Anything happens in Grand-Prix racing and it usually does Murray Walker
Grand Prix-de Chinon ne Tours
Its is widely accepted that England is the heart of motor racing, but some of the greatest races were conceived in France with famous runs from Paris to Reims and of course the Grand Prix de Tours. This weekend event is designed to commemorate this road race dating back to 1923. Although there is no longer any racing, there is plenty of competitive spirit.
Friday Concourse d'élégance
Following transfers from arrival points, introductions, and orientation excursions. Guests attend a private champagne reception. The Concourse d'élégance takes place in the city centre at 7pm, exhibiting some of the finest pre and post-war vehicles, participants dressed in costume of the same era as their vehicles capturing a moment in time, and hopefully, the judges eye.
Our guests can enjoy the motoring ambiance, wandering around the cars and chatting to their owners, returning to their Hotel for evening dinner and preparation for the Rallye Touristique starting early the next morning.
Saturday The Rallye de Touristique
After breakfast at the hotel our guests will drive their chosen classic out of the town and into the country to meet up with the main body of rally entrants. Coffee and croissant are served and drivers mingle with spectators awaiting the "off". At the appropriate time (about 9am) cars are drawn forward to an exit point and leave at minute or so intervals, with local dignitaries and press posing for photos.
Crowds are drawn from all over the region for this event. The route follows scenic roads through the Touraine region for 150km, past châteaux and vineyards on the banks of the Loire and Cher rivers with visits at a wine-producing châteaux. This popular rally is peppered with spectators who sometimes camp along route to wave, take pictures and point in the right direction... quite handy if your map reading is not up to par, or have lost your place!.
A superb lunch is served in a local château, and following the afternoon rally section, competitors enjoy the evening gala dinner held at another château.
Many competitors dress up for the event to add to the authenticity of the driving era, but this is optional! For ladies' only teams, there is an opportunity to win the Ladies Trophy.
Sunday The Concours d'état
After breakfast guests drive their selected classic cars and make their way to the city centre, where presentation parking is arranged.
The Concours d'état is held to exhibit the most prestigious vintage cars, especially chosen for their restoration quality or best original condition and historical interest. From a podium stand comments are made on their presentation and general points of interest.
By the afternoon the city centre fills with the sounds of engines, reliving the era of 1920's when the Grand Prix de Tours was a road race. With the smell of Castrol R in the air our guests will wait for the call to start their Parade Lap.
Cars from all over Europe gather to parade in front of 15.000 people around the closed city circuit with running commentary during the parade laps of the many clubs and associations who display their cars.
Sterling Days guests have a luxury hamper provided for refreshments throughout the day and with café bars lining the route guests can take in the spectacle at their own pace.
A short walk to the medieval center of Tours, past the remnants of a colossal Cathedral make a welcome break for those who would prefer a quieter moment.
When all has calmed and spectators have withdrawn, our guests may retire to their hotel for refreshment. An evening dinner in a city centre restaurant rounds off the day.
An early start see our guests enjoying the return leg of their tour to the historic Châteaux town of Les Ormes, where after refreshments they are transferred to their departure points.