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Historic Tour - circuit Nogaro

8th - 10th September 2017

Event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello

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The Historic Tour (French Historical Championship) started again in the Gers, on the Paul Armagnac circuit with a length of 3636 m, its usual rhythm of cruise.

As before at Le Castellet, Dijon and Charade, the weekend was exceptionally busy, for his penultimate round, with an almost uninterrupted series of 22 distinct races.

Competitions scheduled on durations going of 25 mn to 40 mn (in the GT Classic Trophy) and even 60 mn (for the only race of the Asavé Racing 65), which offered to the public of Nogaro as many opportunities to immerse in the authentic atmosphere of the past decades.

According to the good habits adopted by the Historic Tour, nearly half a century of motorsport was takink life again under their eyes with great reinforcements of single-seaters (F3, Formula Renault, Formula Ford), Sport-Protos and GT of the 50s to 90s.

We expected around 250 cars and some 280 drivers on the track and our wishes were fulfilled.

Between the raindrops.

For their first day of racing on the circuit of Nogaro the 300 drivers of the Historic Tour played hide-and-seek with the weather.

A delicate exercise, between the sun and the brief showers, to which the most talented have devoted themselves with happiness.

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single-seater and prototypes

F3 Classic trophy

Holder of pole, Michel Ghio rushed logically in head in front of Laurent Vallery-Masson and Bernard Honnorat, author of a laborious departure.

From the third lap, both partners of HVM Racing exchanged their positions and the latter worked then to go back up on the leader to finally take away the command to him at the midrace.

Immediately hindered by a latecomer, Michel Ghio crashed into him and thus let fly his last hopes of victory.

From then on, Bernard Honnorat moved towards victory and obtained the reward of his efforts despite the return to the end of race of his friend Laurent.

At 22'' of the duo, Bruno Lambert waited for the last lap to drive the Englishman Ian Jacobs from third place of the podium.

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A brief shower accompanies the start procedure, what brought the drivers to make a delicate choice of tyres especially as the track will go drying out.

Winner the day before, Bernard Honnorat left on the same bases and immediately took the advantage on Laurent Vallery-Masson and Bruno Lambert.

Of five seconds in the mid-race, its advance on his stooge of HVM Racing culminated in a dozen of seconds at the time of crossing the finishing line.

Bruno Lambert followed closely, while Bernard Lacour confirmed his good performance of the day before winning the fourth place in front of the Italian of the team Historic Project Club, Gianluigi Candiani.

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Formule Renault Classic trophy

Antoine Robert confirmed his supremacy in the first laps of the race.

By mingling with the best F3, the young Manceau quickly widened the gap on "Nelson" and Bruno Mottez.

At two-thirds of the race, the latter ended to withdraw from his third place to Joachim Bernard.

Far ahead of them, Antoine Robert cut the finish line with 23 '' ahead of the other driver Mecamoteur, 'Nelson'.

In atmospheric engine versions, the duel between Brady Beltramelli and Stéphane Gosset turned to the advantage of the first named.

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On a track watered by a brief shower, Antoine Robert imposed its law from the start and even allowed to get ahead of all the F3 from the second lap!

"Nelson" was also very comfortable in second place, before being joined at the end of the race by a Brady Beltramelli author of lap times worthy of the leader aboard atmospheric engine “Formule Renault”.

The three men crossed the finish line in this order by taking advantage of the track conditions to sign an unprecedented triple in the overall classification F3 and Formula Renault combined.

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Formula Ford Historic Challenge

Direct rivals in the conquest of the title 2017, Alain Girardet and François Belle do not leave each other!

Gathered in this order "qualifying" the two men immediately took the race on their own and started a tight duel that ended at the spin of Girardet three laps from the finish.This one saved nevertheless his second place, while the third, for a long time occupied by Xavier Michel, ended by fall to Pierre-Alain Lombardi, author of a magnificent last lap.

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On the heels of his victory on Saturday, François Belle took the lead at the outbreak of hostilities.

At the mid-race, he kept a good lead with his great rival, Alain Girardet, nestled in his wake. Clearly untouchable on this Sunday race, the champion of France 2015 did not release his effort thereafter and kept the Swiss pilot until the checkered flag.

At 11'' of this pair, Xavier Michel and Stéphane Brunetti finished wheels in wheels. Seventh, Bernard Richard was the brilliant winner of the A class against Englishman Alan Crocker and Régis Prévost.

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Formule Ford Kent trophy

If the Kent trophy did not offer the most supplied stage of the meeting, he could boast of having delivered one of the most disputed races this Saturday.

After Alain Girardet, Nicolas Beloou and Augustin Sanjuan succeeded at the head of the pack, it was Andy Sprimont who imposed himself on the finish line after a long battle with four.

Nothing really surprising since he had signed the pole a few hours earlier. Behind this Formula Ford in Zetec version, Nicolas Beloou was the winners of the «Kent» in front of an Alain Girardet already author of a podium in Formula Ford Historic a short time ago.

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We resumed with greater intensity the same as the day before for a new battle 4s!

For a long time led by Augustin Sanjuan, this race 2 turned to the advantage of Alain Girardet, then of Nicolas Beloou, whereas Andy Sprimont remained in contact with the leading group.

As might be expected, the order of the first four ended up being decided in the last lap with the victory of the Le Mans resident two small seconds before the Swiss Sanjuan and Girardet.

Although subscribed to the podiums in Formula Ford Historic and Kent, the latter left Nogaro without victory

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SportProtosCup

In anticipation of Sunday's double race, the qualifying tests on Saturday morning delivered a first verdict very largely favorable to Philippe Gache, literally out of reach of his opponents at the wheel of the Lucchini Alfa which he had to share the wheel with his father Daniel.

Back at the wheel of his Toj, Franck Morel was also in the front row for taking the ascendancy on Lionel Robert, invited aboard the Chevron B60 of John Doe, and Frederic Da Rocha.

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Imperial in qualifying, Philippe Gache unfortunately had to bring his Lucchini Alfa back to the pits in the first round.

This race 1 also lost John Doe from the outset, engine of his Chevron B60 "out", while Franck Morel escaped in head at the wheel of his Toj SC206.

Soon after, a puncture imposed on him to waste precious time at his garage.

Fred Da Rocha took the power and took the lead in the mid-race, followed by Franck Metzger (Cesca Grac), Gérard Pargamin (Osella PA8) and Francis Dougnac (Epsylon Alfa), the latter two exchanging their positions thereafter.

It will be the final ranking, Fred Da Rocha preserving 2.3 "ahead of Franck Metzger at the moment to cross the finish line.

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The same ones took back the track in the afternoon for the race 2, Fred Da Rocha immediately seized the command before Franck Metzger, soon overtaken by Gérard Pargamin.Started carefully,

Franck Morel waited to have exceeded the mid-race to take the lead and sign his fifth victory of the meeting!

Fred Da Rocha and Franck Metzger joined him on the podium.

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GT and saloon cars

GT Classic Trophy

Already the fastest in the qualifying tests Friday evening, Franck Morel imposed his rhythm from the start of this first race of 40 minutes to reach the mid-race stops with already almost a minute ahead of the another Viper by Julien Grenet and Laurent Sabatier's Porsche 993 GT2.

Despite a drive through, the latter moved at the second position and passed the checkered flag with a lap behind the winning Viper.

Despite having a stop and go, Patrice Faurie appropriated a beautiful 4th place, synonymous the victory in category GTC3.

The duo Garret / Dos Santos (Porsche 964) and Jean-Claude Chollet (Porsche 944 turbo) imitated him respectively in GTC2 and GTC4.

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New race without worries for Franck Morel.

Leader detached at the start of the race, the driver of the Viper increased his lead on the Porsche 993 GT2 of Laurent Sabatier over the laps and reached the term of the race without being worried by him.

Like the previous day, Julien Grenet placed the other Viper in third place. More contested the category GTC2 was marked by the short victory of Gillian Garret / Jean-Christophe Dos Santos against Patrick Delannoy's other Porsche 964.

Patrice Faurie (Porsche 964) and Jean-Pascal Roche (Porsche 928S), respectively first in GTC3 and GTC4, were the other laureates of the day.

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Maxi 1000 Trophy

Best time in the first qualifying session, Enzo Thiéfain confirmed his ambitions at the start of the race.

After seven laps, Laurent Majou relieved him at the top, the battle continued between both and the Belgian Jeremy Princen.

With 2.5 seconds ahead Laurent Majou got the last word, consolidating its leading position in the Trophy Max 1000.

Jean-François Besson completed the day's quarter behind Jeremy Princen and Enzo Thiéfain. The own father of the latter, Thierry, won the class 1000 cm3 in another Mini.

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Laureate of the Saturday race, Laurent Majou immediately imposed its rhythm in this return match.

Enzo Thiéfain and Jean-François Besson tried to cling to his wake in the early laps, then the young driver of the Cooper was forced to retire at the stage of mid-race.

Conversely, the driver of the Alpine A110 returned in the wheels of the leader and ended up stealing him the limelight two laps of the end.

Jean-François Besson joined the checkered flag triumphantly in front of Laurent Majou and a Philippe Gandini returned in the exhaust pipes of the (voiture du 3ième) at the end of the race.

As on the previous day, class 1 remained the prerogative of Thierry Thiéfain.

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Saloon Car Trophy

Poleman on the wet track in the morning, Fabrice Lefebvre immediately positioned his Audi Quattro "group B replica" to the top.

A severe duel with the Porsche of Patrick Delannoy started, of which it will be necessary to wait 14 laps before knowing the denouement.

Fabrice Lefebvre finally won for two tenths of a second, while Patrick Fuet completed the top tree of the day. Among the owners of the oldest cars, Sylvain Regnier (Porsche Carrera 6) and Nicolas Grue (Chevrolet Monza) were respectively awarded sixth and seventh

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The second meeting of the trophy Saloon Car placed to the forefront the duel Fabrice Lefebvre / Patrick Delannoy of the day before.

This time, the driver of the Audi was on the entire race in the lead but without ever managing to get rid of his rival.

Threatening to the end, Patrick Delannoy conceded only a half second on the finish line. Behind this terrible duo, Nicolas Grue inherited a third place a long time the possession of Patrick Fuet, while winning the category "Seventies".

Behind them, Sylvain Regnier completed the top 5 in his precious Porsche Carrera 6.

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GT/Tourisme Asavé Challenge

"Only" credited second time in the practice, Franck Morel returned to his usual rank in the first lap, leaving the poleman Didier Cruvelier, aboard another Porsche 930 turbo, explain with Ghislain Gaubert for the gain of the second place.

Away from the insatiable Franck Morel, the two men battled until the finish that saw the second get the last word for 1.7''.

At the wheel of his Ford Capri 3L, John Doe raised the first one "Tourism" in top five.

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According to a well-known refrain, Franck Morel immediately took the lead, followed by his playmate Ghislain Gaubert, soon distanced. At the end of the 14 laps, he nevertheless retained the second place behind the unapproachable Morel with 23'' ahead of the third man of the day, Didier Cruvelier.

The podium on Saturday was renewed. Franck Morel offered himself the luxury to outstrip the winner of the trophy Saloon Car.

And as the day before, John Doe (Ford Capri 3L) ended first tourism car in the fifth rank, preceding the other Ford Capri of Jean - Sébastien Pomart and the Philippe Truffier’s BMW 530 ius Philippe Truffier.

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Asavé Racing 65

Scheduled for one hour, the Asavé Racing 65 race saw Didier Gruau confirm his pole position by taking the lead from the start.

But the party was short-lived: after two laps, the TVR Griffith 400, which was also to be driven by Claude Boissy, stood still and left the Philip Harper’s Shelby Cobra 289 to take over from him to the command.

After the pit stops, the latter was in the battle for victory with José Beltramelli (Chevrolet Corvette) for the last twenty minutes.

The duel turned to the advantage of Philip Harper who finally completed the race with less than eight seconds ahead of the driver of the powerful American car.

Bernard Wilhelm raised his Jaguar Type E in third place ahead of Sébastien Calas, winner in Tourism before the Cooper of Philippe Quiriere and the other Ford Cortina Lotus of Alain Pages.

Seventh aboard his exceptional Alfa Romeo GTZ, Lucien Guitteny moved three rows higher when making a stop and go. Even less fortunate, the tandem Julien Gruau / Alain Miran (Ford Falcon) was deprived of a podium by a withdrawal at five minutes of the arrival.

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Lotus Trophy

While waiting for the two races, gathered on Sunday alone, the qualifying session of the day ended with the benefit of Anthony Delhaye.

Very comfortable on a wet track, he relegated to 7/10 Dominique Vulliez and his Caterham, while Pascal Métayer, the leader of the trophy, completed the trio just ahead of his main challenger in the title chase, Xavier Jacquet.

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Anthony Delhaye confirmed his possession of poleman, in the race of the morning, was without considering on Xavier Jacquet which immediately seized the lead.

At the mid-race, seven first ones were still grouped in five seconds, then the leader accentuated his effort to break away from his pursuers. At the end of the 13 laps, Xavier Jacquet completed his breakaway win, 2.5'' ahead of Jean-Jacques Billeres and Florent Cazalot at 5.9''.

Pascal Métayer is the big loser of the race, one straight relegated him from the second to the seventh place.

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A new relentless fight was established in the race 2 of the afternoon, initially led by Xavier Jacquet, then by Jean-Jacques Billeres.

The latter managed to maintain the advantage until the thirteenth and last lap by repelling the last assaults of Pascal Metayer, beaten only 7/10 of a second.

At three seconds, Philippe Gaso completes the podium.

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Guests

Legends Cars Cup

The morning race, run on a track with changing conditions, ended with the clear victory of Antoine Morisset before the Belgian Claude Watteyne.

Frédéric Morel took over in the afternoon, when Thibaut Chiron and Jérôme Plantier were also on the podium.

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Leader from end to end, Frédéric Morel won this endurance of 40 mn not without having been worried until the last lap by the young Thibaut Chiron.

At ten seconds, Jérôme Plantier found his second podium of the weekend.

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Youngtimers GTI Cup et Roadster Pro Cup

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Best performer of the practice Jean-Christophe Bastia left the racing advantage to another R5 GT Turbo Group N owner (and newcomer to the Coupe), Rémy Cassagnabere.

The two men were headed for a double when the Corsican driver was forced to return to his stand three laps from the goal.

Good third, " Lautri " ( Honda Civic) left the race at the same moment, this double withdrawal allowing Damien Benjamin ( Honda Civic) and Alain Mandelli (Golf GTI) to take the way of the podium.

In Roadster Pro Cup, Tony Deschamps won in a good way with a dozen seconds ahead of the organizer-preparer-driver Philippe Gosset.

Dominique Josquin completed the winning trio of fans of this new Mazda MX5 championship.

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Winner on the green carpet of the Saturday race (after the downgrade of Cassagnabere), the young Damien Benjamin took the lead from the beginning in front of Tony Deschamps and Jacques Boutolleau.

The rest of the race was marked by the return of Jean-Christophe Bastia, forced to retire in race 1, who finished at the second place at only 4.3'' from the winning Honda Civic. In Roadster Pro Cup, Dominique Josquin and Philippe Gosset joined Tony Deschamps on the last podium of the meeting.

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My favorite of the week end.

As fan of viper, I could not ignore this model.

This Viper chassis #VCC009 finished 3rd at Road America and 1st at Laguna Seca in the 2003 Speed World Challenge Series with Paul Mumford at his wheel.

This chassis, always with these 2003 victorious colors, is a historic car (with all due respect to the french administration).

It is now the property of Julien Grenet who does not hesitate to put it on the track.

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(Based on Historic Tour Press release)

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