Although not necessarily a world class motor sport event such as Goodwood or Laguna Seca, this annual event is always special for several reasons. First, it is one of the only motor sport meetings to be held on exactly the same route and roads as it was in 1939. Secondly, it is staged in the center of the Charentais city in Western France under the watching eye of the city’s beautiful cathedral.
2019’s event was the 80th anniversary of the first event and the organizers assembled a demonstration of cars that actually raced in that event or are similar. Winning drivers in the first few races included Raymond Sommer, Maurice Trintignant, Juan Manuel Fangio – top flight aces of the period.
The races (or plateaus as they are called in France) included Trintignant for 1920/30s voiturettes, Raymond Mays for 4 cylinder Bugatti’s, Nicolosi for 8 cylinder Bugatti’s, Henri Greder for powerful GT cars, Alain Serpaggi for 1960/70s French single seaters and Beltoise for sports cars. Throw in a special group of Edwardians who demonstrated in honor of Emile Mors and demos from rally cars and this was one busy race meeting in a wonderful location.