Tour Auto 2012

Did you read my posts on the Tour Auto last year and the year before?

No????!!! No?

Good. Because I can only repeat myself. I can only myself until the last of my readers has understood. (Or I have no more readers.)
Tour Auto is JUST the BEST.

So wild.

HEAVEN for those who love old cars.
And HELL for those who don’t.

Hell because participating at the Tour is no joke.

The hours are tremendous.
The pressure is tremendous.
The level of concentration is tremendous.
The fatigue is tremendous.
The wear on the cars is tremendous.
The intensity is tremendous.

I personally have the added grave problem of not being able to go to sleep at night because I don‘t know how to divert my thoughts.
Wise people say: “at night think of the things you‘re really love, to divert from the stress of the day.”
There you go, there‘s my problem.

Usually I think of the Tour Auto to divert my thoughts, so when I‘m at the Tour I find nothing to think of.
I think of the day driving and get exited and than I can‘t go to sleep and than I tell myself: “think of something nice so you can fall asleep” and than I find nothing nicer than the day driving and so on and so on..
Tragic.
And than I have to get up after what feels like just an hour’s sleep, feeling totally shattered, till I take a shower and my hair smells of hot engine and the world is all wonderful again.

Silly?

Monday at the Grand Palais is a first timer for me.

If this is not “grand”, tell me what is!

Ok ok ok. This is. Ferrari GTO.

But I like these cars too!

Dead man walking? He’s dreaming of racing!

Porsche

is just

SEXY!

Dastun 240z with a fantastic sound.

First mornig: we arrive at the setting of the actual start.

Here….

we started. (We usually leave Paris with crossed out numbers)

No, they don’t belong to each other. Coincidential Orange. Quite a lot of it.

On the road to Dijon: hands up if you have ever ridden on a normal road behind a GT 40. Wonderful.

Quick fill at Dijon, our first track. I raced, but unfortunately the red flag came on four laps into the race and they actually screwed up my laptimes. It took us two days of motzing (schimpfing in german) to adjust our position in the field. Thankfully Marc had timed my laps so we could prove that I had not spend twice as long on the track as everybody else!

Yes, this car needs beer to run better.

Thousands of excellent meals every night, for us on wheels. The food was better than ever!

Our companions: they make us feel soooo VIP when they wave us through heavy traffic. Everybody adores them for it!

At the Bresse circuit it’s Marcs turn to race. Note the amount of people watching!

Marc Newman concentrating before the start.

First Cobra out of the Tour, the Drivers continue however and seem to always amuse themselves! Great sport!

The first of our field…

And the rest, led by my Kobold,

Lunchtime parking.

Fueling in race gear at normal petrol stations feels a bit carnevalistic.. As in weirdly overdressed..

Worried about the Quality of the petrol, Marc adjusted the ignition, I’m always so glad that he shares the car with me, making sure Kobold is Ok.

Spectators at the stamping points in small towns.

Waiting before a Special..

Cool 911 of our supernice competitors.

A special which takes us up into snow!

Tristan looks happy. That evenings Park Fermée is at the waterfront of Lake Annecy, a beautiful setting.

If only I could make you hear all the hammering, banging, clonking, roaring and laughing in the evening!

Here more than anywhere: thousands of spectators greeting us at the finishing post of the day.

Next day at Charade, the french Nordschleife.

Marshalls directing the line up, Marc races here too (we split the races).

Which is lucky, because Patricia Bussolini smuggles us girls up to the control tower, where I can take these pictures!  Here’s Grid 4, in total lineup.

Safety car lap.

The race.

Another turn of this beautiful circuit and it’s specators.

A very very long wait for the first special of day 4.

Which was in fact explained by:

Four cars which had come off. Before our start it started raining as well, the Marshalls warned everyone it was “enormement” slippery and dangerous. How encouraging.

Before the second stage that day we were warned again of bumps on the road, so I was glad that Marc  gently carried the car across these two treacherous specials. Yet when I wanted to take the wheel in the afternoon this:

No more clutch.

So Marc took the wheel again and drove through 2 specials, one stamping stop and two towns without clutch. (I was sweating blood and water through that afternoon, with an early finish of the tour in front before me).

In the park fermeé in the evening I ran around like a headless chicken searching for the fork of a clutch, till Pierre and Marc found one in their bus. I think I was more stressed then they were.

Still, it was at least 22.00 when the car was finished and Team Kobold was exhausted.

The fith morning was glorious: regularity being the group to get up early competition people could actually sleep a little longer, hurray!

The last stage on day five was beautiful and I raced at Le Castellet, a track which I love, not only because the curbs are a girls colour: shocking pink!
I love the track, I loved this race, a wonderful way to finish the Tour Auto!

Happy me, happy posing!

The finish at Nice. No more picture taking after this, only Champagner!

We are gloriously happy: having finished the five days with the car intact having enjoyed every single moment, coming 9th overall in the end.

This was the best Tour so far.

I hope there are so many more to come!
I hope they come soon.
Like now.
Or tommorrow by the latest!

Have I managed to transport some of this amazing week into your heads and hearts?
Just a little bit?

23 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous!

    I´m so sorry for poor little me, not having attended this special event. The fruit has been so close, just couldnt grasp it. Maybe next year little chicken is more gutsy and needs me as co. I´d like that very much indeed.

    So, clutch was gone? Hm, not so clueless after all, befürchte ich.

    Grüße!

    Peter

  2. Yes, let´s raise next years chicken and hope they will not chicken out!
    It was the clutch´s fork which broke, not the clutch itself..

  3. Arneyb says:

    The answer is:
    Yes You did, definetely. Nothing more to say.

  4. Deddi says:

    Und wie.

    Die Lektion für Sonntagnachmittagentchenformationpagodenschleicher hat voll gesessen.

    Toll.

  5. Arneyb:danke!
    Deddi:erstrechtdanke!!! Was ist das fürn Schleicher? Den mußt Du mir mal vorstellen!

  6. Volker says:

    Großes Kino, mag Deinen Stil sehr – enjoyed reading so much! Komm gut durch die Saison ;-)

  7. Anonymous says:

    awesome, again. thanks for sharing, ben.

  8. Danke Volker!!
    Danke Ben: mal wieder!

  9. You would think, “was a hard day at the office, but tomorrow is over!”

    I can “steal” a photo of her and put on my blog?

  10. Ready! Now you’re on my blog and my Facebook too, thanks.

  11. jj says:

    Das schöne bei den Franzosen ist: es gibt keinen Kärcher zu gewinnen :)

    Hat motzing and schimpfing tatsächlich geholfen? Chapeau, alte Quengeltante.

    Schaut aus, als hättet ihr viel Spaß gehabt.

  12. Francesco, thank you!That is great!
    jj: Schimpfing und motzing hat erstklassig geholfen, kann ich nur empfehlen, sonst wäre uns der Spaß auch ziemlich verdorben gewesen.

  13. Gaby, as there are coincidences in our little world … a friend of mine named Leandro was walking by Germany and photographed his car in the parking lot at the Nurburgring … please see the photos on my blog

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great report and great photos :)

    Will you at SPA on May 28?

    Franc

  15. oly express says:

    outstanding ! Great report, as always :-) I’ll mark it up for 2013 ;-)

  16. Great story Gabriele!
    Are you at Scuderia Hanseat next week? I’m not sure yet if I can make it.. but I hope so!

  17. Oly: you should. no you must! With your charger..hehe
    Karsten: YES! Thankfully.

  18. Deddi says:

    Hat bei mir grade ein Kommentator verlinkt. Jede Menge Fotos. Wie er anmerkte, ist Dein Kobiold aber tatsächlich nirgend wo mit drauf. Die Fotos sind wohl morgens vor 10 Uhr gemacht worden… :-)

    http://arthomobiles.fr/TDFOptic%2012/tourautod1.htm

    http://arthomobiles.fr/TDFOptic%2012/tourautod2.htm

    .

  19. Wolf says:

    “at night think of the things you‘re really love, to divert from the stress of the day.“
    There you go, there‘s my problem

    ;-))
    Gaby you made my day

    BTW: hatte schon befürchte du würdest mit dem Kadett antreten..grins

  20. DAnke für den link, Deddi!
    Hey, Wolf what´s wrong with my Kadett? grins.. Vielleicht nächtes Jahr…..

  21. Great blog. All posts have something to learn. Your work is very good and i appreciate you and hoping for some more informative posts.keep writing.

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