Editor: Jaap Horst
Not only Dijon but also the whole Burgundy refund their rich car sportive past on the 4th, 5th and 6th may 2001.
The "6 heures de Bourgogne" took first place in 1927. Among the 4 involved Bugatti, Leroy won the race with an average speed of 113.18 km/h (Around 70 miles/h).
In 1928, 12 Bugatti were entered this race. Only 6 of them finished it. This time, Jannine Jennky won the race at an average speed of 137.56 km/h (around 85 miles/h), much faster than the previous competition.
Then, in 1929, "l’Automobile Club de Bourgogne" organized the race of Dijon under the name of "Grand Prix de Bourgogne", but the concept still remain the same even if te event was more closely linked to the "Dijon Rallye", taking place just before the Grand Prix. The Bugatti were also at a glance this time and won the race at the average of 138.85 km/h. In fact the first six cars were from the Alsacian Brand. So Bugatti had good reason to come back in Burgundy !
Coming from all Europe: that is to say of course from France but also from The United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and even a participant from Australia, all the competitors were expected at the Dijon Prenois circuit on the Friday afternoon. The weather forecast was frightening even if the first week end of May was supposed to be the less raining of the month, according to the French national weather forecast institute.
A first move in Bugatti led the participants to the Ducal Palace of Burgundy where the 40teams were invited to a welcome party. While the night falling accompanied with a heavy rain, the spectators didn’t give up staring the cars and feeling the mythic mood which came out the Bugatti. Having their evening free, everyone went to the city center to have a diner after a stop to the Hotel.
On Saturday, overalls, rain coats and other gloves were useful… The start was almost given under a downpur ! The Grands Crus Road was on the agenda : Marsannay La Cote, Couchey, Fixin, Gevrey, Vougeot, Vosne Romanée, Bouilland… till the Savigny Les Beaunes Castle where we stopped to have lunch and a well deserved rest in this tremendous place where it is possible to see 500 motos from 1903 to 1960, 28 Abarths, 70 planes in the park and 650 small scale models of planes.
The weather getting better, we hoped to arrive to Beaune with the sun. The practiced way through Nantoux, Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, Volnay, Pommard and Beaune will likely make some of you thirsty. In Beaune, the partipants were expected to visit the biggest cellar of the Region : "The Cave Patriarche" . It was the occasion to test some Grands Crus and 1er Crus from the Côte de Nuit and Cote de Beaune. After this ever too short moment, the meals were served in the vault around candles.
On the agenda of Sunday, the route led the participants from Beaune to Prenois through Argilly, Nuit St Georges, Meuilley, St Jean de Boeuf and Pont de Pany where a surprise was waiting for them: a "point chaud" supplying croissants and other French "patisserie" while the temperature was hardly achieving 5°C.
Arrived at the circuit of Prenois, competitors could try the famous track, used by the former French Formula 1 Grand Prix. No speed timing, no rank, the only motivation was the driving pleasure. Little by little, the 23, 35, 37, 40, 43, 51 and 57 models became familiar with the 3.801 km track even if this one was a little bit too fast for the old Bugatti.
At 2H30 p.m, the participants had to let the Porsche Club Italia tries the circuit. It was time for the Buffet.
People began then to leave in order to go back home. One year of preparation and this is already finished… Even if some concerns appeared during this event, the organisers are finally satisfied. So are the participants who already ask for the next event !
The dates of this new edition are not defined yet and we call upon all the partners which could be interested in helping the association in the future.
In order to increase our information about the past Grand Prix of Burgundy, we would be grateful if people in possession of such kind of information could contact us.
Caroline Morizot & Julien Dubrulle