Tour Auto Optic 2000 – Leg 4 highlights
It’s 7:30 and the sun lights up the ruins of the Crussol château that overlooks the town of Valence. The first car in the regularity section leaves the parc fermé heading for the Abbaye de Bouchet. On the day’s programme are more than 310 km including two special stages and a trip to the Lédenon circuit. A reminder: its layout is unique as it is lapped in an anti-clockwise direction although this holds no fears for the drivers. They will spend the night in Nîmes near its arenas where the Roman amphitheatre can keep an eye on the cars in the parc fermé!
The rain, which had spared the competitors since the start of the day, made a grand entrance on the Lédenon circuit. This allowed the forerunners François Chatriot and Ari Vatanen in BMW to put on a beautiful show with pretty drifts mastered for the greatest pleasure of the spectators who came in large numbers on the circuit.
The day finally made it possible to decide and define the leader of the regularity grid on this fourth stage. The Ferrari 275 GTB of Brocades Zaalberg / Drapeau finally took the lead.
On the competition grid, the battle rages on the first three steps of the podium between the Matra MS 650 of Mr John of B / Sibel, the Porsche 911 2,3L ST of Beck / Schaffer and the media duo Pernaut / Cohen in Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAM. And yet their technical configurations are totally different: rear engine on the Porsche, front engine on the Alfa Romeo and central one on the Matra. On the VHC side, Van Riet and Werner still lead the game, closely followed by Berchon / Bordier.