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Holiday Snaps!

Stock - Cars A La France

 

 

Until the summer 0f 1998 my only experience of French Stock Car Racing has been a couple of trips to the indoor sessions at Bercy in Paris. By a stroke of luck I saw a poster for the above meeting at Lohuec in Brittany whilst driving to a gite. Too good an opportunity to miss and a darn sight closer than the Long Track at Baarlo!

This was no UK-style stadium though; this was a field meeting where a short oval (c200/250m) had been marked out with earth barriers forming both the inside and outside of the track. Crowd control fencing was set a safe distance away. The entrance fee was FF35 (cú3.50) including programme.

While the meeting may well have been in a field the organisation was very efficient with the number and size of the towing tractors being particularly impressive! Rather like Bercy the antics of the starter and flagmen was entertaining, as they seemed to spend quite a lot of time on-track shouting and hitting cars. Language is the main problem and as this feature shows, I still remain somewhat oblivious to the details of what was going on!

Apart from the racing the meeting featured several attempts at the Guinness record for the number of complete roll-overs by a single car within 30 minutes. I saw three of the attempts. The first chap conked out after five turnovers and the second after about a dozen. The third contestant (car 208 and the last I saw) managed to complete 74 - yes that’s right seventy-four! - roll-overs in the allotted time. Judging by the reaction of the crowd this attempt appeared to fail to grab the record. By the end driver 208 was somewhat covered in dirt and the last time I saw him he had his head and shoulders in a barrel of water!

The races I saw featured up to 16 cars (31 cars raced in all) with big Citroens seemingly being the preferred hardware. The cars were very heavily armoured and resilient to damage. I got the impression that the style of cars and racing were pretty close to the early years of UK F1 racing and despite the number of formulae racing on the UK ovals there seems to be no direct current comparison with National Saloons and Superbangers probably being the closest.

The scoring of points in the racing is not straightforward and if my translation of the programme is correct is based on:

The local newspaper report on the event is reproduced below together with a selection of pictures. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the event and would encourage any other UK racefan to try out a similar event given the opportunity.

I would be happy to include details of any forthcoming event on rolling START! if anyone could supply the information to me.

 

Report from Le Poher, 27 August 1998

 

Gallery

 

132 completed 5 roll-overs before racing as well

 

25 Jean -Paul Bouyer

 

26 ?

 

38 Dominique Durand

 

45 ?

 

58 Yves Le Boulaire

 

61 David Le Denn

 

9 Jean-Yves Robert (Champion de France 1997)

 

9 Jean-Yves Robert (Champion de France 1997)

44 Delphine Giraudet

 

45 ?

 

52 David Noree

 

69 Franck Quintard

 

9 Jean-Yves Robert (Champion de France 1997)

 

58 Yves Le Boulaire in typical race action

 

It wasn't difficult catching just one of 74 rolls!

 

All pictures by Dave Carter

 

E-mail comments, contributions and suggestions to dave_rc@geocities.com

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