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In these difficult times the Tour de Corse Historique was a kind of beacon of normalcy, when a full complement of 210 cars, over 130 in competition (VHC) and the others split into regularity categories (VHRS) of high, medium and low average speed, took the start in Porto-Vecchio on 6 October for the 20th Tour de Corse Historique.  True, special health measures were in place, but the ambiance was as friendly as always and the Corsican roads were, well, the Corsican roads, and just as awe inspiring as ever. 

 

The entry list included many Tour de Corse heavy hitters, including past masters Alain Oreille (Porsche 911 RS 3.0), Marc Valliccioni (BMW M3 E30), François Delecour (Porsche 911 SC RS) and newcomer to the event, but certainly not to rallying, Robert Consani (Porsche 911 SC), who proved to be a bit of a revelation, coming in on day 1 with a 2-second overall lead ahead of Valliccioni, who was top in J2.  Alain Oreille sat in third place, and last year’s winner, François Foulon, driving a Ford Escort RS 1800, was equal sixth with Christophe Casanova in a BMW M3 after an errant brake cable slowed his progress.

On day two things changed dramatically.  Valliccioni left the road into retirement on the, and the same fate befell Consani on the last stage of the day.  The rally had lost the two leading cars.  The drivers arrived in Bastia with Alain Oreille as the new king with a 48-second advance on Capanaccia and Casanova, while Delecour was lying in wait in fourth place.

Alain and Sylvie Oreille drove to victory on their fourth attempt.  Photo Fred Chambert Courtesy TDCH 

The next twist of fate was to befall François Delecour, who had been caught speeding on the last liaison stage and had his licence withdrawn.  The officials had no choice but to exclude him from the start the following morning. 

The penultimate day of the rally went from Calvi to Ajaccio, this time with only three specials on the menu, but these included the daunting 30-kilometre Our Lady of the Serra and Liamone - Sant’Andria D’Orcino (29, 47 km).  Consani,, now running in super rally, was once again in the forefront, but Oreille was the fastest of those still in contention. 

David Perier drove his D-type evocation in the regularity section.  Photos François & Leo Haase

The fifth and final day took everyone back to Porto-Vecchio via four more stages, where Alain and Sylvie Oreille drove as winners for the first time, after four attempts.

 

In VHRS, Bernard Figuière/Isabelle Godin (BMW M3) won the high average speed category, Christophe and Anne Baillet (Porsche 911 SC) the medium intermediate, Serge Garosi/Jean Marc Piret (Mazda RX2) the medium moderate and Daniel Klumpp and Sylviane Dennu took their Mini to victory amongst the low average speed contenders.

Patrick Canavese starts his Lancia 037

Read More in the November 2020 issue…..