The Tour Auto Rally 2014 was held April 7-12 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 2014 Tour Auto Optic 2ooo was concentrated to the east of France. After the traditional start in the Grand Palais, in which the cars were displayed for Parisian enthusiasts, the rally followed a unique course that was a blend of closed country roads and racing tracks, before the race came to an end in Marseille.
The hotly-contested battle for first place in the overall Competition category was played out between the British crew of Shaun Lynn and Kevin Kivlochan in their AC Cobra and the E-Type Jaguar driven by French duo of Jean-Pierre Lajournade and Christophe Bouchet. The Frenchmen, who were in the lead at the end of Friday’s leg after Ludovic Caron’s (winner of 8 stages out of the 13 in the Tour Auto) off, were hit by a penalty that deprived them of victory, which went to the British drivers. Lajournade won the Colombier stage, and at Paul Ricard it was Jean-Marc Merlin in his AC Cobra who came out on top.
Roman Rocher and Jean-François Penillard in their Porsche 906 won Group G from the Ford GT40 driven by Philippe Vandromme and Frédéric Vivier. Victory in Group H went to Christophe Van Riet and Kristoffer Cartenian’s 2.7-litre 911 RS Porsche, which led home Didier and Barbara Denat’s 3-litre version. The racing classifications were completed by the triumph of Christophe Grenier and Guillaume Puget in their Group IV Ferrari 308 in Group I.
In the Regularity section victory went to the Franco-Swiss pairing of Georges-Henri Meylan and Julien Stervinou in an Alpine A110 1600 S, while the Index of Performance was won Pierre Le Gloahec and Henanff-Alexandre Brasseur in a Jaguar MkI.
The 23rd Tour Auto Optic 2ooo was again marked by the overall beauty of its innovative route, the presence of 25 nationalities and well-known drivers like Olivier Panis, Erik Comas, Emanuele Pirro (5-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours), Jürgen Barth, Armin Schwarz, Rauno Altonen, Pierre Ragues, Christian Balas and Jean-Claude Basso. An even-bigger crowd than in 2013 lined the route and flocked to the circuits to see more than 200 historic cars passing by ranging from the popular Renault 4 CV to makes like Ferrari, Aston Martin and Porsche prototypes among others.
Similar to 2012 and 2013, photographer Julien Mahiels documented the 2014 Tour Auto, offering the following stunning pictures that show the strong field of entrants, in addition to the wonderful views found on the French countryside. We split up Julien’s 314 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 and rally results can be found on the last page of the article and gives a comprehensive view of all the photographs. To see more from Julien, visit julienmahiels.net.
Tour Auto Rally 2014 – Featured Photo Gallery
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