Sunday, 17 April 2016

‘Le Tank’ returns for the first time to the historic Grand Prix de Tours

Michel Loreille the organizer of the Grand Prix de Tours.

‘Le Tank’, a Bugatti Type 32 that first raced at the 1923 Grand Prix de Tours, is to return for the first time to the historic event held on June 25-26 in Chinon, France.

The car will join more than 150 cars coming from Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and France for the 16th edition of the event, which is sponsored by Total one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas companies.

The 1923 race offered a superb duel between the Bugatti 32 and Voisin Laboratoire cars, but the final victory went to the Sunbeam with British driver Henry Segrave at the wheel. Almost a hundred years later, the Bugatti will be joined by the Voisin Laboratoire cars for a high-octane re-enactment of that duel.

The Grand Prix de Tours attracts nearly 20,000 visitors every year and its 16th edition will take place in Chinon, a medieval town steeped in history in the heart of the Val-de-Loire, a World Heritage UNESCO cultural landscape. This region is not only renowned for its cultural legacy, but is also a mecca for French traditional gastronomy and wines as well as historic motor racing.

Michel Loreille, the organizer of the event said:
“The Grand Prix de Tours is a fantastic event. It has become an unmissable event for lovers and enthusiasts of beautiful motor cars. Each year it gives thousands of visitors the opportunity to see and admire exceptional vehicles from another era surrounded by World Heritage cultural landscapes."
Michel added: “The 1923 Grand Prix was a race between extraordinary men and the kind of personalities that the automotive world has seen only a handful: Ettore Bugatti and Gabriel Voisin. Their creations met in the race track and added a human element to the technical aspects of this sport, creating an event that marked a turning point in the history of racing cars. We look forward to welcoming guests from the UK.”

On Saturday 25th June, more than 150 cars will depart at 9:00hrs from the Place Jeanne D'Arc, in Chinon, on a 200km journey around Touraine. Driving on beautiful country roads, participants of this more relaxed tour will taste the best that the region has to offer in terms of history, architectural heritage and gastronomic fame, visiting chateaux, prestigious vineyards and the bucolic banks of the Loire and Vienne rivers.

Sunday 26th will be dedicated to motor racing with a parade of classic and vintage motorcycles around the Place Jeanne D'arc.

The event is open to classic vehicles that are more than 30 years old and will be organised in different categories, including pre-war, 1950, 1960, 1970.

Visitors from the UK can enjoy the event for just five hundred euros per car (two people), which includes entry to the rally, lunch and dinner and entry into the “in town GP” on the Sunday.

The event is one of the most important in the French classic car calendar and has been run in various forms for the past 100 years.

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