Engines once again revved on the slopes of the Provence Giant Mont Ventoux on June 5-7 during the Ronde du Ventoux Optic 2ooo, retrospective of the famous hill climb born in 1902, and organized this time by Peter Auto and the ASAC Vauclusien.
The Ronde du Ventoux is a 50 km, or so loop that will be achieved several times both on Saturday and on Sunday. Governed by the rally regulations, this loop will include the ‘Mont Ventoux’ special stage which start will be given from the Saint Estève turn. The finish will be at the ‘Col des Tempêtes’ pass at the top of the hill, about 10 miles further.
Nearly eighty classic cars, from prewar Bugattis to Porsche 911 RSRs, got together on Friday in the village of Bédoin, before starting the five climbs to the summit of Mont Chauve, driving back down through Malaucène.
The grid was a delight for experts with many exceptional cars. Amongst them, Hubert Fabri’s Bugatti 59 King of Belgium was the center of attention, as was Christian Traber’s Maserati WRE, the ex-Le Mans Ford GT40 belonging to the Mason Styrrons, without forgetting Brandon Wang’s Ferrari 250 GTO. A few curiosities and rarities such as the oldest participant, a 3 wheeled Darmont of 1930 driven by Henri Doux and the formidable 1935 ERA R4A which opened the race at an incredible speed.
In the Competition Category, Porsche 906s and 911 RSRs fought Ford Mustangs and GT40s for the class lead. However, the Mont Ventoux once again sent a violent hail storm to interrupt the battles during the second special stage: the well named Col des Tempêtes, covered by 5 centimeters of snow from the hail in a few instants and enveloped in very thick fog. Fortunately, the sun took over on Sunday and the competition was able to follow a normal course with two loops programmed in the morning.
The fastest car this weekend was Romain Rocher’s Porsche 906, a fitting reward for the car that won the Ventoux Hill Climb Ladies’ Cup with Annie Soisbault in 1967. Just behind, came Stephan Meyers’ Porsche 911 RSR and the Demachys’ Ford Mustang. Fifth time in the scratch, Armand Adriaans and his Mustang Shelby won the VHC classification of pre-1966 cars. As for the Index of Performance, Gareth Burnett imposed its stunning Talbot 105 (another ex-Le Mans) and in the Regularity section, Daniel Paulet & Marc Chantraine invest the highest podium step thanks to their Porsche 356.
[Source: Ronde du Ventoux Optic 2000]