After two days on show in Paris during which 5.000 fans were able to have a close-up view of all the collector cars, the 232 competitors hit the road at 6:00 in a Paris where calm still reigned for a rendezvous under the royal arch of the Rambouillet château for the official start. Drivers and co-drivers were ready to tackle the 512 kilometres of the first (long) leg of the 2022 Tour Auto bringing them to the Atlantic and the beaches of La Baule.
The first stop was on the iconic Le Mans Bugatti circuit where John of B set the fastest time in his #251 Ligier JS2 in 15m 01s closely followed by Emmanuel Brigand’s #262 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0, which finished 4 seconds behind the Ligier.
The second stop coincided with the first special stage of the day watched by a host of spectators beside the vineyards in Beaulieu sur Layon. The cars flashed by flat out and in more or less controlled slides to the delight of the large crowd.
At 18:40 the first cars arrived in the La Baule Parc Fermé facing the ocean welcomed by beautiful sunlight, the citizens of La Baule and the holiday makers. Rendezvous tomorrow for the second leg of just over 500 km linking La Baule to Limoges. On the day’s programme are two special stages and a timed event on the Val de Vienne circuit.