Phillip Island Classic Friday 25th January 2019 to Sunday 27th January 2019 - Australia
RM Sotheby's Auction Paris Wednesday 6th February 2019 - Place Vauban, Paris
Retromobile Wednesday 6th February 2019 to Sunday 10th February 2019 - Porte De Versailles, Paris
Bonhams: Les Grandes Marques Du Monde Au Grand Palais Thursday 7th February 2019 - The Grand Palais, Paris
VSCC 64th Pomeroy Trophy Saturday 16th February 2019 - Silverstone
Jewel of the Cape II Friday 1st March 2019 to Thursday 14th March 2019 - South Africa
ACOC Annual Dinner & Awards Saturday 2nd March 2019 - The Elvetham Hotel
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Thursday 7th March 2019 to Sunday 10th March 2019 - The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island
Gooding: The Amelia Island Auction Friday 8th March 2019 - Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Florida
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Friday 8th March 2019 to Sunday 10th March 2019 - The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
In an incredibly unfortunate turn of events, having spent the whole week following the Tour Auto and the James Cottingham/Andrew Smith piloted GT40 of Scuderia Bear down through France, the car succumbed to a mechanical failure of the GT40's Achilles heel, stripping second gear of its teeth on the thirteenth of fourteen special stages. Returning this year with the hope of making it two victories in a row they took 9 special stage and track victories out of 11 completed (one stage was unfortunately cancelled) and had a considerable seven minute lead in the pre-66 category and a two minute lead overall prior to retiring.
Starting the week with the cars on display in the Grand Palais in Paris, then leaving at first light on Tuesday heading down through France, the tour made overnight stops in Besançon, Megève, Avignon, Aix- en–Provence before finishing in Nice. Over the course of the week, there were 4 circuits, 10 closed road specials and over two thousand kilometres covered through an incredible variety of scenery. The event itself is fascinating and refreshingly well loved, passing through the tiniest, quaint villages with the streets always lined with locals sitting and watching the cars go by over the 4 or 5 hours of different grids.
Early starts make use of the cool temperatures, clear roads and morning light, the calm countryside disrupted by the catalogue of different road and race engines hurriedly making their way to the next time check. With the stop at each circuit, the competition grid affords an 8 lap race after an 8 lap practice. The regularity entrants do without a race and must set a lap time and then come closest to it on consecutive laps. With full grids and a variety of cars in each, the tracks are well worth the time for the spectator too.
We have compiled an album of images below of a number of cars that competed in the rally expressing the diverse scenery covered. We spent the week filming different aspects of the event too, with a short film to be available soon.
Words by Luke Gilbertson