It was in 1964 that the Automobile Club de France celebrated it’s 50th edition at the Rouen-les-Essart racetrack. 2 full-blown vintage car lovers, Jacques Potherat and Serge Pozolihad the great idea to celebrate that anniversary with a race for the ancestors of the ‘modern’ racing cars of that era : a new historic race event was born, the very first event in France solelydedicated to historic motorsport. Now in 2014, another 50 years later, one of the races of the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or was a retrospective of the 1964 French GP, with the stunning Brabham BT7 winner car driven by Dan Gurneythose days, back on the track. A great homage to Jack Brabham too, who unfortunately passed away just recently.
The Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or is organized by Peter Auto, a well known vintage and historic race organization, responsible for the Spa Classic, Le Mans Classic and Tour Auto too. No surprise to see the same races and lots of the cars appearingin the different events, but who cares? Not only is the organization from a flawless quality, the well-known track in Prenois, near Dijon where the Grand-Prix de L’Age d’Or took place, has a lovely history too. Back in the days, it served as a F1race track, and nearly nothing has changed on the track since the times the F1 cars raced it. I heard lots of racers mention they just loved it.
Under a burning sun, over 250 race cars and approximately 700 club cars found their way to the Dijon-Prenois race track. During the races, the clubs organized BBQ’s for their members, enjoying an atmosphere that was just like in the old days. The paddock housed a village with the usual suspects selling their goods : books, the amazing vintage Heuer watches, clothes and for the kids a giant slotcar racetrack. Smiling faces everywhere.
What the races concerned, as usual some great Porsches at the start too. In the Classic Endurance Racing 1, Wolfman Kaufmann gained a 7th place overall in his Porsche 911 RSR 3.0, good enough for a class win in the GT1, and immediately preceding another Porsche 911 RSR 3.0 driven by Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac.
The Porsche 906 Carrera 6 driven by Pierre Perret and Arnold Robin finished 24th overall.
Unfortunately Peter Vögele had a no-start in his Porsche 908/3 in this race. The Classic Endurance Racing 2 had a GT2 class win for Nicolas D’ieteren in the Porsche 935 K3, a car with a great livery in my opinion.
The 2 hour endurance by the Sixties Endurance was dominated by Shelby’s. No less than 6 Cobra Shelby’s occupying the 6 first positions after the race. Jean Marc Bussolini crossed the finish line in his blue Porsche904 Carrera GTS 2 laps after the winner, winning the GTP11 class.One more Porsche in the top 10 of this race, Pascal Pandelaar in a 1964 Porsche 911 2.0 , winner of the GTS11 class. The swiss Carlo and Peter Vögele gained 2nd position in the GTP11 class in their Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. Exactly as in the Spa Classic, David Fitzsimons and Neil Tolich drove their ultrarare Porsche 356 Carrera Abarth GTL in the Trofeo Nastro Rosso, finishing 8th place.This was my first visit to this lovely race-track, and I immediately felt at home. It was a blast, and I’ll be back next year !!!