Tour Auto 2013, or “Musical chairs”

You don’t know what “Musical chairs” is? Its a game, played at birthday parties: 10 people: 9 chairs, and when the music stops everyone has to sit down. The person who has not found a chair is out. Next round: 9 people, 8 chairs, music stops one out and so on and so forth.

I hated it as a child.
But’s that’s how we ended up 7th Overall
Almost entirely due to a MAJOR Shootout of the first 30 cars or so.
With an amazing field of 3 Ford GT 40ies, 9 Cobras, 9 E-types, Mustangs, Aston Martins and Mustangs we calculated our chances of coming within the first ten at nill.
But I am not so sure wether I like it. I don’t like shootout when it comes to cars.

Grrrr and I especially don’t like it when it comes to Porsche racing prototypes, any kind, any number!

 But let me start at the beginning:

Highway from hell. Green hell. To Paris.

Driving the 911 via 5 laps on Nordschleife on the road to Paris was actually a pretty stupid idea. Exhausting. 800 km in a race car from 1965 when you have 2000 km ahead of you the next five days is overdoing it. Please, remind me next year!
Yet arriving in Paris for the Tour Auto Sunday evening is just magical!

Don’t you think?


And so is the waiting in line, to turn around the corner for entry to the Grand Palais, where everyone gathers.




Our turn to feel grand, facing des Invalides.
Inside the Grand Palais.      
Passing one of my favourite cars ever, a Porsche 906.


Kobolds`s parked. We have Diner! (Have I metioned how much I like Paris?)  
The back of the Grand Palais on Monday morning.      


And the majestic front.

I’m always overwhelmed the Grandezza and elegance of the setting! Monday is the day of scrutineering, and basically the only day when you can see and say hello to everybody.


Still early in the day, when the public has not yet arrived…      
And we can still take Pictures of our favourite cars without tons of people who later get in the photos…


     

The next morning our group, the competition section, has to rise very very early! It’s still dark outside.

Posing it front of….okokokokokoko. I´ll stop posting 906´s. now.


But:

I’m starting to think they have as many Chateaus in France as we in Germany have Gardening gnomes.




An hour later we arrive at the point of the official start of the Tour, as always in incredible scenery. And here we have breakfast as well. Phew. Than we move on to Le Mans


Haha, I posted this on facebook and everybody thought this was our position for the first race at the Bugatti Circuit. Bt it is simply the order at which we arrived in the waiting spot for Qualifying.








Every evening, after having covered more or less the same distance as us, the mechanics still have to work on the cars.


Line up before a special stage. Where we put on our helmets and gloves.  



Mr Steel in his GT 40, waiting too, reading the results of the stage before.


 Mr. France.

And then we drive to the actual start of the stage and wait again, in our helmets. In the competition section the specials are races on closed roads. We drive against the clock. In the regularity I’ve never understood what they do. They calculate and than drive according to their calculation. If I was ever forced to do that I would fail bitterly. Within minutes.


Parc Fermé in Orleans. After13 hours in the car. and no lunch…


Parc Fermé the 2nd day in Vichy. (After only 12 hours in the car, but this time lunch…)


Kobold´s ignition failed..              
It is a wonderful way to see France.


Following a Daytona Coupe on a normal road feels incredible!  




Ligier, a roadcar? I didn’t know..


No. I am NOT posting what YOU think I am posting.It´s my 911 I am posting. Admittedly in good company..


The roadbook . Big and fat. And don’t loose it!      







Ferrari 250 swb lightweight. Anyone not knowing what to give me for my birrrrrthday?


We make the finish at La Rochelle! After five strenous day, racing, roadracing, 13, 12, 11 hours a day!I am so tired but the car feels as fresh as on the first day! What a great car!
Thousands of people come to see the finish.      

 

 Thank you Kobold, Marc, Patrick Peter Organisation and all you French Friends who make the effort to either tolerate my catastrophic french or make the effort and talk to me in english. Every year there’s more of them and I feel truly priviledged!

7 Comments

  1. Wilhelm says:

    Nice pictures Gaby, wie Want more!

  2. Don Limone says:

    Loved Th Fotos !!!
    xxx DL

  3. jj says:

    Regularity is not sooo difficult – I would be lost (last) in the competition class …

    Great pics as always and I share the love for the 906 – I still have my old Carrerabahn 906 from the 60ies :)

  4. Die ergreifenden Bilder von der Tour geben mir gerade die Kraft um 7Uhr Sonntags im Büro Häuser zu malen, um Geld für den kleinen roten Blutsauger zu verdienen, der unbedingt am Donnerstag in Brescia auf die Startrampe will.
    Vielen Dank dafür.
    michi

  5. Gaby, congrats, great pics, great job.

  6. Milou says:

    Hi Gaby,

    I hope you’re well. Well done on the amazing 7th place on the Tour Auto. We’re putting together a fantastic team for the Coupe es Alpes next month. Let me know if you want to join us! Best, Thomas

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