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2021 Historic Racing by Peter Auto
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Le Mans Bugatti
The Le Mans Classic is one of the signature events of the Peter Auto organisation. For obvious reasons, the biennial meeting was cancelled in 2020 and rescheduled for 2021. Sadly, the global health situation did not improve fast enough to hold the event this year either. At least not with sufficient paying spectators to cover the vast cost of using the full-size Le Mans circuit, which consists mostly of public roads that have to be closed for the duration. Instead, the Peter Auto organisation opted to use the date for one of their regular weekends on the permanent Le Mans Bugatti circuit. Despite the travel restrictions still in effect, well over 200 cars were entered for the Historic Racing by Peter Auto meeting, spread over nine different grids. There were several hundred classic cars at Le Mans brought by enthusiast clubs. Particularly impressive was the selection of Amilcars that lined up in the 'Village' on Friday.
We were also on hand for the second Peter Auto meeting of the season and have returned with this 220-shot gallery that includes all grids and races.

Sixties' Endurance
As always, the Sixties' Endurance race was scheduled as the Saturday finale with a 5 pm start. During the afternoon, we had already been treated to a shower but fortunately for the competitors, the track had completely dried by the time the race started. Heading the field was Urs Beck in the Cobra he shared with German ace Ralf Kelleners. The former Toyota and Porsche works racer had put in a lap in qualifying that was a startling 1.6 seconds faster than the next best time. In the race, however, it were the Cobras of Yvan Mahe and Harvey Stanley that took an early lead. Sadly, the Cobra of Stanley and Richard Cook developed a fuel feed issue and was forced to retire. Following the mandatory pit stops, Kelleners emerged in the lead after a strong opening stint of car owner Beck. The two German/Swiss combination took a comfortable win. One lap down were two Equipe Europe-prepared Shelby Cobra Daytonas with Pierre-Alain and Erwin France finishing second and Yvan Mahe and Dominique Guenat placing third. Another impressive result was fourth overall for gentleman driver Charles de Villaucourt, who is moving up the order at every outing he gets with his dark blue Cobra.

Classic Endurance Racing
As on Saturday, there was intermittent rain on Sunday, which made for tricky conditions. Among the races that were affected by the changing weather was the Classic Endurance Racing 1 race that was run on Sunday morning. Starting from pole, on a dry track, were Toni and Mirco Seiler in a Lola T70 Mk3B. The two Swiss racers had a relatively uneventful race, despite the rain that arrived in the final quarter of the race. The CER1 cars run on treaded tyres, so they were not quite as tricky to drive in these conditions than the later cars. Behind the two Seilers, there was a race-long battle between the T70 of Pierre-Alain France and the Chevron B19 of Emmanuel Brigand, which was eventually settled in favour of the former, with just seven tenths separating the two after an hours worth of racing. Fourth overall and first in the GT class was the Ford GT40 of Mr. John of B. and Soheil Ayari, who had excelled in the difficult conditions.
The track action was concluded on Sunday afternoon with the one-hour CER2 race. Just like at Dijon a month earlier, the race was dominated by Maxime Guenat in his Cosworth DFV-engined Lola T286. Second was for the two-litre TOJ of Frank Morel while Maxime's father Dominique was third in his DFV powered TOJ.

Endurance Racing Legends
A relatively new addition to the Peter Auto line-up is the Endurance Racing Legends grid, which is organised together with English enthusiast Jarrah Venables. Open to sports prototypes and GT racers of the 1990s and 2000s, it is a field for cars that were long believed to be too complicated to run. As was the norm during the period, Porsche 911s were well represented on the entry list but there were other more rarer machinery like the unique Morgan Plus 8 GTR and Kopf Keiler. Further highlights included an Aston Martin DBR9 boasting its one-off Vitaphone colours, a Dodge Viper art car and the gloriously howling but troublesome Lamborghini Murcielago.
Fastest of all during the two 30-minute qualifying sessions was Richard Cook in the ex-works Riley & Scott Mk III C. Powered by a six-litre Elan V8, the fire-spitting Riley & Scott also managed to snatch victory in the first race of the weekend. Cook was in the lead again during the second race when it, inevitably, started to rain. In these slippery conditions, the slightly heavier GT cars are actually somewhat easier to drive. This allowed French pro Soheil Ayari to grab the lead and ultimately the win in the second race with the striking Viper art car. Many of these cars will be back at Le Mans in August as the Endurance Racing Legends will serve as a support event for this year's 24 Hours.

Final thoughts
All things considering, the Historic Racing by Peter Auto meeting was a great success. With strong grids and impressive driving in most races, it did the location more than justice. We can only imagine what the event would have been like if there were no more travel restrictions. Hopefully the second half of the season will see competitors from all over the world being able to compete. Next up is the Nogaro Classics during the final weekend of July.
For those that could not make it or those that want to relive the event, here is is our 220-shot gallery from the Historic Racing by Peter Auto event at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.

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Report by Wouter Melissen and images by Wouter Melissen and Pieter Melissen for Ultimatecarpage.com