Scotsman in a Ford GT40 dominates Tour Auto 2017
The car was designed as a “Ferrari-killer”, and more than 50 years later at Tour Auto 2017, that’s still exactly what it is. A 1965 Ford GT40 driven by British team Smith/Cottingham cruised to a triumphant victory at Biarritz in the south of France. The iconic endurance racecar dominated nearly all the stages of the classic car rally organized by French event promoter Peter Auto.
The Tour Auto started, as is traditional, in Paris. After leaving the French capital, the rally, in its 26th year, passed through Brittany for the first time – and it was quite a challenge. Faced by a mix of hail and snow, drivers of open cars in particular had to fight hard against the weather blowing in from the ocean. The teams then steered towards central France and Toulouse, before crossing part of the Pyrenees and arriving on the Atlantic coast at Biarritz.
The most spectacular Ferrari defeated by the Ford GT40 was probably a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB. The car, piloted by Adrian Beecroft and Susan Roy, actually won the historical Tour Auto in its day. Overall, 241 crews entered the competition in three different categories. Some of the most eagerly anticipated highlights of the Tour Auto are its detours onto famous racetracks. In 2017, drivers visited the Le Mans’ Bugatti circuit and the racetracks at Val de Vienne, Albi and Pau Arnos.
Our photographer Julien Mahiels accompanied the Tour Auto 2017 on its way through France (click in pic for full screen view):
For more impressions, you can also visit the Peter Auto’s YouTube channel.