Oh my… Tour Auto Optic 2011, and a sudden end!

If you were here now in front of me I could tell you.
If you were here in front of me I would probably grab you by the arm and plead until you understood how much it means to me to be part of the Tour Auto again.
You would probably roll your eyes and this would just intensify my missionary quest for making you feel just HOW MUCH I love it.
Be glad you’re far away…..
Be glad you’re not part of my by now deaf family…
Be glad you may only look and not listen ..
Herbert von Karajans 3,0 RS in the evening light. Place de la Concorde. Is this not a most promising sight??
King Kobold being unloaded at the Champs Elysee. Making him feel GRAND…
Making us all feel grand and happy!
Waiting in line at the entrance of the Jardins de Tuileres.
We go!
Yet Watching is what everone does the Monday, before the actual start.
Yum yum yum!
Yes. it was only a question of time till a 906 would turn up here.
Night time? Diner time?
Waking time!
Getting up at 4.30: cruelty to animals and foreigners is widely spread in France
This terrific Walküren ride across France, the spectator framed Blitz- (sorry) races on iconic tracks and exhilaratings special stages on closed roads are the most fulfilling, exhausting, addictive thing you can possibly do on four wheels.
Tremendously stressful for both humans and cars, the Tour Auto teaches your humility quicker than you can count till three whilst at the same moment making you feel like the most privileged person in the world!
Old track of Montlhery, our first stage were we had problems with:
the spark plugs. Marc drove and we finished 10th.
Grid 4 (us) waiting for the first race at Le MANS.
Grid 5 arriving
Kobold goes racing.
With an old acquaintance from last year, overtaking here….
and being overtaken again. On the straight: naturally.
Regularity grids are arriving, among them this beauty,
whilst Michel Vaillant of the Team Citroen and Gabriele Spangenberg are watching the race…
Strong competition, light weight Porsche, we come 10th again, but receive more than 1 minute penalty. (Thank god that wasn’t me!!)
After 14 hours in the cars we arrive at Poitiers:
I go to sleep at nine. No food.
Yet whatever the hours; it’s still there, the pleasure of driving!
How can you not feel it following a beautiful bottom rear like this!
Grid 4 at Le Vigeant
Great race to watch, Marc drives again as I want to do the last two tracks….(yeah yeah yeah)
He comes 6th so that we move up and away from our penalty and 15th position to 10th.
Waiting for a special stage we are shown a beautiful surprise.
During this special stage we catch up with the car in front of us halfway through and therefore only come third. Driving acrobatics by Marc, photo by Tour Auto Organisation. It´s impossible for me to take pictures of the specials. But I did race two: coming tenth at the first and coming an unexpected seventh at the second. I´m jubilant!
Lunch here. Spoiled french!
This is where we ate.
I don’t.
I don’t think that’s fair!
Nor does he.
I´m sure they are happy it’s not fair too!
This also.

Ok. This is difficult now and it’s hurts. But I will show you what happened next, at St. Emilion (at least we did it in style):

What??? You find this an abrupt ending to this post?????
It was a abrupt ending to the Tour Auto, let me tell you!!

Thankfully nobody got hurt. Thankfully we had three fantastic days.

Next year the Emporschire will strike back.
Till then: stay with us and console me a bit.


A lot.


Thank you!



  1. Alex says:

    Beautyful pics of a fantastic event! I’m sorry for the sad end. The empires strikes back in 2012.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous pics again – a big grin for todays morning – thank you, guys !

    Gintonic Munich

  3. puedi says:

    Ohhhhhhh, how is Kobold feeling? Will he/she recuperate? All my condolances to a trubbled soul. I cross my fingers for 2012. Enjoyed again watching pics they are 1AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Liz W.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gaby, I have lost the paper with your email on…. silly me! very nice pictures. I am now in total depression and think I will never recover…. Keep in touch and give me your email address again. Best, Carolyn

  5. Arneyb says:

    I think thats racing ! That means we are driving on the edge. This shit happens. But shortly before that moment there is something very intense happening. The moment of losing control is a little bit like magic. BUUUT: We have to remind us everyday that shit happens and wrong time, wrong place suddenly a life could end. Fortunately we have safety regulations, that save our lives. What we do IS dangerous.
    Poor Kobold, You have to build him up again !

  6. Arneyb says:

    by the way, did You recognize that the little trees behind the wounded Kobold look like little kobolds as well ?

  7. M says:

    Oh !!!
    I’m crying for Kobold !!!
    But I love the pics !

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ooooooh! Mitleid!! Ganz großes! Ehrlich! Ganz ehrlich! Wirklich!
    Und irgendwie ein cooles Bild, wie der Kleine da so im Weinberg liegt…(:
    Tante Omi

  9. p.kilkenny says:

    Oh!!! I don’t know whether to be sad or happy for you! Your words and pictures express all the excitement and hope that the Tour Auto held and then to end in such a crushing way. Glad you were not hurt and that hopefully Kobold will race again soon!!

  10. @Alex:it will strike again sooner!
    @Gintonic Munich:thank YOU!
    @LIZ:I hope the troubled soul shall raise again soon..
    @Carolyn:I wrote to you alreday. Did you get the email?
    @Arne: I didn´t notice, but you are right: one had better be careful in Koboldland!
    @M: Don´t cry for Kobold. He´s in the best possible hands..
    @TAnte Omi:irgendwie ja. wenigstens St. Emilion…
    @P.kilkenny: thank you, i think you can be happy. Kobold shall ise again and we are richer in experience!

  11. Michael says:

    Den 906 hast du wirklich gut erwischt – auch wenn ich ihn ganz ehrlich noch nie mochte :)
    Grüße aus Braunschweig

  12. @ Den 906 mochte ich auch nicht, bis er mich erwischt hat…

  13. Anonymous says:

    First : it’s courageous to show the picture of the kobolt in this situation !!!
    Second: I wish speak to your “fan club” and say us : ” gaby is definitively born for driving , her performances this year in road stages where fabulous !!!”
    Third / whe are real competitors , we’ll run risk(s), we know that , that is the adrenalin ,NOTHING IS BETTER THAN THAT !
    Sometime we loose , but we are always WINNERS…next year !!!

    Anomynous admirer , Prof P.

  14. My dear anonymous admirere, Prof. P.
    I´ve been offline for almost a week with this site, tragic. Now we´re back on and I thank you with all my heart for your comment.NOTHING IS BETTER than Tour Auto, I can´t wait till next year!!!

  15. Mike Gulett says:

    What an exciting post, thank you. I hope the car is OK.

  16. Thank you Mike:the car WILL be ok…

  17. automania says:

    hi Gaby, the pictures and the event are splendid..!! PP`s organisation is top! I have some pictures from the pre-start 2010, are you interested? And, I think Tour Auto is like a drug,
    perhaps to compare with the Coppa d` Italia I`m sure you will do it a second time. :- )
    keep on racing

  18. Anonymous says:

    wearing ones sporting injuries with pride is highly respectable, i say.
    best wishes to the zuffenhausen rascal, get well soon!

    glad to note that you did not get injured.

    stay clean,

  19. automania: Yes Tour Auto is like a drug!!!! dangerous drug, i´ll never come off!! I would love to see your pictures: could you e-mail them to:
    Gabriele.Spangenberg@hotmail.de? MERCI!
    ben:thank you , for what you say: very clever stuff…

  20. Anonymous says:

    Just came back from a first racing event that year – et northloop nuerburgring -and…got the tires to temperature…as michael preising says – in corners i need two wheels only ;)
    Gintonic Munich

  21. Hi Gintonic: that is an unbelievable photo! Fantastic!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear Gariele ,
    Superb photos and comments.
    Hope team and car ok now .
    See you next year at Tour Auto 2012!
    I drove a white Jaguar Mk2 n° 178 (we also went off during special stage but finished the rallye …)
    See you on Rusty Nail Circus .

    JFB / Silk Cut

  23. Hello JFB, you were behind me when we entered the jardins, weren’t you? I took a picture of you: will post it rustay nail circus.

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