Race summary Tour Auto Optic 2017
This year saw Kurt participate for the first time ever in a rally and not just any rally but the Tour Auto Optic 2000 with over 240 other participants. This rally has been in existence for 26 years and was recreated by Peter auto from the official Tour Auto held back in the 70s' and 80s as a tribute to a golden age in French rallying.
Having spent his entire career on race tracks this was Kurts first attempt at a rally with a road book and a co-driver Jack Logan, who was also the owner of a race prepared Porsche 911 2.5l ST. The car was entered into the competition class with 115 other competitors while the remaining 125 were entered in the regularity class (no timing!).
After a quick initiation it was off to the first special stages. '' While the transition stages from one special to the next were uninteresting from the point of view of speed they did require careful interpretation of the instructions in the road book with care so as not to get lost on the way and so incur penalty points.
The special stages however were a whole new ball game! As Kurt relayed himself ' having to push hard on narrow country roads with a co-pilot reading out instructions was at first daunting. With no prior reconnaissance and driving someone elses car I approached the first few stages with caution upping the pace steadily . Temperatures were far from ideal and road conditions were often wet and humid. Gradually however we found a good rhythm, keeping a safety margin in case we were caught out by unforeseen conditions. Apparently we had found a good balance as we avoided many a tricky situation on several of the stages where we saw several of our competitors had left the road some with more or less damage.'
The choice of specials and race tracks was excellent, with some great hillclimbs and race tracks notably the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. Long and short we met some great people and had good fun after hours with exquisite wining and dining at the end of each day. We were rewarded with 1 st in class and 7th overall out of 115 participants. Not bad at all for a first attempt if you take into consideration that all of the cars ahead of us were significantly more powerful than our entry!!