Classic Car Race

Zoute Grand Prix 2016, indian summer on the Belgian coast

Last week, Knokke-le-Zoute was hosting the Zoute Grand Prix 2016. This event is similar to Spa Rétrofolies. However, it is a little more posh, allowing the visitors to enjoy rarer cars scattered between the beach, the seawall and the town centre.

The Zoute Grand Prix 2016 is split in three events:

  • Zoute Rally: It’s a rally dedicated to cars built between 1930 and 1965. For two days, drivers could enjoy regularity races and nice rides.
  • Zoute Concours d’élégance: Evenything is in the name.
  • Zoute Sale by Bonhmans : Auctions in Knokke are on the rise. We will talk about that sale in another article.

Modern cars also have a dedicated rallye, the GT Tour, but it’s not our point, let’s focus on the classic cars.

The Zoute Rally

Last year, the Zoute Rally headed to Bruges, this year, the drivers could discover the area around Courtrai, including the Castle of Nokere. There, the drivers could enjoy a lakefront aperitif after a morning driving. On the Friday, they drove in plains that used to be battlefields during WWII.

The grid gathered astonishing cars once more. However the Porsche 356, Jaguar E-Type and Mercedes SL “Pagoda” made half of it. Fortunately, some manufacturers brought some of their most iconic cars, like BMW with a 328, that ran the Mille Miglia, or Audi, who brought Auto-Unions that ran Liege-Rome-Liege.

There was a lot of Italian cars as well. The more noticeable were a Lancia B24 Spyder America, several Ferrari 275 GTB and a couple of Maserati 3500 GT. Jochen Mass was driving one of the numerous Mercedes 300 SL there.

Zoute Concours d’élégance

The Sunday was dedicated to the Concours d’Elegance that took place in the Royal Zoute Golf. It was one of the main events of the Zoute Grand Prix 2016. From pre-war to 1975, the cars were just astonishing. It was also hosting both the Spider and Coupe versions of the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante designed by Touring in 2013.

The jury was more demanding than it was in previous years. The criteria were similar to Villa d’Este or Pebble Beach ones, ensuring a higher quality. Here are the results:

POST-WAR CLOSED 4 SEATER CLASS
Winner: 1955 – LANCIA AURELIA B12

COMPETITION CLASS
Winner: 1967 – PORSCHE 911 R

POST-WAR CLOSED 2 SEATER CLASS
Winner: 1954 – PEGASO Z102

POST-WAR CLOSED 2+2 SEATER CLASS
Winner: 1961 – ASTON MARTIN DB4 SERIES III ‘GT’ SPORTS SALOON

SPECIAL DISPLAY CLASS
Winner: 2016 – SUPERLEGGERA DISCO VOLANTE

SPECIAL AWARD BY THE JURY “COUP DE COEUR”
Winner: 1965 – OSCA 1600 GT COUPÉ

FERRARI 275 GTB – 365 GTB/4 CLASS
Winner: 1968 – FERRARI 365 GTB4 ‘DAYTONA’ PROTOTIPO

MOST ELEGANT OR SPECIAL INTERIOR
Winner: 1949 – LANCIA APRILIA FARINA CONVERTIBLE

OTTO VU CLASS
Winner: 1953 – FIAT 8V BERLINETTA RAPI

MOST SPECIAL & UNIQUE BODYWORK
Winner: 1938 – LANCIA ASTURA CABRIOLET 4TH SERIES

MOST EXCITING DESIGN
Winner:1972 – LAMBORGHINI MIURA SV

MOST ICONIC CAR
Winner: 1956 – MERCEDES 300 SL GULLWING

BEST PRESERVED CAR
Winner: 1925 – BUGATTI TYPE 35 GRAND PRIX TWO-SEATER

MOST SENSITIVE RESTORATION
Winner: 1953 – FIAT 8V SUPERSONIC


ENGINEERING AWARD

Winner: 1968 – TOYOTA 2000 GT

PROTOTYPE AWARD 
Winner: 1952 – MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL PROTOTYPE ‘AIRBRAKE’

PRE-WAR CLASS 
Winner: 1939 – TALBOT-LAGO T120 CABRIOLET

POST-WAR OPEN CLASS
Winner: 1961 – 1951 – ASTON MARTIN DB2 DHC

The Zoute Grand Prix 2016 is now a must-see in Belgium, like the Spa Six Hours, the Legend Boucles or Spa Classic. If you want to go next year, it will be from the 5th to the 8th of October 2017.

Thanks to Gaultier Vilour for his pictures, you can look at his photos on his Facebook page or on Instagram.

Posted by Pierre in Non classé, Past events, 0 comments

The Tour Auto 2016 was on Dijon tracks for our pleasure !

The Tour Auto 2016 is a revival of the former Tour de France automobile. The race started on tuesday from Paris.

The official start was by the way given at Chateau de Courances, and the crews take the road to Sens, in Bourgogne, for the first stage on closed road.

After that, the first cars and their assistances arrived to the Dijon-Prenois track where we were waiting for them.

When all the cars were ready, the first race started, the Group 3, with the older cars of the Tour Auto 2016. The battle was real between cars of different eras and performances such as MG B, Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB, Ferrari 275 GTB/C, Porsche 356, Alfa Romeo Giulia GT… The victory was for the driver of a 275, which started in the middle of the grid but achieved a beautiful race.

The next race was the Group 4, with the HRC competitors who might win the Tour Auto 2016. 2015 winner, Jean-Pierre Lajournade with its Jaguar E-Type took the pole position, but just after the start his main competitors, Ludovic Caron and Shaun Lynn, both on Shebly Cobra 289, passed him to take the two first places on podium. The rest of the race was also very interesting, with some Alfa Romeo GTA, some other Shelby and E-Types, Porsche 911, a Citroën SM and a Lancia Fulvia.

The Group 5 gathers the most recent cars of the Tour Auto 2016. The cars are from 70s to mid 80s, when the Tour de France Automobile raced last.
On the track, the Ligier JS2 with a DFV engine make a special show, starting from the middle of the grid to win the race for only 2 seconds, and a final pass in the last lap ! The other cars also battle for every position, the battle between the Porsche, the Ferrari and the De Tomaso was just astonishing.

Last race, the regularity rally. Almost half of the participants are registered on this category and race in two separate groups. The goal is not speed, each car has to set a reference lap and during the “race” the pilot has to keep as close as possible to his reference time.
Thus, no real battle on track, except for the faster cars that have to avoid the traffic to make their time. Imagine the difficulties for a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta to make its time with a Sunbeam Alpine which has a reference 58s slower !
The cars are plenty on track and we can discover some beauties, such as the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta “Tour de France”, we presented you few days ago in this article.

It was a good day at Dijon track and the Tour Auto takes now the road towards Beaune. This week-end the cars will finish the race at Cannes and we will provide you the results.

To discover our complete gallery, click here.

 

Posted by Pierre in Non classé, Past events, 0 comments