Simon Le Bon on Le Tour Auto Rally, 2015

News

I just finished Le Tour Auto. Paris to Biarritz via Vichy, 5 days, 4 circuits, 8 hill climbs in a 1950 Jaguar XK120 - no top, no power steering, drum brakes all round, Moss crash gearbox & steel racing pipes. My arms are aching & my ears are ringing. But I did learn heel & toe double de-clutch downshifting while braking.

I was co-pilot to owner/driver Fran├žois Pourcher; seen here goofing off at a gas stop.

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We did the whole thing without technical support, but did not break down once. We saw plenty of other competition cars by the roadside with bonnets up, or on low-loaders - their rallies over. However, this car was built in Coventry by the same people who five year earlier were building fighter planes & bombers to send against Axis in WW2. They knew a thing or two about reliability, as a engine or part failure then would probably cost someone's life. They applied the same skill and rationale when they built the XK120. We looked after the car & she looked after us.

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This was taken high in the Pyrenees on day 4.

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My heartfelt thanks go to Corthay and to Cifonelli, without whose support we could not have taken part in Le Tour Auto Optic 2000.

Here is a picture of my trousers at the end of the rally.

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And a big thank you to all Duran Duran fans for your support, those of you who posted & tweeted. Thanks to everyone who waved us through from the roadside & pointed us in the right direction when we weren't quite sure which way to go.

WHOOOSH
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