The Dix Mille Tours du Castellet 2019 was held 19-20 October at Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France. As the last round of this year’s Peter Auto season, a record number of historic racing cars were featured across eight competitive grids on the 25-turn, 3.64-mile track near Marseille.
The Dix Mille Tours has been on the Peter Auto calendar of events since 2010. The entrants eagerly await this rendezvous due to the quality of the infrastructure at the Paul Ricard circuit, as well as the technical challenge posed by its layout. The wide run-off areas that border the track give the drivers, whether experienced or not, the opportunity to go pedal to the metal at the wheel of cars that are of great historic value.
More than 350 entrants participated in the Dix Mille Tours du Castellet 2019, such as the 1991 Jaguar XJR-14; 1993 Peugeot 905 EV1B; 1979 Porsche 935 K3; 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ; 1979 BMW M1 Procar; 1972 Mirage GR7; 1953 Fiat 8V Zagato; 1964 Porsche 904 GTS; 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight; 1970 Ferrari 512 S and 1969 Porsche 917. Spectators were also fortunate to see the 1981 Ferrari 512 BBLM (s/n 35525) on Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France. With a body designed by Pininfarina and a powerful 5-litre V12 engine, the 512 BB LM could reach a top speed of 325 km/h (201 mph) on the Mulsanne straight. This 512 BB LM finished ninth overall and third in class at the 1981 running of 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There was a lot at stake for drivers as the races at Circuit Paul Ricard represented the last opportunity to score points in the Peter Auto’s 2019 overall general points classifications. In the Porsche 2.0-Litre Cup field, the team of Andrew Smith and Olivier Bryant were tied with Richard Cook and Harvey Stanley in terms of the number of points going into the race. Smith and Bryant came in second position in the vintage races, boosting their standings for the season.
In the Classic Endurance Racing 1 grid, a battle for first place in the 2019 overall classification raged between Claudio Roddaro’s 1969 Porsche 917 and Toni Seiler’s 1968 Lola T70 Mk IIIB who started the Dix Mille Tours only six points apart. This Porsche vs. Lola rivalry dates back to the late 1960s when the two cars battled for victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. While the Porsche 917 came away as the big winner for the Peter Auto season, the 1969 Lola T70 Mk IIIB of Daniel Gibson did save the honor for the marque by winning this year’s Dix Mille Tours race.
Dix Mille Tours du Castellet 2019 – Photo Gallery (photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Stéphanie Bézard)
Dix Mille Tours du Castellet 2019 – Race Winners
Mark SUMPTER (#77) – Porsche 911 2.0L
Classic Endurance Racing 1
Daniel GIBSON (#79) – Lola T70 Mk III B of 1969
Classic Endurance Racing 2
Yves Scemama (#52) – Toj SC 304 of 1976
Endurance Racing Legends
Race 1 : Florent Moulin (#163) – Saleen S7-R of 2004
Race 2 : Michel Lecourt / Raymond Narac (#33) – Ferrari 333 SP of 1999
Group C Racing
Race 1 : Ivan Vercoutere / Ralf Kelleners (#21) – Porsche 962C of 1990
Race 2 : Michel Lecourt / Raymond Narac (#82) – Porsche 962C of 1990
Heritage Touring Cup
Michael Erlich (#40) – BMW 3.0 CSL of 1975
James Cuttingham / Harvey Stanley (#121) – Shelby Cobra 289 of 1964
The Greatest Trophy
Race 1 : Lukas Halusa / Martin Halusa (#17) – Jaguar Type E 3.8L Lightweight of 1963
Race 2 : Carlos Monteverde / Gary Pearson (#14) – Jaguar Type E 3.8L Lightweight of 1963
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[Source: Peter Auto; photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Stéphanie Bézard]