The Tour Auto Rally 2015 was held April 20-25 on the secondary roads and race circuits of France. Since 1992, the retrospective of the Tour de France Automobile race followed the French secondary roads along a handpicked itinerary.
Renewed each year, the route for the 2015 Tour Auto Optic 2ooo finished in the sun in the Cite de l’Ocean in Biarritz. The 233 drivers, who had left the Grand Palais in Paris five days earlier, have memories of a race that took them through the stop-over towns of Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse and Pau before they arrived on the Basque coast. While some came away with victories, all participants remember the sense of shared excitement and the sights of marvelous landscapes.
At the finish of the Tour Auto Rally 2015 there was a winner, the crew of Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet in their Jaguar E-Type. Lajournade won the event in 2010 in a Lotus Elan, and this year he clinched his second success in the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo. He emerged victorious after a no-holds-barred battle with Ludovic Caron and Charles de Villaucourt in their AC Cobra 289 who took the flag only 31 seconds behind after 1,907 km.
Other winners in the 2015 event were Philippe Vandromme and Frederic Vivier in a Ford GT40 who came out on top in Group H, snatching victory from the BMW 2800 CS of Arnaud Gauduel and Alexandre Delaye in the final stage. Belgians Christophe Van Riet and Kristoffer Cartenian in their Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 triumphed in Group H, while Frederic Puren and Caroline Bertrand dominated the Index of Performance in their Porsche 356 Pre-A.
Overall victory in the regularity class went to the Alpine A110 1600 S driven by Jean-Francois and Francois Nicoules in front of the similar Alpine A110 1600 S of Georges Henri Meylan and Julien Stervinou.
Once again the spirit of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo attracted big crowds. This was proved by the large number of spectators who flocked to the finish of the legs as well as the circuits of Magny-Cours, Charade, Albi and Pau-Arnos and the numerous special stages. After no doubt enjoying this wonderful event, organiser Peter Auto will soon turn to 2016 when the Tour Auto Rally will celebrate its 25th anniversary. We’re already excited.
Similar to 2012, 2013 and 2014, photographer Julien Mahiels also documented the Tour Auto 2015, offering the following stunning pictures that show the strong field of entrants and stunning views of the French countryside.
Tour Auto Rally 2015 – Photo Gallery (photos: Julien Mahiels)
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Tour Auto Rally 2015 – Race Results
Overall Competition Class Results
1. Jean Pierre Lajournade / Christophe Bouchet, Jaguar E-Type
2. Ludovic Caron / Charles de Villaucourt, AC Cobra 289
3. Shaun Lynn / Kevin Kivlochan, AC Cobra 289
G/H/I Competition Class Results
1. Philippe Vandromme / Frederic Vivier, Ford GT40
2. Arnaud Gauduel / Alexandre Delaye, BMW 2800 CS
3. Philippe Belin / Stephane Soulet, Austin Mini Cooper S 1300
Regularity Class Results
1. Jean Francois Nicoules / François Nicoules, Alpine Renault A110 1600 S
2. Georges Henri Meylan / Julien Stervinou, Alpine Renault A110 1600 S
3. Ernst Schroder / Phlipp Ruppell, Porsche 356 B