Race Reports

Historic Tour 2018: Vigeant

 By Sean Dezart

Daniel Valinho of Valinho Auto Racing (VAR) asked me if I go down to see them in Vigeant and I thought, hmm, one night in a B & B, good meal and up late-ish the next day .. .. except all the cheap and close accommodation were taken so Sunday for us started early and we left home at 6:20 !

I had forgotten the pleasure of driving on roads with no people, no cops with their speed traps or motorhomes and with the sun starting to rise without any clouds.

Two and a half hours later we arrived at the circuit and there is the team, together with the son-in-law and his father with their 911 white 3.0RS # 52 * (the 240Z wore the # ‘240 ‘ of course!).

We added some stickers on the Datsun as planned since Le Mans and it was time for the pre-grid so we climbed the control tower for the best view of the circuit.


* fastest lap of the race at 1min51.742 but Laurent (son in law) is a semi-retired professional racing driver.

For the reasons of the grids being not too full, the organisers decided to merge the both (until 196 and 1966 – 81) and frankly, it was excellent for us spectators.

Rolling start and the Cobra has the power in a straight line then the Porsche 911 2.8 RSR and Charly in the 240Z behind. The first lap order was thus :

Porsche 911 2.8RSR

TVR Griffith 400

Shelby Cobra 289

Porsche 911 2.8 RSR

Datsun 240Z

Porsche 911 2.8 RS

Etc., etc.


The first two were simply untouchable, it was the Cobra under pressure of the 911 (very close and not afraid for his car) and then after passing the Cobra, Charlys’ turn but (learned after the race) there was tyre grip unlike yesterday (too much tyre pressure – who knows), he had brake-fade also (so looking now at how better to cool them off) and finally, a steering rack that had developed some play in it – turn the steering wheel left and right and the wheels do not move !

In short, impossible to overtake the Cobra in the tight corners of the circuit and in the straight lines, the Cobra was a catapult!

But even in dry weather, the Cobra is tricky under braking and I saw him twice in a spin –  Charly had finally passed but even after the Laurents’ white 911 :

Porsche 911 2.8RSR

TVR Griffith 400

Porsche 911 2.8 RSR

Porsche 911 2.8 RS

Datsun 240Z

Shelby Cobra 289

Then Laurent caught up with the 2nd RSR and took it:

Porsche 911 2.8RSR

TVR Griffith 400

Porsche 911 2.8 RS

Porsche 911 2.8 RSR

Datsun 240Z

Shelby Cobra 289

But ran out of fuel !

Porsche 911 2.8RSR

TVR Griffith 400

Porsche 911 2.8 RSR

Datsun 240Z

Shelby Cobra 289

Porsche 911 2.8 RS

Then Charly lost control under braking after the double bend ‘Arnaud Biet’ which gave a 360 ° spin and scraping the rails. We noticed a larger gap than normal from the Porsche in front and soon we saw Charly starting to smoke blue .. “oh no, not the new engine” ?

No, the right front fender-flare was rubbing against the tyre and with the front spoiler flapping about, he was red-flagged to return to the pits where  Papa Valinho said “stop’’ ! Too bad because the RSR before him also came into the pits with engine failure so without his incident, Charly would have been on the podium in the overall ranking!


Porsche 911 2.8RSR

TVR Griffith 400

Datsun 240Z

Shelby Cobra 289

Porsche 911 2.8 RSR

Porsche 911 2.8 RS

And like that in class:

Porsche 911 2.8RSR

Datsun 240Z

Porsche Carrera 6

There is some homework to do because it will be racing again at Magny Cours on 19/20/21 October!

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