) were not determined to let him escape.

These two last crossed swords until the end of the 16 laps, without ever having really left the wake of the French.

Far from this trio, Michel Arbeit (Chevron B38 - Toyota) took the fourth place more than half a minute, at a short distance before Bernard Lacour (Martini MK42 - VW).

Less fortunate, Bernard Honnorat (Ralt RT3 - Alfa) lost his sixth place being betrayed by his mechanics on the finish line (crossed by pushing his car!).

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Race 2

As was already the case 24 hours earlier, Frédéric Rouvier took the lead from the start and was working very quickly to provide a small safety margin on the inseparable Englishman Simon Jackson and Ian Jacobs.

The Frenchman passed the half-race with 2.4" in advance.

At this stage Michel Arbeit, fourth, already pointing to more than twenty seconds, threatened by Laurent Vallery-Masson (Ralt RT3 - VW) who ended up overtaking him at the start of the second part of the race.

Five laps from the finish, everybody was gathered again with the introduction of the Safety Car due to Simon Jackson's way out.

The race was restarted for a single lap. Frédéric Rouvier was logically declared the winner, joined on the podium by Ian Jacobs and Laurent Vallery-Masson.

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HH : Challenge Formula Ford Historic

Race 1

Overbearing in qualifying, François Belle (Lola T 540 E - Ford) took the lead and managed three seconds ahead of the half-way stage at the expense of Stéphane Brunetti (Merlyn Mk 20 A - Ford), Laurent Majou (Van Diemen RF 81 - Ford) and Guy James (Crosslé 35 F - Ford), in full battle.

Sure of his ground, François Belle further increased his lead thereafter and passed under the checkered flag indisputable winner in front of Stéphane Brunetti, Laurent Majou and Didier Colombat (Van Diemen RF 80 - Ford), remained in the fight to the end.

At fifteen seconds, Jean-Michel Ogier (Van Diemen RF 80 - Ford) completed a top 5 where Guy James had his place before his retirement to two-thirds of the race.

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Race 2

First leader, Stéphane Brunetti should quickly leave the advantage to François Belle.

Halfway through, the latter had two seconds lead over the Merlyn driver, while Laurent Majou was in ambush for a third place that Didier Colombat was stealing from him soon after.

The end of the race, thwarted by a short neutralization, confirmed the supremacy of François Belle, who joined the finish ahead of Stéphane Brunetti, Didier Colombat, Laurent Majou, Jean-Michel Ogier and the rest of the pack.

In A class, Régis Prévost (Mc Namara FCA MK 3 - Ford) and Brady Beltramelli (Russell Alexis Mk 14 - Ford) completed the category podium.

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SportProtosCup

Race 1

Not far from its bases, Julien Fraisse (Lucchini SP94-Alfa V6 24s) confirms his best time of the practices at the start of the race.

Aboard similar Lucchini SP94 24-valve Alfa V6 engine, his teammates in WG British Racing, Franck Julien and Guillaume Gagnard gradually losing ground, the three men finally have passed under the checkered flag in that order.

At the wheel of a Grac MT14 of another generation, Michel Paganin finished fourth and winner of the H1 category, despite the return of Alexandre Dougnac (Epsilon P2 Alfa V6 12s), starting from the last position on the grid.

Previously driving a Formula Renault, "Nelson" (March81S-Ford Pinto 2L) won the H2 class.

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Race 2

Already ranked in the first two places on Saturday aboard their Lucchini SP94-Alfa, Rémi Fraisse and Franck Julien took the lead again, at mid-race they had a strong lead over Francis Dougnac's Epsilon P2 Alfa.

Master of the game until the end of the 15 laps, Rémi Fraisse signed the first double of the weekend crossing the finish line with 9.7" ahead of his team mate. 54” behind the winner, Guillaume Gagnard finished fourth after being delayed by a spin in the first lap.

He preceded Jean-Michel Guermonprez (Grac MT14S-JRD 2L) and Eric Baumard (Lola T492 Ford Pinto), respective winners in H1 and H2.

"Nelson" seemed to have won race in this last category before being stopped by his mechanics in the last lap.

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Maxi 1300 Series

Race 1

As you might expect, a tight match was going on from the start between Philippe Gandini (Jem GT – 1300) and Jean-François Besson (Alpine A110 – 1300), left side by side on the front row.

Escaped ahead, the two men crossed the half-race in this order with seven seconds ahead of Enzo Thiéfain (Austin Cooper S – 1300), while the rest of the pack is already behind.

Still leader at the beginning of the last lap, Philippe Gandini is suddenly betrayed by his little Jem, ignition distributor broken, leaving Jean-François Besson to win, far ahead of Enzo Thiéfain and Alexandre Isidore (Innocenti Cooper – 1300).

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Race 2

The winner of race 1, Jean-François Besson, and his unfortunate challenger, Philippe Gandini, started a new duel.

The two men remained neck and neck until mid-race, then the driver of the Jem, decidedly unlucky this weekend, saw his mechanics abandon him.

Second at 13.8", Enzo Thiéfain repeated his performance the day before and found his ... father Thierry (Austin Cooper S - 1300) on the podium! Nicolas Roulière (R5 "Coupe") made a nice comeback that took him to the foot of the podium.

Nicolas Roulière (R5 "Coupe") realized brilliantly performances, finishing the race, just outside of the podium.

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Youngtimers GTI Cup + Roadster Pro Cup

Race 1

At the wheel of a particularly sharpened Honda Civic, Franck Quagliozzi took off from the first laps, leaving the young Damien Benjamin (Honda Civic - 1600) and Loïc Hélary (Honda Civic - 1600) to fight a superb battle to win the second place.

Behind the immovable leader, Loïc Hélary ended up snatching second place at the end of the race.

At a distance, François-Xavier Basse (Peugeot 205 GTI - 1900) and Vincent Duhen (Peugeot 205 GTI - 1600) completed the top 5 of the Youngtimers.

On the Mazda MX5 side of the Roadster Pro Cup, Florian Cabarrou won after leading from start to finish against his friends (and co-hosts) Philippe Gosset and Tony Deschamps.

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Race 2

True to the habits of previous races, Franck Quagliozzi immediately took off, leaving Loïc Hélary and Damien Benjamin to compete for second place.

Outstripped at the start of the race, the young Loic Helary then took the advantage and seemed to have to move towards this place of second, this was without counting on his engine gave up the ghost at two laps of the finish.

Jean-Christophe Bastia (Renault 5 GT Turbo - 1600) too quickly eliminated, the third place thus fell to François-Xavier Basse, also winner of the group N.

At the head of the Mazda MX5 field of the Roadster Pro Cup, the fight was raging to the end, Philippe Gosset, Florian Cabarrou, Tony Deschamps and Nicolas Ariscon finishing in this order, grouped in just two small seconds!

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Roadster Pro Cup (Endurance)

At the end of the meeting, the Mazda MX5 Pro Roadster Cup went back to the track for an endurance of 70 minutes. A new race with uncertain verdict, which Tony Deschamps won in front of Philippe Gosset and Dominique Josquin.

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Trophée GT Classic and Supertouring Revival

Race 1

Without a real opponent to the extent of his Porsche 993 GT2, Benoit Romac dominated the 40 minutes of race and rallied the arrival with half a minute ahead of the Porsche 964 RSR Sebastien Mathieu, while Laurent Vallery-Masson and José Beltramelli, associated at the wheel of the Marcos Mantis GTR of the promoter of the Historic Tour, completed the podium of the day.

Victim of a start of fire during the practice, Claude Cassina was unable to participate, whit his Viper, at the start of this race.

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Race 2

Ideally armed at the wheel of his Porsche 993 GT2, Benoit Romac dominated the debates in the first fifteen minutes of racing, which he put to good use to push Sébastien Mathieu (Porsche 964 RSR - 3800) and Laurent Vallery-Masson (Marcos Mantis GTR - 7000) to more forty seconds.

Once the various stops were made, Benoit Romac's breakaway was further facilitated by the "stop and go" inflicted on Sébastien Mathieu and José Beltramelli, who had taken over the Marcos Mantis.

Forced to retire in Race 1, François Cantin this time raised his Ultima GTR - 6300 to fourth place.

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Asavé Racing 65

single race

As at every meeting of the Historic Tour, the set of Asavé Racing 65 brought together the oldest cars of the meeting. And not to change their habits, their drivers competed this weekend on a single race of one hour.

Didier Gruau and Claude Boissy, who shared the wheel of a TVR Griffith 400, took the start from pole position alongside the Chevrolet Corvette aboard which succeeded each other the managers of the Albi circuit, Didier Sirgue and Gregor Raymondis.

Didier Marty at the wheel of a rare Frazer Nash Le Mans of 1958, doyenne of the grid, took the start of the 12th position.

Author of the pole, in 1:36.194, at the wheel of his TVR Griffith 400, Didier Gruau escaped in the lead but brake problems forced him to retire after 13 laps.

Didier Sirgue relayed him to the command before leaving the wheel of his black Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray to Gregor Raymondis.

Because of a too short stop, this one immediately received a "Stop and go" without consequence on its domination.

At the end of the race hour, José Beltramelli secured a double Corvette, while Bernard Wilhelm completed the podium at the controls of his Jaguar E type.

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Asavé GT/Tourisme & Production 66-81

single race

In the view of the morning qualifying session, Ghislain Gaubert's Porsche 911 2,8l RSR and Sylvain Regnier's superb Porsche 910 shared the first row of his starting grid.

Unsurprisingly, Ghislain Gaubert approached this first Sunday race (of one hour) in head and reached the milestone of 20 minutes, synonymous with the first mandatory passes by the stands, with about fifteen seconds ahead of the Porsche 906 Sylvain Regnier and little more on the Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Gregor Raymondis.

The pit stops windows closed, the driver of the psychedelic Porsche 911 2.8 RSR continued his escape and despite a drive through imposed in the last fifteen minutes of race.

At the wheel of the Chevrolet Corvette, Didier Sirgue joined the finish line in second place, fifteen seconds behind the winner, and relegated Sylvain Regnier to the third step of the podium.

Etienne Garrouste (Ford Mustang 302) ranked the first Tourism ranked fifth.

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Trophée Lotus

Race 1

A superb battle started from the first laps between Xavier Jacquet, Pascal Métayer and Dominique Vulliez, the best performer of qualifying rounds. Halfway through, the three men were still in the fight, gathered in just half a second, while Anthony Delhaye led the rest of the pack.

Xavier Jacquet was distanced at the end of the race, the victory was decided for 2/10 on the finish line in favor of Dominique Vulliez, who signed his first success here in the Lotus Trophy. Christophe Gobessi managed to claim the first Caterham in 13th position

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Race 2

We took the same and we began again, with the same protagonists, Xavier Jacquet, Dominique Vulliez taking turns in lead at the opening laps. Grouped in 4/10 at the halfway point, our kings of the Lotus Seven continued their battle to the finish line, which Pascal Métayer crossed first, just ahead of Dominique Vulliez.

Xavier Jacquet completed the podium again after having tried his luck in vain as he approached the victory lane.

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My favorite of the week end.

For this time, my favorite is the TVR Griffith 400 of Gruau / Boissy.

Atypical car built only in 1965, you will not believe, this sports car fastback coupe, on every streets corner.

After a passage through Germany this specimen has been restored (rebuilt) at Ropars Racing Team in France.

Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 185Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 186Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 187Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 188Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 189Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 190Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 191Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 192Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 193Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 194Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 195Grand Prix d'Albi - Historic Tour (event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello) - picture number 196

(Based on HVM Racing release)

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