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60th Grand Prix de Nogaro - Historic Tour

11th - 13th September 2020

Event report and photos by Raymond Bonnello

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L’Historic Tour (the French Historical Circuit Championship) continues its journey.

The meeting will thus served as the setting for a new edition (the 60th) of the prestigious Grand Prix de Nogaro, whose prize list has been enriched over time by many major names in motorsport.

For the rest, this fourth stage of the French Historical Circuit Championship offers a programme in all points similar to that of the previous rounds.

The 14 trophies or historic challenges (each with its own specificities in terms of the type and age of the cars it gathers) were spread over 9 distinct platforms, each of them being the subject of two races during the weekend.

Enough to offer the public (admitted subject to compliance with the now usual sanitary rules) a rhythmic show to say the least, featuring nearly 300 racing cars from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Single-Seater/Prototype Championship

F3 Classic Trophy

Race 1

Frédéric Rouvier (March 783 - Toyota #59), who set the fastest time in the first «qualifying» on Friday, finished the first lap ahead of Davide Leone (Alba AR1 - Alfa Romeo #81) and Eric Martin (Martini MK39 - Alfa Romeo #2), who was quickly overtaken by Valerio Leone (March 783 - Toyota #80).

Still the leader at the mid-race stage, he was only one second ahead of Davide Leone, while his father Valerio lay in ambush at three seconds.

The hopes of the Italian family gradually faded and, despite a great resistance, Davide Leone finally to bow by 1.9” to the indomitable Rouvier.

Eric Martin and Brady Beltramelli (March 813 - Toyota #69), both at a good pace, completed the top 5.

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Race 2

Fréderic Rouvier against Leone father and son, it was the major stake of this new match of the F3 Classic.

Starting from pole, the Frenchman immediately took his favorite place, followed like his shadow by Davide Leone.

At the mid-race, only 6/10 of a second separated the two men, while Valerio Leone was also still in contact at 1’6.

Four laps from the finish, Davide Leone was forced to regain his pit, following a double problem with the engine and the brakes, leaving his father alone to grapple with Frédéric Rouvier.

One last unsuccessful face-to-face for the Italian, who lost for 5/10 of a second.

Eric Martin, after a solid race, joined them on the podium, while Brady Beltramelli and the stranger Bernard Lacour (Martini 42 - VW #6) completed the top 5.

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Formule Renault Classic Trophy

Race 1

Back on the Formula Renault Classic grid, Lionel Robert (Martini MK48 #3) remembered the good memory of everyone from the “qualifying” practice.

Credited with the reference time, the Manceau confirmed its supremacy in the race by gradually leaving behind Christian Vaglio-Giors (Martini MK51 #41), who had remained undefeated since the start of the championship.

With a 17' lead on the finish line, Lionel Robert won his Martini MK48 "ex Claude Dégremont", while Laurent Majou Rosinoer (Martini MK44 #99) completed the podium.

Despite a spin, the local Matthieu Rigoulet (Martini MK41 #120) took fourth place ahead of Arnaud France (Martini MK44 #26).

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Race 2

Always as dominating, the Lionel Robert distanced very quickly Christian Vaglio-Giors,pushing him back to around ten seconds at the mid-race stage.

Like the day before, Laurent Majou Rosinoer and Matthieu Rigoulet followed.

The Manceau then continued to widen the gap to secure the double ahead of their Swiss challenger.

Laurent Majou Rosinoer, who was suffering from an engine overheating, was able to worry the latter for a moment, and finally settled for fourth place between Matthieu Rigoulet and Arnaud France.

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Formule Ford Kent Trophy

Race 1

Geoffroy Horion (Van Diemen RF92 - 1600cc #3), who set the fastest time in the Formula Ford Kent practice, let go of the Zetec versions (the race is common to both versions), advantaged on this track, from the start of the race but held in respect all the other Formula Ford with Kent engine.

A solid leader during the twelve laps, the Belgian finally managed to keep the advantage over Gislain Genecand (Van Diemen RF92 - 1600cc #10), beaten by just 723/1000 of a second.

Third place holder from start to finish, Xavier Michel (Van Diemen RF90 - 1600cc #11) completed the podium.

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Race 2

First leader, Geoffroy Horion was looking for a second victory after the one on Saturday.

But others did not see it that way, starting with Gislain Genecand, who was in command halfway ahead of Xavier Michel and the Belgian driver.

Penalized by a drive through, he had to be content with a meager fourth place at the finish, far from Gislain Genecand and Xavier Michel, who remained neck and neck until the finish.

For 9/10 of a second, the Swiss saved his first place on the finish line.

NELSON (Van Diemen RF92 - 1600cc #14) completed the podium.

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Formule Ford Zetec Trophy

Race 1

Starting from the front row, Augustin Sanjuan (Tatuus RC99 - 1800cc #40) made a great start and immediately gained a valuable lead over poleman Arnaud Dousse (Van Diemen RF02 Z - 1800cc #46) and his teammate Nicolas Beloou (Van Diemen RF02Z - 1800cc #12), back on the trophy.

Halfway through the race, they were in a struggle, but already about ten seconds behind the irresistible Swiss driver.

The latter maintained his lead until the end of the race, animated by the challenge for the second place, which was coveted by Arnaud Dousse, Maxime Lebreton (Van Diemen RF00Z - 1800cc #15), author of a superb ascent, and Nicolas Beloou.

He was finally doing the best after his two opponents collided in the last lap.

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Race 2

Winner on Saturday, Augustin Sanjuan again took the lead in the opening laps.

After a short neutralization,the Swiss crossed the middle of the race with Eric Heudicourt (Mygale SJ02 - 1800cc #84), Arnaud Dousse and Nicolas Beloou chasing him.

Arnaud Dousse then let go, slowed down by a problem with the catalytic converter, while Nicolas Beloou was forced to retire with the engine "out".

The last of Augustin Sanjuan's challengers, Eric Heudicourt finally finished the race, 4’3 behind the Swiss driver.

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SportProtosCup

Race 1

Undeniable master of the game from practice,Matthieu Châteaux (Debora SP91 - BMW 2L M12/7 #85) quickly ran away, followed by another proto powered by the same engine that of Guillaume Guignard (Norma M14 - BMW 2L M12/7 #8), which its designer Norbert Santos had come to meet in Nogaro.

With about fifteen seconds in advance from the halfway point, all suspense was quickly forgotten.

There followed a short neutralization, then a restart for the final three laps and a final victorious ride from Matthieu Châteaux.

Behind Guillaume Gagnard and Dominique Vulliez (Bogani 91 - Alfa V6 12s 3L #36) completed the podium. Francis Dougnac (Epsilon Alfa V6 12s-3000cc # 31) concluded his comeback race in fourth place.

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Race 2

Despite the resistance offered by Guillaume Gagnard, Matthieu Châteaux quickly took the race on his own.

In the leading trio, Dominique Vulliez unfortunately did not go beyond the third round.

Without the slightest suspense, Matthieu Châteaux widened the gap along the laps and reached the finish with more than half a minute advantage over Guillaume Gagnard.

A good third, Josserand De Murard (Merlin MP46 - Alfa V6 12s 3L #15) finished ahead of Alexandre Dougnac (Epsilon Alfa V6 12s-3000cc # 31), the son of Francis, who saw the day before at the wheel of the family Epsilon.

Carlos Antunes Tavarès (Chevron B21 - Ford 2L #58) was sixth.

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Formula Ford Historic Challenge

Race 1

The last race on Saturday started very badly with Didier Mantz’s (Jomo JMR 7 - Ford 1600cc #20) severe (fortunately not serious) crash in the first corner.

A new start was given, which saw the «poleman» Gislain Genecand (Crosslé 25 F - Ford 1600cc #10) missed his start for the benefit of his compatriot Christian Vaglio-Giors (Crosslé 32 F - Ford 1600cc #41).

Very quickly, it was François Belle's (Lola T 540 E - Ford 1600cc #1) turn to take the operations in hand and to break away from our Switzerland, soon overtaken by a certain Dino Lunardi (Van Diemen RF 77 - Ford 1600cc #63).

Invited to immerse himself in the discipline of his beginings, the LMP3 driver, former German GT champion, was not there to do any figuration!

The mid-race not yet reached, Vaglio-Giors was already «out» and the Safety Car was deployed.

The match was relaunched, François Belle held on to the lead and ended up a few lengths ahead of Dino Lunardi, finally caught up and overtook by Gislain Genecand on the last lap.

Xavier Michel (Crosslé 32 F - Ford 1600cc #16) and “Nelson” (Van Diemen RF 80 - Ford 1600cc #92) completed the top 5, while the class A victory went to Eric Lecluse (Lotus 69 F - Ford 1600cc #61) ahead of a single-seater beginner: Charlotte Berton (Vaney FF 72 - Ford 1600cc #96).

For a first experience, the four-time French rally champion finished in a promising tenth place (unfortunately disqualified after technical controls for non-respect of the weight).

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Race 2

Sixth at the finish of Saturday’s race, Eric Lukes created a surprise by completing the first three laps in the lead.

The race resumed soon after a more familiar turn with Gislain Genecand and François Belle in the first two places, while Dino Lunardi had to perform a drive through to have anticipated the start.

Approaching the middle of the race, an exit from the track meant that the race was temporarily neutralized.

The race relaunched by a final sprint of five laps, François Belle and Gislain Genecand found themselves alone to dispute the victory, a few cable's length ahead of Xavier Michel and Eric Lukes.

Like the day before, the Drômois had the last word and won for 6/10.

At around ten seconds, Xavier Michel also took the podium, while the class A victory went to Stéphane Brunetti (Merlyn Mk 20 - Ford 1600cc #5).

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French GT Tourism Championship

GT Classic Trophy

Race 1

Betrayed by the double turbo of his Porsche 993 GT2 in free practice, Laurent Sabatier (BMW M3 GTR Evo PTG #184) found a rescue solution: fairly, his GBF Racing teammate Sébastien Mathieu left him behind the wheel of his own BMW M3 GTR!

The porschist set the best time on board in "qualifying", then started the race in the lead before being caught by a certain… Sébastien Mathieu (Porsche 964 RSR #84), who finally started last in his old Porsche 964.

The latter then escaped, while Olivier Morihain (Porsche 996 Cup #49) took second place from Laurent Sabatier halfway through the race.

The cause seemed to be closed by Sébastien Mathieu, but his pace suddenly dropped at the end of the race, which benefited Olivier Morihain, the first to pass under the checkered flag.

Second, Laurent Sabatier saved the essential, the winner playing as a guest "out of the league", he collected the points of victory.

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Race 2

Olivier Morihain took the lead from the start of this second race.

At mid-race, Laurent Sabatier was wisely installed in second place, while Gilbert Daumas (Porsche 968 Turbo RS #968) completed the top three.

Nine laps later, Sébastien Mathieu was forced to make a pit stop and Geoffroy Rosembly (BMW Z3 M #17) completed the day’s top 5.

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Saloon Cars Trophy

Race 1

Starting from the front row, poleman Julien Grenet (Dodge Viper #23) and his runner-up Alain Derognat (BMW 323i E30 #64) were again in that order from the start of the race.

In great shape, the Viper driver then broke away and increased his lead to around ten seconds at the midpoint of the race.

The gap continued to grow and the two men joined the finish line without any more worries.

Third at almost fifty seconds, Patrick Delannoy (Porsche 996 GT3 cup #18) preceded Michael Desmaele (Porsche 996 GT3 cup #16).

The top 5 was completed by a Thierry Lortal (Caterham Super Seven 2L #36) always so swift.

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Race 2

Imperial in Race 1, Julien Grenet returned to battle with the same thirst for victory.

Alain Derognat tried in vain to follow him, lost precious time on a spin, then was dislodged from second place by Patrick Delannoy.

Halfway through the race, these two chasers were respectively 11" and 15" behind the leading Viper.

Behind an untouchable Julien Grenet until the end, Patrick Delannoy and Alain Derognat finished in this order, separated by just over three seconds, while Thierry Lortal, fourth, advanced by one place compared to the previous day.

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Lotus Trophy

Race 1

After a superb pole position half a second ahead of his closest pursuer, Anthony Delhaye immediately took the race on his own.

In his wake, Florent Cazalot kept his pace before having to give up after five laps (spark plug wire disconnected).

Halfway through the race, Xavier Jacquet was in turn in the role of the "hunter", some 3’7 behind Delhaye, just before a crash caused a regrouping behind the Safety Car.

The race restarted for the last three laps, Anthony Delhaye and Xavier Jacquet found themselves neck and neck to fight for victory.

Anthony Delhaye finally kept 176/1000 ahead of Xavier Jacquet at the end of this superb epilogue.

A good third, Philippe Koenig resisted Emmanuel Garcia Imaz and Dominique Vulliez until the end.

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Race 2

Peppered by several clashes, the second meeting of the Lotus Trophy started in a tumultuous way and immediately required the entry into the track of the safety car.

The race was relaunched, Xavier Jacquet was in the lead with Emmanuel Garcia Imaz and Dominique Vulliez huddled in his wheels.

A new Safety Car then allowed the chasing pack to link up with these three breakaways.

The race restarted for five laps, Xavier Jacquet gave himself a bit of air in the lead, a few seconds ahead of Emmanuel Garcia Imaz, Anthony Delhaye, who came back after a failed start, and Dominque Vulliez.

Winner of the Saturday race, Anthony Delhaye then climbed to second place and finished like a shot, failing just 7/10 behind the winner Xavier Jacquet.

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Roadster Pro Cup

Race 1

Superb grid for this round of Nogaro with no less than 27 Mazda MX-5 ready to do battle on the Gers track.

As in previous races, Florian Cabarrou and Ludovic Bellinato asserted themselves from the «qualifying» as the most serious candidates for victory.

The two men completed the first lap in this order, then a neutralization under Safety Car deprived them of a few laps of battle.

This obviously resumed from the restart, our duettists quickly reversing their positions.

With a margin of 2"2, Ludovic Bellinato finally emerged victorious from this duel, while Elie Dubelly took a nice third place at around ten seconds.

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Race 2

The two current strongmen of the Roadster Pro Cup, Ludovic Bellinato and Florian Cabarrou, immediately resumed their duel from the day before.

Absolutely inseparable, the two companions jostled for position and tried to make the most of the drafting.

The spectacle was permanent and the outcome of their struggle was undecided.

Of course, you had to wait until the last lap to see Florian Cabarrou get the last word at the end of what was probably the best match of the weekend!

At eight seconds, Elie Dubelly claimed a second podium after taking the lead over Cabarrou Sr.

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Youngtimers GTI Cup

Race 1

Unsurprisingly, Franck Quagliozzi (Honda Civic - 1600cc #51) dominated the debates from the start of the race, while Samuel Vivas (Citroën AX Coupe - 1300cc #62) tried to follow on him's heels.

Halfway through the race, 2"5 separate them. The gap increases significantly thereafter.

Good third from the start Guillaume Mathez (Peugeot 309 GTI - 1900cc #12) maintained his position until the finish.

Michel Quagliozzi (Honda Civic - 1600cc #20) and Jacques Boutolleau (VW Sirocco - 1600cc #25) penalized, fourth place went to Irishman Cameron Hawes (VW Golf GTI - 1781cc #88).

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Race 2

Like a remake of the day before, Franck Quagliozzi immediately took his ease at the head of the race, while Samuel Vivas quickly remained the only one to keep his pace.

But to the impossible no one is held. The AX driver finally let go and joined the finish line in second place with a solid lead over Switzerland’s Guillaume Mathez.

Michel Quagliozzi (Honda Civic - 1600cc #20), the father of the winner, completed the winning quartet.

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Asavé Racing 65

Race 1

In the absence of direct competition, José Beltramelli (TVR Griffith 400 - 4700cc #69) took around 30 seconds in the first quarter of an hour of this 45-minute endurance race.

Behind him, Arnold Robin (Jaguar Type-E - 3800cc #72) and Nicolas Chambon (Shelby Cobra 289 - 4728cc #24) went into a battle for second.

After the sequence of pit stops, behind an untouchable José Beltramelli, Lionel Robert (Lotus Elan - 1600cc #17) was in charge of animating the end of the race.

Third under the checkered flag, he ended up just 13" behind Nicolas Cambon's Shelby Cobra.

José Beltramelli also won the scratch race, less than three seconds ahead of the winner of the “75” grid, Franck Julien (Ford Escort - 2000cc #8).

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Race 2

Insatiable hunter of victories, José Beltramelli made the V8 of his TVR Griffith 400 talk from the start and reached the 15 min mark, synonymous with the opening of the pitstop window, with more than 23" ahead of the magnificent Shelby Cobra by Nicolas Chambon.

Like on Saturday, José Beltramelli finally completed his 45'race as a winner with 54" ahead of the Shelby Cobra, despite a spin, but gave up the scratch victory for ... a thousandth of a second !

Just like Race 1, Lionel Robert was doing an express relay to lift the Lotus Elan he shared with Philippe Ancelin (Lotus Elan - 1600cc #17) to third place.

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Asavé Racing 75

Race 1

The absence of some regulars from the field was partly compensated by the arrival of the Ford Escort of WG British Racing (in the hands of Franck Julien), now equipped with a formidable Ford BDG of 300 hp, and the return of the Alpine Gérard Besson's A310 V6, seen on the Tour Auto Optic2000 a few days earlier.

After 15 minutes, when the pits opened for the mandatory stops in the 45-minute race, the two men were in the first two places.

It was always the case in the attack of the last quarter of an hour.

Jean-François Besson (Alpine A 310 - 2700cc #290), now aboard his father’s Alpine, reduced the gap slightly but was not enough to impose any threat on the victorious Ford Escort.

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Race 2

As on the day before, Franck Julien immediately took the lead in this 45-minute race with a compulsory stop (minimum 2'30 ").

After 15 minutes, the driver of the Ford BDG-powered Escort RS already had a comfortable lead over Gérard Besson and Fabien L’Eplatennier.

Without worries the Ford of WG British Racing continued its demonstration after the pit stops and thus prevailed for the second time.

Handed over to Jean-François Besson, the Alpine A310 finished at 1'34" after 45 minutes of racing.

Winner of his grid, Franck Julien also won this scratch race after catching up with José Beltramelli at the finish line. (see above Asavé Racing 65)

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Maxi 1300 Series

qualifying practice

The two races of the Maxi 1300 Series took place exceptionally this weekend on the only day of Sunday.

In fact, the appearance on the track of its animators took place saturday as part of the qualifying practice.

Philippe Gandini (Mini Jem GT - 1300cc #9), Laurent Majou Rosinoer (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc #99) and Jean-François Besson (Alpine A110 - 1300cc #110) finished them in this order, separated by less than one second..

The promise of a particularly indecisive double Sunday race! Adrien Harang (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc #57) and Claude Corthals (Autobianchi A112 Elite Gr.II - 994cc #40) set the fastest time in their respective categories.

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The races

Busy sunday for Maxi 1300 Series riders with a first race at the start of the day, then a second scheduled at the end of the afternoon.

Credited with pole Philippe Gandini lost a lot at the start of the morning, anticipating it a little too much to the taste of the Race Direction's.

Sanctioned by a Drive through, he let Laurent Majou Rosinoer take his ease in command.

Halfway through the race, the Mini Cooper driver was 6"7 ahead of the Belgian Jérémy Princen (Simca 1000 Rallye II - 1294cc #46), and around ten seconds of margin over Alexandre Falière (Simca 1000 Rallye II - 1294cc #31), soon caught by Gandini, in full ascent.

At four laps from the finish, the intrusion of the Safety Car offered him the opportunity to erase his gap.

Now grouped together, the leaders left for two particularly lively last laps, but Laurent Majou Rosinoer held on and kept 3"8 ahead of Philippe Gandini at the finish, before the latter was doubly penalized, in particular for a speed excessive during its Drive through.

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In the afternoon race, Philippe Gandini was immediately relieved of Laurent Majou Rosinoer (lack of oil pressure).

After letting Alexandre Falière lead the first two laps, the Jem GT driver took the lead and sped to victory.

Behind Alexandre Falière and Jean-Pierre Destombes (CG 548 Spider - 1297cc #59), Philippe Quirière (Austin Cooper S - 1300cc #48) won class 3 for the second time today.

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(Based on Historic Tour Press release)

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