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Grand prix d'Albi - Historic Tour - France

17th - 20th July 2020

Event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello

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Initially scheduled on April 17/18/19, the Albi GP has been postponed to July 17/18/19, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first French Championship to return to competition, the Historic Tour launched its 2020 season in the presence of spectators from the Albi circuit. A real release after three long months of waiting.

Still subject to "post-containment" health rules with a restriction on the number of people present on site, I was there for you !

French championship of Single-seaters and Prototypes SportProtosCup / Race 1

Author of the best time during qualifying practice on Friday, Matthieu Châteaux (Debora SP91 - BMW 2L M12/7 - #85) confirmed his supremacy in the race against Gianluigi Candiani (Lucchini SP94 - Alfa V6 12s 3L - #44) and Gérard Pargamin (Lucchini SP93 - Alfa V6 12s 3L - #75).

The Italian was then betrayed by his mechanics and leaving his rival to reach second place 13’’7 behind the winner.

Pierre-Loup Boch (Lucchini P3 - BMW 3L - #71) completed the podium in front of Carlos Tavarès (Chevron B21 - Ford Cosworth BDG 2L - #58), who, this weekend, used for the first time the Derek Bennett’s creation.

Before his retirement near the finish, Louis Kolly (Lola T292 - BMW M12-7 2L - #81) claimed the same fourth place.

Passing from the bucket of his Lotus Seven to that of a Bogani Alfa, Dominique Vulliez (Bogani 91 - Alfa V6 12s 3L - #36) did not complete a lap after clocking the third fastest time in practice.

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Race 2

With a lead of 18' from mid-race, Matthieu Châteaux quickly swept away any uncertainty about the outcome of the second race of the Sportprotoscup.

Far behind the Debora, Pierre-Loup Boch occupied the second place for a moment before being forced to withdrawal and let Gérard Pargamin be the… «first of the others» at the wheel of another Lucchini.

For third place, Louis Kolly and Carlos Tavarès crossed swords to the end, the two men crossing the finish line together in less than five seconds.

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Trophée F3 Classic / Race 1

Imperial in qualifying Frédéric Rouvier (March 783 – Toy - # 59) confirmed his supremacy from the first laps.

On his heels, Davide Leone (March 783 – Toy - #81) and his father Valerio (March 783 – Toy - #80) reached the halfway point, respectively, 4’’ and 12’’ behind the reigning French champion.

No more worried afterwards, the latter even saw himself rid of Davide Leone, forced to withdrawal four laps from the finish. Brady Beltramelli (March 813 – Toy - #69) thus reached the podium by finishing just four seconds behind Valerio Leone.

«Nelson» (Martini MK42 – Alfa - #51) and Carlos Tavarès (Ralt RT3 – Alfa - #15) were in the top 5, unlike Eric Martin (Martini MK39 – Alfa - #2) and Laurent Vallery-Masson (Ralt RT3 – Alfa - #22), who both claimed before their retirement.

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Race 2

On the strength of his success of the previous day, Frédéric Rouvier methodically widened the gap to Valerio Leone, relegating him to more than six seconds at the mid-race stage.

Behind the two March 783s, Brady Beltramelli hung on to third place before seeing Davide Leone, who made a quick comeback, swoop on him and overtake him in 11th of the 18 laps.

A short-lived joy for the young Italian, forced to withdrawal shortly after when he seemed able to worry his father.

The race ended with Frédéric Rouvier’s second victory ahead of Valerio Leone, just 4’6 behind. Nicely pulled up from the back of the grid, Eric Martin invited himself to the podium in extremis by overtaking in the last lap a Brady Beltramelli slowed down by his mechanics.

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Trophée Formule Ford Kent and Zetec / Race 1

From the start, a struggle began between Arnaud Dousse (Van Diemen RF02 Z - 1800cc - #46) and Augustin Sanjuan (Tatuus RC99 - 1800cc - #40), the pole-man.

Credited with fifth fastest time in practice with a much older Formula Ford, Jérôme Policand (Lola T540E - 1600cc - #22) was quickly stopped by a black flag following an early departure.

In front, Sanjuan and Dousse exchanged positions as the race evolve, the final word went to second with a 5''5 lead. In third place, Geoffroy Horion (Van Diemen RF92 - 1600cc - #3) won the Formula Ford Kent category, just ahead of Gislain Genecand (Van Diemen RF92 - 1600cc - #10).

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Race 2

Starting in the lead, Augustin Sanjuan quickly gave the advantage to Arnaud Dousse, the winner of the first race.

Halfway through the race, they were separated by five seconds, while Manuel Béguinot (Mygale SJ98 - 1800cc - #2), who made a superb start to the race, lifted another Formula Ford Zetec to third place.

After a short neutralisation, there was a restart for a final lap which saw Arnaud Dousse victoriously conclude his day ahead of Augustin Sanjuan. Geoffroy Horion places the first Formula Ford Kent in third position, preceding in this category Adrien Laissac (Ray GR11 - 1600cc - #35) and Jérôme Policand

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Trophée Formule Renault Classic / Race 1

Untouchable in practice, the Swiss Christian Vaglio Giors (Martini MK51 - #41) sailed through the race and even allowed himself to insert his Formula Renault in the middle of the F3s, in fifth "scratch" place.

Behind, Laurent Majou (Martini MK44 - #99) was the fastest at the start of the race before bowing to Lionel Robert (Martini MK63 - #3), back in Formula Renault aboard an "atmo" version, in the fifth lap.

From then on, we have the future trifecta.

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Race 2

As on Saturday, Christian Vaglio-Giors took the lead in the "FR" from the start of the race.

Behind him, Lionel Robert soon gave the advantage to Laurent Majou, then to Bruno Mottez (Martini MK51 - #97), before retiring at halfway.

Laurent Majou also betrayed by his mechanics (engine overheating), Bruno Mottez took a long-term position in second place and completed a solid race in this position, around fifty seconds behind Vaglio-Giors.

Good third, Arnaud France (Martini MK44 - #26) preceded at the finish Bernard Soulié (Martini MK59 - #18), winner among the Formula Renault "atmo".

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Challenge Formula Ford Historic / Qualifs

The first two races of the 2020 challenge were on the Sunday program.

As a prelude to these, the "qualifiers" of this Saturday ended with the domination of the unexpected Jérôme Policand (Lola T 540 E - Ford 1600cc - #22).

Coming back to the category of his beginnings (vice-champion of France in 1986), the boss of the prestigious Akka-ASP team quickly found the right automatisms! François Belle (Lola T 540 E - Ford 1600cc - #1), who was the only one to keep up, failed less than 3/10.

Swiss riders Alain Girardet (Crosslé 25 F - Ford 1600cc – #58), Christian Vaglio Giors (Lola T 540 E - Ford 1600cc - #41) and Gislain Genecand (Crosslé 25 F - Ford 1600cc - #10) completed a top 5.

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Race 1

Starting from pole, Jérôme Policand started the morning race for command with François Belle and Alain Girardet huddled in his wheels.

Halfway through the race, the three men were still in the same second, while the main pack, behind about ten seconds, was led by Swiss riders Christian Vaglio-Giors and Gislain Genecand.

After a neutralization following a collision, the final battle took place on two final laps and ended to the advantage of the boss of the Akka-ASP team, winner with a minimal advantage of 299/1000 seconds over François Belle.

Penalized, Alain Girardet and Gislain Genecand abandoned the third step of the podium to Marc Faggionato (Van Diemen RF 81 - Ford 1600cc - #2).

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Race 2

At the same sustained pace, Jérôme Policand and François Belle started the afternoon race 2 in this order in front of the whole peloton.

Halfway through the race, the gap between them remained around two seconds, while Marc Faggionato and Alain Girardet led the main body.

Two laps from the chequered flag Jérôme Policand received a Drive through penalty (non respect of the race route) which opened the doors of victory to François Belle.

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French championship of GT/Touring

Trophée Lotus / Race 1

Side by side on the first row of the starting grid, Dominique Vulliez (the "poleman") and Xavier Jacquet started the race in that order, before a long neutralization froze the positions until halfway through the race.

The trail restarted, Dominique Vulliez clung to his good until the finish line, which he crossed as a winner with 4/10 advantage over Xavier Jacquet and 1'8 on a Florent Cazalot never won.

Claude Rucheton victim of a blocked accelerator, the first place of Caterham goes to Didier Vest.

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Race 2

The day after a fiercely contested Race 1, we were back to the same for the return leg.

Dominique Vulliez and Xavier Jacquet regularly exchanged their positions at the head of the peloton under the watchful eye of Florent Cazalot.

The three belligerents crossed the halfway mark together in just 6/10 of a second. As the finish approached, Xavier Jacquet was the first to let go by making a spin.

So that Dominique Vulliez and Florent Cazalot were alone in the battle for the victory, the second winning in the last lap following the loss of power of the Vulliez engine.

Alongside them, Philippe Koenig climbed on the podium for the first time this weekend.

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Maxi 1300 Series / Race 1

Gathered in 49/1000 of a second in practice, Laurent Majou (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc - #99) and Philippe Gandini (Mini Jem GT - 1300cc - #14) logically start the race in the first two places.

After a few laps, their duel was unfortunately cut short by the presentation of a black and orange flag to Philippe Gandini.

Laurent Majou therefore seemed to have the way clear ... before being eliminated in his turn at five laps from the finish following an engine problem.

The two favorites "out", Sébastien Calas (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc - #67) took the glory and finally won ahead of Tomy Gruelles (Mini Marcos - 1275cc - #10) and Adrien Harang (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc - #57), winner in his category (class 3) like the Belgian Claude Corthals (Autobianchi A112 Elite Gr.II - 994cc - #40), winner in class 1.

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Race 2

Unlucky on Saturday, Laurent Majou took command from the start, while Sébastien Calas, the winner of race 1, led the chasing pack before disappearing in the fourth lap.

Halfway through the race, it was Philippe Gandini's turn to threaten Laurent Majou, then to overtake him.

From then on, the two men engaged in a battle of every moment, the Jem pilot ultimately prevailed in the last lap.

Among the unlucky ones, Arnaud Dupin (Innocenti Cooper MK II - 1296cc - # 20) saw his top 5 escape in view of the finish, while Tony Gruelles’s race ended much earlier, on the first lap.

As the day before, Adrien Harang and Claude Corthals share classes 3 and 1.

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Trophée Saloon Cars / Race 1

Julien Grenet (Dodge Viper - 8000cc - #51) gave the tempo of the first race of the weekend from the first laps by widening the gap on the returning rider Alain Derognat (BMW 323 i E30 - 64), who was about twenty seconds behind at the halfway point.

At 5 minutes from the finish, victory seemed assured for Julien Grenet when the powerful yellow American car with a V10 engine stopped at the edge of the track!

This spectacular turn of events propelled Alain Derognat into the first winner of the meeting.

In the ranking, follow Thierry Lortal (Caterham Superseven - 2000cc - #36), Nicolas Grue (Chevrolet Monza- 5735cc - #12), Philippe Gandini (Honda CRX 6 - 1600cc - #99) and Fabrice Delavault (Caterham - 1998cc - #68).

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Race 2

Winner of the Saturday race in his “maxi” BMW 323i, Alain Derognat started this race 2 at the same place, but the party was short-lived.

Although starting from the back of the grid due to his retirement the day before, Julien Grenet stole the show from him on the fourth lap, before losing his gain after an "off track" session.

From then on, it was necessary to wait for the 15th of the 19 laps to see the Dodge Viper took command again, definitely this time.

Alain Derognat finished at 8’’, while Thierry Lortal acceded to the podium as the day before.

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Trophée GT Classic / Race 1

A logical holder of the pole at the wheel of his formidable Zuffenhausen’s racing car, Laurent Sabatier (Porsche 993 GT2 - 3600cc - #51) quickly distances himself from Sébastien Mathieu (BMW M3 GTR Evo PTG - 3200cc - #84), relegated to more than twenty seconds in the middle of the race.

Unsurprisingly, the race ended on that order.

Well recovered after starting from the back of the grid, Jean-Christophe Bastia (Porsche 964 RS - 3600cc - #911), defector of the Youngtimers GTI Cup, completed this first podium of the GT Classic.

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Race 2

Out of reach of his pursuers the day before, Laurent Sabatier set off again on Sunday.

His white Porsche was once again in the lead throughout the race and reached the finish line almost a minute ahead of Sébastien Mathieu's green BMW.

Jean-Christophe Bastia and Eric Faure (Porsche 964 Cup - 3800cc - #119) followed and won their respective categories as had already been the case on Saturday.

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Asavé Racing 65 / Race 1

Attraction of this field, the magnificent Cobra Daytona rebuilt by the ATS workshops made its racing debut this Saturday, driven by Pierre-François Rousselot (Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé - 4700cc - #56).

Qualified on pole position, the former champion had to give the advantage to José Beltramelli (TVR Griffith 400 - 4700cc - #69) from the beginning of this 45 mn race.

When the pitstop window opened, the two men were separated by ten seconds, while the circuit’s boss, Didier Sirgue (Chevrolet Corvette C2 - 6476cc - #81), remained on the lookout.

Passed into the hands of Gregor Raymondis (Chevrolet Corvette C2 - 6476cc - #81), the latter finally reached second place thanks to the final rush of its driver and the Drive Through inflicted on Pierre-François Rousselot.

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Race 2

This second 45-minute race of Asavé Racing 65 immediately turned to the advantage of José Beltramelli.

At the first pit stops, At the stage of the first pitstops, the checkered TVR Griffith 400 led in front of the black Chevrolet Corvette, the fabulous Cobra Daytona and the Lotus Elan smoothly handled by Lionel Robert (Lotus Elan - 1600cc - #17).

Once the possible changes of drivers were made, José Beltramelli confirmed his domination and signed his second victory of the weekend, about ten seconds ahead of the Corvette passed in Didier Sirgue’s hands.

Pierre-François Rousselot was on his way to snatch second place from him before having to retire two minutes from the finish.

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Asavé Racing 75 / Race 1

At the wheel of the family car, Ghislain Gaubert (Porsche 911 2.8 RSR - #28) made his stint at the lead and reached the twentieth minute with seven seconds ahead of Jean-Marc David (Lola T70 MK2 Spider - 5700cc - #46).

Followed a little bit behind Romain Joffroy (Porsche 911 3.0 RS - 2994cc - #36), Didier Sirgue (Chevrolet Corvette C2 - 6476cc - 81) and José Beltramelli (Ford Escort RS 1600 - 2000cc - #69).

After the pit stops were completed, Guillaume Gaubert (Porsche 911 2.8 RSR - #28) took over from his father, while Jean-Marc David received a Stop and Go.

Didier Calmels (Porsche 911 3.0 RS - 2994cc - #36), who took over from Romain Joffroy, thus climbed to second place ahead of Laurent Vallery-Masson, who took the wheel of Didier Sirgue's Chevrolet Corvette.

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Race 2

Winner the day before with his father Ghislain, Guillaume Gaubert led the start of the race despite serious brake problems and reached the 20-minute mark as the leader ahead of Romain Joffroy and Jean-Marc David, who were less than ten seconds behind.

All the stops made, it was the turn of Ghislain Gaubert to lead the dance and control the return of the unfortunate Jean-Marc David, forced to retire in the last lap.

Didier Calmels, who passed at the wheel of Romain Joffroy's Porsche, climbed to second place and left it to the Beltramelli family to complete the podium after having taken advantage of Laurent Vallery-Masson for the finish.

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Roadster Pro Cup / Qualif

The «4» season of the Roadster Pro Cup started under excellent auspices with nearly twenty Mazda MX-5s on track.

While waiting for Sunday's double race, Florian Cabarrou achieved the performance of the day by setting the fastest time in qualifying with a full second ahead of his nearest rival!

His runner-up was none other than Ludovic Bellinato, a new recruit of choice for the Cup. Franck Cabarrou "father" and the operator of the set Philippe Gosset complete the top quartet.

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Race 1

Already the fastest on Saturday in «qualifying», Florian Cabarrou makes the perfect in the morning race by leading the race from end to end.

At the end of the 14 laps, Ludovic Bellinato, the newcomer, was almost three seconds behind under the checkered flag.

Nicolas Ariscon, pointed at the second place at the very start of the race, completed the winning trifecta of this race 1.

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Race 2

In the afternoon, Nicolas Ariscon and Florian Cabarrou took, initially, the lead in the pack.

Then, Ludovic Bellinato briefly took the lead before having to perform a Drive Through.

From then on, Florian Cabarrou, took the lead over his father Franck and Philippe Laborie, soon passed by Bellinato following an incursion into a gravel.

The latter still progressed by one row at the end of the race, coming between the Cabarrou son and father.

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Youngtimers GTI Cup / Qualif

We will wait until Sunday to attend the first two races of the Youngtimers GTI Cup, the Fourth Edition.

On Saturday Fabien Julia (Honda Civic - 1600cc - #20) claimed pole position 8/10 ahead of the former French champion Franck Quagliozzi (Honda Civic - 1600cc - #51).

At a distance, Samuel Vivas (Citroën AX Coupe - 1300cc - #62) and Damien Benjamin (Honda Civic - 1600cc - #3) followed together.

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Race 1

Starting from the front row aboard their respective Honda Civics, Fabien Julia and Franck Quagliozzi started the morning race with a spectacular duel.

Leaders in turn, the two men passed the halfway point wheel to wheel, then the appearance of a Safety Car momentarily froze their positions.

On a final recovery lap, Franck Quagliozzi got the last word, while Samuel Vivas completed this first podium.

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Race 2

The afternoon race started with a morning remake with a new "mano à mano" between the two rivals Franck Quagliozzi and Fabien Julia, followed at a distance by Samuel Vivas.

At the end of the 14 laps, the race ended on this order, which was already topical in the morning.

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Guests

Legends Cars Cup / Races 1 and 2

As usual, Saturday was dedicated to the two sprint races of the Legends Cars Cup.

Frédéric Depresle won in the morning session ahead of Maxime Lieutenant.

In the afternoon heat, the latter took his revenge, this time preceding Thibaut Chiron by 4/10 of a second.

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Race 3 (40")

At the end of the 40 minutes of the race, the traditional endurance ended with the victory of the Belgian Maxime Lieutenant, already leader at halfway through the pit stop time.

The man won ahead of Thibaut Chiron and Maxime Sonntag and left Albi as the championship leader.

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(Based on Historic Tour Press release)

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