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Le Tour Auto Optic 2ooo: Un Rallye Automobile Légendaire Organisé Depuis 1899

Le Tour Auto Optic 2ooo: Un Rallye Automobile Légendaire Organisé Depuis 1899

La 28ème édition du Tour Auto Optic 2ooo se déroulera sur un parcours de 2250 Kilomètres entre Paris et  Deauville du 29 avril au 4 mai 2019. Le Tour Auto Optic 2ooo 2019 marquera les 120 ans de cette compétition automobile disputée pour la première fois en juillet 1899 et qui demeure la plus ancienne épreuve automobile toujours organisée aujourd’hui.


Le Tour de France Automobile voit le jour en 1899 grâce à l’Automobile Club de France. Reprise ensuite en 1906, l’épreuve est alors, si l’on prend en considération les performances des voitures de l’époque, une véritable aventure de 4000 kilomètres. Elle connaît diverses interruptions, principalement dues à la guerre.

Unique en son genre, le Tour de France Automobile a la particularité d’associer des épreuves sur route et des confrontations sur circuits. Au début des années 1960, l’évènement, qui atteint une popularité incroyable, se tient sur dix jours et oppose les plus grandes marques et les meilleurs pilotes du moment comme Rauno Aaltonen, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Lucien Bianchi, Bernard Darniche, Patrick Depailler, Vic Elford, Gérard Larrousse, Timo Makinen, Henri Pescarolo, Jo Schlesser ou encore Maurice Trintignant.



Disparue de nouveau en 1965, l’épreuve revient en 1969 sous l’impulsion de Bernard Consten, qui en fut quintuple vainqueur. Cette nouvelle ère, où l’appellation Tour Auto voit le jour, s’annonce attrayante avec, entre autres, l’homologation des Matra 650, Ford GT40 et Ferrari 512. Dix années plus tard, les contraintes économiques liées à la crise du pétrole affaiblissent l’épreuve. En 1986, faute de sponsors et de participants, la 50ème édition du Tour de France Automobile est la dernière. Tout du moins en ce qui concerne sa version « moderne ».

En 1992, Patrick Peter, avec l’appui de quelques inconditionnels, fait renaître le Tour Auto de ses cendres sous la forme d’une course historique réservée aux voitures qui ont participé au Tour de France Automobile original entre 1951 et 1973. Trois années plus tard, l’épreuve est l’un des événements des compétitions historiques.



Comme le veut la tradition, l’édition 2019 du Tour Auto Optic 2000 débutera le lundi 29 avril par une exposition publique des 240 voitures engagées sous la verrière du Grand Palais à Paris qui fut le théâtre du premier Salon de l’Automobile en 1901 et jusqu’en 1961.

Le lendemain, les équipages s’élanceront dès les premières heures de la matinée à la découverte des plus belles routes de France. Au programme, environ 2250 kilomètres à parcourir, cinq villes étapes (Dijon, Lyon, Vichy, Tours, avec une arrivée finale à Deauville), des épreuves chronométrées (Compétition ou Régularité) sur quatre circuits (Dijon-Prenois, Magny-Cours, Charade et Le Mans), ainsi que dix épreuves spéciales sur routes fermées.

Chaque édition mettant en exergue une thématique automobile, celle-ci rendra hommage aux marques anglaises disparues. Nées outre-Manche du travail d’artisans, véritables orfèvres en mécanique et carrosserie, ces automobiles ont marqué l’histoire à leur manière. Parmi les plus connues figurent AC, Austin, Austin Healey, BLMC, MG, Morris et Triumph. Mais également, plus confidentielles, Fairthorpe, Frazer-Nash, Healey, Jowett et Sunbeam-Talbot. A l’époque, toutes ont fait l’objet d’une participation au Tour de France automobile. Elles sont de retour sur les trajectoires de leurs exploits passés.

A l’instar des années précédentes, la 28ème édition du Tour Auto Optic 2ooo fera la part belle aux modèles rares et exceptionnels qui ont marqué l’histoire de cette compétition automobile qui demeure la plus ancienne encore organisée aujourd’hui.

A commencer par BMW (partenaire automobile officiel du Tour Auto Optic 2ooo) dont les modèles 507, 1600, 2002 TI et Turbo, 2800 CS, 3.0 CSL et CSi, ainsi que M1 seront nombreux au départ.

Mais également Ferrari avec la présence de nombreux modèles prestigieux attendus. A commencer par des 250 GT Lusso et Boano, 275 GTB, et autres 308 Gr. IV Michelotto et Facetti.

Plusieurs fois victorieuses au Tour de France Automobile dans la catégorie Tourisme grâce au talent d’Hermano da Silva Ramos en 1959, puis de Bernard Consten en 1960, 1961, 1962 et 1963, les Jaguar MK I et MK II seront elles aussi largement représentées.

Pour en savoir plus cet évènement historique, visitez le site du Tour Auto Optic 2ooo.


Photos Mathieu Bonnevie et Stéphanie Bezard tous droits réservés fournies gracieusement par Peter Auto.


Emmanuel Lupé

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