Les 2 Tours d’Horloge (5-6-7 november 2021): a renaissance crwoned with success!
After a seven-year absence from the calendar, the 2 Tours d’Horloge was revived this weekend on the Paul Ricard circuit. This new edition of the only 24-hour event in the world reserved for historic racing cars went off without a hitch! The meeting was blessed with ideal weather and a crowd of passionate fans flocked to the circuit delighted to attend a race whose outcome was in doubt up till the final laps.
Saturday 14:20, the 32 cars taking part in the event were released from their garages and invaded the pit lane. Between the competitors, their friends and relations, the members of the organisation and the fans present the atmosphere was buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement at the idea of setting off for 24-hours racing on one of the most beautiful tracks in the world. But it was also filled with emotion with just a few minutes to go to the revival of one of the greatest events for historic racing cars. Some people even remembered their participation in the first running of the 2 Tours de d’Horloge in 1992 unlike other much younger drivers who were having their first outing in this exceptional race.
At 14:35, the competitors took to the track to line up their cars in herringbone formation for the Le Mans-type start, a tradition inaugurated at the first edition of the 2 Tours de d’Horloge. The flying start was then given at 15:00 on the dot!
The Grac MT-14B (Ecurie Chateaux Sport Auto) driven by Axel de Ferran-Bernard Zimmer-Freddy Loix shot into the lead before being overtaken by the Lola T590 (Ecurie Rédélé) of Jean-Charles Rédélé-Alain Bazard-Philippe Peauger. But the Lola then suffered a broken suspension bracket and fell back down the time sheets. Now in first place was the Tiga SC 84 (Team Gemanova) in the hands of Laurent Vallery-Masson-Eric Martin-Fabrice Notari-Pascal Gerbout. But in turn it was the victim of a technical problem (alternator replacement) leading to another leadership change.
So another Tiga, the SC 79 (Ecurie Palmyr) crewed by Marc Faggionato-Christian Vaglio-Giors-Gislain Genecand, took up the running confirming the domination of the S2000 category in the provisional classification. Then the March 81S (Ecurie Palmyr), driven by “Nelson”-Christophe Kubryk-François Belle hit the front where it stayed for a long time (from the 4th to the 19th hour). But it suffered engine problems and shortly before 10:00 on Sunday morning the March 81S came under attack from the Group A BMW 635 (Equipe Europe) of Armand Mille-Max Guenat-Guillaume Mahé-Erwin France and the Tiga SC 84 of the écurie Palmyr rejoining the front-runners after a great comeback. At 10:30, the Tiga SC 84 retook the lead of the race. But not for long as seven minutes later it stopped in the pit lane to refuel letting the Group A BMW 635 into first place for an hour until it too had to take on petrol. In the following hours the Tiga prototype of Laurent Vallery-Masson-Eric Martin-Fabrice Notari/Pascal Gerbout, (around 5 seconds a lap quicker than the German saloon) tightened its stranglehold on the race and went on to win the overall classification, all categories combined, of the 2021 2 Tours d’Horloge.
In TC4, victory went to the Group A BMW 635 in the hands of the fledgling Equipe Europe crew.
The driver lineup of the Group A BMW 635 (Equipe Europe) Armand Mille/Max Guenat/Guillaume Mahé/Erwin France finished second overall and won the TC4 category on their first outing in a 24-hour race!
The Grac MT-14B (Chateaux Sport Auto) driven by Axel De Ferran-Bernard Zimmer and Belgian rally champion Freddy Loix who set the fastest lap in the race in 2m 24.106s (av. speed 145,4 km/h), dominated the SP1 category.
In GT, victory went to the Ecurie Pascoulou Racing Porsche 930 Turbo of Pascal Duhamel/Sébastien Crubile/Romain Rocher/Emmanuel Brigand from its sister car (Team O-One) driven by Josserand De Murard-Jean-Marc David-Ricard Hofman-Julien Grenet and the Porsche 964 (CG Motorsport) crewed by Xavier Michel-Jean-Charles Carminati-Samuel Lostis-Jérôme Laurin.
The Porsche 944 S2 run by the team managed by Alain Cudini, former French touring car champion, triumphed in the SC category thanks to Arnold Noret-Franck Hardonnière-Olivier Bougrat-Romaric Croisile from the TVR Griffith 200 (V de V) of Eric Van de Vyver-Henri Leconte-Guillaume Van de Vyver-Patrick Brossard and the Marcos Mantis (Daventure Racing) in the hands of Alexandre Jaboulet-Vercherre-Jean-Marc Bachelier-Laurent Collin.
In the S2000 category, the Tiga SC84 (Gemanova) of Laurent Vallery-Masson-Eric Martin-Fabrice Notari-Pascal Gerbout came out on top ahead of the March 81S (Ecurie Palmyr) driven by “Nelson”-/Christophe Kubryk-François Belle and the Tiga S83 (Equipe Rosbif) of British drivers Ross Hyett-Chris Snowdon-Nick Hyett-Mike Fry.
Rendezvous in 2022 on 4-5-6 November for another 2 Tours d’Horloge!
In SP1, victory went to the Grac MT14-B entered by the écurie Chateaux Sport Auto.
The Porsche 944 S2 run by the Cudini Racing Team won the Saloon Car category.
On his first outing in the 2 Tours d’Horloge, Henri Leconte finished second in his category.
THE 100 TOURS AND THE LEGENDS CARS CUP
The 100 Tours – a sporting regularity event – run over three hours on Saturday morning as a curtain-raiser to the 2 Tours d’Horloge was won by William Ganzin-Xavier Landricin in a Honda S2000 run by the écurie RMT. The French drivers beat their Swiss rivals Félix Haas-Beat Eggimann (Crosslé 47S) and the Belgian-Monegasque duo Claude Corthals-Vincent Wathelet (Autobianchi A112/Belgium Racing Association).
After race A won on Friday afternoon by Maxime Sonntag, the competitors in the Legends Cars Cup met up again to do battle on Saturday morning in Race B and in the early afternoon in the 40-minute endurance event. There were four leadership changes in the first event with victory going to Belgians David De Saeger-Mathieu Detry who went on to win the last race of the weekend in Provence for the Legends Cars, the endurance event!
copyright photos Jean-Marie BIadatti
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