The Tour Auto Rally 2015 was staged 20-25 April on the back roads and racing circuits of France. Over 230 cars gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris for the start of the 24th historical Tour de France rally, a multi-day event that combined 1,907 km of road driving with multiple circuit and hillclimb stages.
After leaving the Grand Palais at dawn on the 21st of April, the field in the 24th running of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo headed off to the breathtaking Chateau de Courances where the official start of the event was given. The program of the 498-km first leg comprised a special stage on a closed road and the opening races on the Nevers Magny-Cours circuit.
After the first leg which brought the drivers to Vichy, the competitors in the 2015 Tour de France Auto Optic 2ooo left the French spa town and headed for Clermont-Ferrand. The second leg included two special stages and races on the Charade circuit on day two of the event.
On the third day of racing, Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet in their E-Type Jaguar left the Clermont-Ferrand parc ferme leading the 24th Tour Auto Optic 2ooo. Their aim was to reach Toulouse and to fend off the attacks of their most dangerous pursuers in the overall classification — Ludovic Caron and Charles de Villaucourt and Shaun Lynn and Kevin Kivlochan in their AC Cobras. These three outright victory contenders were covered by fewer than 30 seconds at the start of the third leg, the halfway mark of the 2015 event.
On the fourth day, the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo left Toulouse and headed off to the Pyrenees. Almost immediately the drivers feasted their eyes on a magnificent view of the mountains thanks to clear skies like those enjoyed by the 24th event since it left the Grand Palais in Paris. The day’s leg included the crossing of three passes one of which was ‘Hors-Categorie.’ It was enough to delight hill climbers and those who love pounding up twisty roads, and it gave the event a touch of the Tour de France for Bicycles.
On the last day, drivers tackled the fifth and last stage, over 212 km, which began on the Pau Arnos circuit. Then the field headed for the last special stage of the 2015 Tour Auto after which they set off for the finish in the brand-new Cite de l’Ocean in Biarritz.
At the finish of the Tour Auto Rally 2015, the team of Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet in their Jaguar E-Type emerged as overall winners after a battle with the teams of Ludovic Caron and Charles de Villaucourt and Shaun Lynn and Kevin Kivlochan, both in AC Cobra 289 models.
Given the strong field of historic cars at the Tour Auto Rally 2015, we ended up with not enough time to post all of the images provided by Julien Mahiels in our original story. Therefore, in addition to Julien’s Report and Photos, we offer the following gallery of images that are too stunning to not share. We split up Julien’s pictures into two galleries. The first gallery starting below features our favorite images, all displayed in the full-width view of Sports Car Digest, while the second gallery can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all 178 photographs. To see more from Julien, visit julienmahiels.net.
Tour Auto 2015 – Featured Photo Gallery
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