Les 2 Tours d’Horloge (5-6-7 novembre 2021) : a much-anticipated 24 hours!
September is the month when everybody goes back to work after the summers holidays. It’s also the time when many competitors in France and Europe head back to the circuits and the public flock to the paddocks and grandstands.
And there is a race that is more eagerly-awaited by the crews than any other: the famous VHC Endurance event created by Eric Van de Vyver en 1992, the only 24-hour race exclusively dedicated to historic racing cars, in other words the 2 Tours d’Horloge!
Seven years after it vanished from the calendar, it will be revived on the Paul Ricard circuit (now home to the French F1 Grand Prix) which hosted the last edition of the 2 Tours d’Horloge where this race that’s unique of its kind will take place on the first weekend of November. In May of this year some of the teams used the Magny-Cours 6 Hours in May (also organised by V de V Sports) as a trial run for the Deux Tours d’Horloge. In the weeks that followed more and more names were added to the list of entries to make up a grid that is now almost full. There are now only a few places left for the teams that are the quickest to fill in and send in their entry forms.
NINE DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES AT THE START
In keeping with the combination of different categories particular to the great endurance races, crews of three or four drivers consisting of gentlemen drivers and professionals from nine countries, Germany, Belgium, Monaco, Great Britain, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and France will share the wheel of touring cars, GTs and prototypes during 24-hours racing. Among them are great names from the world of sport like Henri Leconte and Jean-Claude Andruet. The former tennis player (winner of the Davis Cup in 1991, finalist in the French International Tournament in 1988 and winner of the men’s doubles in Roland Garros in 1984) will take part in a TVR Griffith 200 from 1964, associated with Eric Van de Vyver, Alex Meynard and Patrick Brossard.
Jean-Claude Andruet, double French Rally Champion in 1968 and 1970 who racked up 33 victories in this championship between 1968 and 1984, European Rally Champion in 1970 (17 wins from 1970 to 1984), and victorious in the world championship in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1973, the Tour de Corse in 1974 and Sanremo in 1977, will share the wheel of a Porsche 944 S2 run by the CSA Racing Team with Arnold Noret and Franck Hardonniere.
And of course, on the list of entries are the winners of the 6 Hours of Magny-Cours starting with the overall victors also first in the GT category: the Swiss-Belgian lineup of Serge Libens-Henrique Gemperle-Marc De Siebenthal in a Porsche 964 RS entered by the Circuit de Dakar/Mansfeld team.
The Chateaux family victorious in the 6 Hours of Magny-Cours in the touring category with their BMW 635 CSI will also put up a stout fight to defend their chances and see off tough competition spearheaded by the BMW 635 tuned by Yvan Mahé’s team, Équipe Europe. This authentic Group A car that competed in the European Touring Car Championship and the 24 Hours of Spa driven by Thierry Boutsen will be in the hands of the sons of four eminent collectors: Armand Mille (Richard Mille’s son), Max Guenat (Dominique Guenat’s son), Guillaume Mahé (Yvan Mahé’s son) and Erwin France (Pierre-Alain France’s son). Another BMW entered by children driven by the same passion for historic racing as their dad are Alexandre, Jérémy and Sarah, David Ferrer’s sons and daughter, who will share the 2002 TI in which they raced together in the 2014 event. And yet another family story is the Beltramelli father and sons trio in their Ford Escort Mk1.
Several Sport 2000s have been entered for the Prototype category, which promises a hotly-contested battle. Among the victory contenders is the March 81S (3rd overall in 2012 and 4th in 2014) prepared by the Equipe Palmyr driven by the trio “Nelson”-Christophe Kubryck-François Belle. In the same team keep an eye out for the Tiga SC 79 in the hands of Marc Faggionato-Christian Vaglio-Giors-Ghislain Genecand. And don’t forget the Grac MT 14B 1780 of Axel De Ferran-Bernard Zimmer who should be joined by a well-known team-mate. Other cars that marked their era will be on the starting grid beginning with the Porsche 906 entered by Italian duo Silvio Perlino-Mario Sala and German driver Christopher Peters’ Lola T70 Spyder. Without forgetting a Hema Porsche, a unique prototype of its kind designed by Henri Mayeur back in 1972 and Mustangs in both Shelby GT350 and Notchback versions plus Marcos Mantises, Triumph TR8s, Alpine V6 GTs, etc.
THE 100 TOURS & THE LEGENDS CARS CUP
While the 2 Tours d’Horloge will monopolise a lot of the track time on the weekend of 6 – 7 November, it will leave room for two other events: The 100 Tours and the Legends Car Cup whose races will take place from Friday afternoon until Saturday afternoon as curtain-raisers for the 24-hour race, which will start at 15:00.
The 100 Tours is an endurance and regularity event open to cars aged 25 years old minimum. The entrants will enjoy one hour’s practice and three hours racing. The Legends Cars Cup, a one-make formula for cars powered by a 900 cc Yamaha fuel injection engine developing 140 bhp for a weight of 480 kg, promises closely-fought scraps in its three races: two 20-minute heats and one lasting 40 minutes.
copyright photos Hugues Laroche and V de V Sports
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