Tour Auto Optic 2000: Leg 4

Day 4: The “ville rose” grew smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirrors of the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo caravan and was replaced by the magnificent landscapes of the Gard region. Two special stages on closed roads and another on the Lédenon circuit were on the day’s programme before the competitors arrived at the sublime Pont du Gard, a monument listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Regularity, a first for the #1 Renault Dauphine Gordini

The popular cars met with great success with the spectators, but what happens when one is entered in the regularity category? This is the challenge two adventurers, François Cardon and Vincent Mouret, set themselves with their Renault Dauphine Gordini. As power isn’t one of the car’s strong points they chose the regularity category for their first outing in the rally. To respect the times in the liaison sectors the two guys didn’t even stop for the lunch breaks! They were up against the stop watch all the time. After leaving Toulouse in 13th place overall they finished the first special stage in fifth spot! They were on the podium of the second stage of the day with a third-place finish. It was a great comeback through the field. At the time of writing the stewards and the time keepers are analysing the results of the event on the Lédenon circuit. But their two performances in the early part of the day have helped them gain several places in the classification. This lovely little popular car’s first outing is already a promising one.

Cultural and automobile heritage combined

The competitors have covered 1684 km from the Grand Palais to the Pont du Gard. These two monuments are highly emblematic and represent the incredible French cultural heritage. That’s also what the Tour Auto Optic 2ooo’s all about – discovering the most beautiful roads in France and spotlighting its most beautiful monuments. Thus, the fourth leg helped to bring our history, whether architectural or automobile, to life.

The day ended with a dinner opposite the highest bridge ever built in antiquity. Erected by the Romans in the first century of our era it has been part of the prestigious UNESCO list since 1985. That’s what’s called finishing on a high note!