The pandemic literally forced the world to come to a standstill for months. That includes classic racing. But after a long period of waiting, we finally could attend a classic race in person. The 2021 edition of the Dijon GP de l’Age d’Or by Peter Auto took place the first weekend of June. Despite the current travel restrictions, mainly restricting the British drivers, over 230 classic race-cars made it to the 3.8 km long track in Burgundy during the 3-day event. Only a maximum of 1000 daily spectators was allowed to attend the first event of the 2021 Peter Auto season. Weather conditions at the Dijon GP de l’Age d’Or ranged from hot and humid on Friday over a soaking wet Saturday to a grey Sunday.
HTC, HGPCA and Fifties Legends
The Heritage Touring Cup stages the glorious times of the European Touring Car Championship (1966 – 184). Cars like the BMW 3.0CSL, Ford Capri, and Ford Escort fight for victory. A true spectacle is your part when these cars hit the track. Unfortunately for us Porsche fans, none of our preferred cars participate in this race. Even though speeds are not that impressive in the HGPCA series, the historic Grand Prix cars (early 1930s – mid-1960s) are true eye-candy. No Porsches show up in the Fifties Legends series either. This grid pays homage to the World Championship for Makes , introduced in 1953 for sports cars and a bit later on for grand touring vehicles. It is Eugène Deleplanque who crosses the finish line first in his 1963 TVR Grantura Mk III.
Classic Endurance Series 1
The CER 1 (1966 – 1974) echoes the period that endurance racing, together with Formula 1 ruled motorsports. Both the cars of that period and their drivers became icons : Ford GT40, Ferrari 512, Porsche 908, and the 2.8 and 3.0L versions of the Porsche 911 RSR. The races of both series are among the highlights of any Peter Auto event.Pierre-Alain France took overall victory in his 1969 LOLA T70 Mk III B in the CER1. Peter Vögele finished 6th overall and 3rd in the P+2L class in his 1969 Porsche 9083. In the GT Class in CER1, it was Swiss Didier Denat who took victory in his 1974 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0L
Classic Endurance Series 2
The CER2 series is dedicated to the GT’s and Prototypes from the middle of the 70s to the early 80s. Cars like the Porsche 934, Porsche 935 and the first open prototypes as the Rondeau dominated the tracks. Yves Scemema started in pole-position in 1976 TOJ SC304. However it was Maxime GUENAT to take checkered flag in the 1976 LOLA T286. Best placed Porsche in the rankings is the duo Romain Rocher /Sébastien Crubile in the 1979 PORSCHE 930. They finish 8th overall, good enough for a class victory in the GT2 class.
Sixties Endurance Series
One of the highlights of Dijon GP de l’Age d’Or is the 2h race of the Sixties Endurance Series. With 60 cars on the track, it was a full house in this grid is dedicated to pre 1963 GT and Sports Cars. Until the first mandatory pitstop, 3 Shelby Cobras were the main players of the 2hour race on Saturday evening. Some full-course yellows stirred up the rankings and in the end, 7 Shelby Cobrasmade it in the top 10, 5 of them taking the first 5 places. The first Porsche in the ranking is the 1965 Porsche 911 2.0 of Frédéric Di Egidio/Guido Di Egidio.
Group C Racing.
It was 4 years ago that spectators could see a Group C race at the Dijon GP de l’Age d’Or. Belgian Christophe d’Ansembourg started in pole-position in his Jaguar XJR14. d’Ansembourg defended his first place with success transmission problems forced him to a stop. The Nissan R90 of Pierre-Alain France took over the lead. The mechanics of d’Ansembourg did a great job and managed to get the Jaguar XJR14 ready for the 2nd race of the day. However, technical issues were his part again, and the end of the race after just 1 lap. Tony Sinclair in the Spice SE90 and Lars Nielsen in the Porsche 962C battled for victory. Near the end of the race, they made contact. Both could stay in the race, but Pierre-Alain France took advantage of the incident to take the lead and win the race. Lars Nielsen finished 2nd.
The 2.0L Cup is the only Peter Auto single-make series. The successful grid is reserved for 2-liter short wheelbase early Porsche 911s prepared in accordance with FIA pre-66 regulations. The race was scheduled to run over 100 minutes, but the local authorities shortened it to 90 minutes. Right from the start Damien Kohler and Xavier Dayraut fought for the leading position. Neither of them gave the other room for errors. They took an advantage of over 20 seconds to the rest of the field. Mid-race, a pitstop window opened, creating possibilities for the chasing field. Marc de Siebenthal took over the wheel of Damien Kohler and continued in the leading position. However, Xavier Dayraut insisted and took over the lead in the second to last lap and strengthens his leading position to finish first with a gap of just over 15 seconds to Damien Kohler / Marc de Siebenthal.
The next event by Peter Auto will be the Historic Racing on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit. It will take place on the weekend scheduled for Le Mans Classic, on July 2-3-4, 2021. The event brings together all Series by Peter Auto. ( Classic Endurance Racing I & II, Fifties ‘Endurance, Sixties’ Endurance, Heritage Touring Cup, 2.0L Cup, The Greatest’s Trophy, Endurance Racing Legends, and Group C.)
Picture Gallery 2021 Dijon GP de l’Age d’Or
Pictures courtesy Vintage Race Photography
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