The 2006 Tour de España finished last Friday in the town of Valencia after five days on Spain’s most beautiful roads between Madrid and the America’s Cup base. The eighth edition had a shadow cast over it by the tragic accident which took place along a road section in the Pozner/Pozner Ferrari 275 GTB n°33. The thoughts of the whole organisation are with Nicholas’ family.
Despite everything, we would like to announce the results of the rally and the journey followed by the 119 cars which took part this year.
LEG 1: Madrid à Cuenca
After the Checks & Scrutineering which took place on the Sunday in the magnificent “Parque del Retiro” in the
heart of Madrid, the competitors set off on Monday morning heading for the circuit at Jarama, the first timed session of the week. Ray Bellm, winner of the competition section in 2005 and consequently the big favourite this year, started from the back of the grid due to his non-conforming tyres. This did not prevent the Brit from gaining a magnificent victory thanks to a phenomenal drive taking him past both Sheldon and Monteverde, who crossed the finish line next to each other!
Miguel Amaral, who if you remember finished second on this track a month previously in the last race of the Le Mans Series 2006 season in his Lola BO5/40 AER, proved he knew the track like the back of his hand with victory in his class by a considerable margin from the following pack.
After two special stages in the afternoon, the competitors found themselves in Cuenca and the magnificent parc fermé situated in the highest part of the town, offering the competitors a fantastic view of the deep valley as they overlooked the medieval city.
LEG 2: Cuenca à Albacete
Three special stages were scheduled for the second day. Despite the humid weather, the competitors had been able to profit from the mountain landscape, an ideal theatre to stage this type of time trial. After lunch at the Parador de Alarcòn, the fortress bordered by a beautiful river, the convoy then took the road to the Albacete track. The organisation had concocted a stage which instantly seduced the competitors, a night race. The infrastructure of the circuit contains high quality floodlighting, allowing everybody to take advantage of this winding and exhilarating track, despite the rain. A situation perfectly exploited by Carlos Monteverde, who succeeded in taking his revenge for Jarama with an emphatic victory. Also of note was the retirement of Ray Bellm in this second day of the rally, and the end of his hopes of an additional victory.
LEG 3 : Albacete à Murcia
The course was set for the south on the third day. The Tour de España took the road to Murcia with three special stages on the programme. Unfortunately the weather conditions meant the cancelling of two of these specials, and the convoy headed directly towards Caravaca de la Cruz, the famous place of pilgrimage. The competitors then went straight to Murcia and the parc fermé located in the splendid Cathedral Square. After having taken the time to visit the surroundings, they regrouped for dinner, served in the prestigious Silk Palace.
LEG 4: Murcia à Alicante
The sun finally made its presence felt on the fourth day of the race, to everybody’s delight. The two morning special stages ran without a hitch and the crossing of the Sierra de Espuña, at the heart of the beautiful landscape of the pine forest, will stay in the memory of the competitors for a long time. These stages led to the circuit at Cartagena, where everyone was able to have lunch before the recommencing of the competition on the track. The group then headed directly towards Alicante to find another exceptional parc fermé in the Santa Barbara castle, the enormous fortress overlooking the sea from the highest part of the town. What’s more, cocktails were served amongst the cars. From there, before dinner, the competitors were able to enjoy the Spanish heat and the views of both the sea and of Alicante.
LEG 5: Alicante à Valencia
The final day of the Tour de España is always in the sun. After three of the most recognised special stages in Spain in the morning, the convoy moved to the heights of Xativa. Faced by the monumental castle, and the terraces and hanging gardens amongst the palm trees, the competitors sampled the famous “paella valenciana”, before rejoining the road towards Valencia, relaxed and refreshed. Rest was in an ultra modern environment for these classics in the final parc fermé situated in the City of Arts and Letters, heart of the original architectural complex conceived by Calavatra on the former bed of the river Turia.
Equally exceptional surroundings for the pre-dinner prize giving which was held at the heart of the America’s Cup port in the Spanish Teams headquarters, with the week capped off by dinner in the nearby prestigious Louis Vuitton Pavilion Restaurant.
Overall Standings of the Tour de España 2006:
With Ray Bellm, the big favourite for the competition section, having to retire on the second day, the Sheldon/Sheldon team successfully held on to second place behind the in form Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson.
As for the Index of Performance classification, it was a faultless performance for the Sage/Entremont team but
also for Alfa Romeo, who sponsored the race. In groups G and H, only Carlos Sainz brother’s’ 2002 BMW TII was amongst the Porsches, won by a 906. Two Portuguese teams attempted to take the Regularity SuperSport* category, but the Linwoods stood firm at the top. The Sport Category was where, on their own soil, was a clean sweep for the Spaniards, occupying all the spots on the podium!
VHC FINAL STANDINGS
1 MONTEVERDE(BR) / PEARSON(GB) JAGUAR Type E
2 SHELDON (GB)/STEVENS (GB) LOTUS ELAN
3 PENILLARD(F) / BILLION-REY (F) PORSCHE 911
Group G FINAL STANDINGS
1 GUITTARD (F)/ LIBES (F) PORSCHE 906
2 BIEHLER (CH) / de SIEBENTHAL (CH) PORSCHE 911 ST 2.5l
3 SAINZ (E) / MARTINEZ CATTANEO (E) BMW 2002 TII Gr2
REGULARITY SUPER SPORT* FINAL STANDINGS
1 LINWOOD (GB) / LINWOOD (GB) PORSCHE 911 RS 2,7l
2 ASSIS-TEXEIRA (P) / ARCHER (P) MGB 1800
3 ASSIS-TEXEIRA (P) / PONCES (P) MERCEDES 230 SL
INDICATION OF PERFORMANCE FINAL STANDINGS
1 SAGE (F) / ENTREMONT (F) ALFA ROMEO 1900 CSS
2 LEONARD (USA) / FURIANI (D) ALFA ROMEO 1600 GTA
3 CAJANI (I) / AMBROSI (I) ALFA ROMEO 1900 SS ZAGATO
Group H FINAL STANDINGS
1 FAURE (GB) / FAURE (GB) PORSCHE 911 RS 3.0l
2 STOSCHEK (D) / HAWRANKE (D) PORSCHE 911 RSR 3.0l
3 BRIGAND (F) / ALBERT (F) PORSCHE 911 RS 2,7l
REGULARITY SPORT** FINAL STANDINGS
1 RICO-AVELLO (E) / SUAREZ (E) LANCIA 037 Stradale
2 COLLIN (E) / de ANDRES URRUTIA (E) ALFA ROMEO 2000 GTV
3 IZQUIERDO (E) / RUIZ GIMENEZ (E) LOTUS ELAN S3
*Super sport Competitors have chosen to run without the aid of any equipment to measure the distances other than the
cars original milometer.
**Sport Competitors use additional systems (which must be mechanical) to measure distance, as well as the
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