For the 2019 edition of the Tour Auto Optic 2000 DK Engineering took part with the recently restored Carreras Colombia Shelby Cobra (driven by James Cottingham and Andrew Smith). The event consisting of 240 competitors took place from the 29th to the 4th of April 2019. This year it started from the Grand Palais in Paris and finished in Deauville via five legs and 14 special stages. Follow this 6 part series to see how they got on.
With event coverage it can be important process the footage and turn around the videos quickly to ensure that the videos are still relevant and have maximum impact. These videos were filmed over 6 days and then edited and posted within the following 5 days.
James Cottingham introduces the series from the Grand Palais in Paris, going over the Carreras Colombia car, talking about last years disaster as well as their high hopes for the 2019 Tour Auto rally.
After a sensational start the team shoot into first place after some courageous driving on the first special stage but their hopes are dashed at Circuit Dijon Prenois when an oil leak gets them black flagged and they are given a huge penalty!
Things go from bad to worse for the boys as they break down and are forced to change the clutch by the roadside only to find that they need a whole new rear differential. The media team (yes, yours truly and Luke Gilbertson) are forced to drive from Lyon to Paris and back to collect a new diff. If that 9 hours wasn’t fun enough the service team (made up of Anton and Martin) had to stay up all night installing it.
Team Carreras Colombia are now horrendously behind on points but they still tackle each race circuit and special stage with the same determination as if they were jostling for first position. Andrew Smith manages to win two special stages while James has a tussle with an armco and “restyles” the front wing of the car.
The weather turns distinctly British and James is forced to drive the 700bhp Cobra in the wet at Circuit Charade. Not a well known Circuit but one which has undulating corners and often has no run off and as such several cars meet their end against the unyielding concrete walls. James managed to wrestle the car from last to 4th in what was a very impressive battle of courage and determination.
After a dramatic week, team Carreras Colombia crossed the line winning an impressive 6 out of 11 special stages and Andrew Smith managed to send the Cobra to victory at Le Mans Bugatti Circuit on the final day. The Cobra hadn’t managed to win this year but it did show that it was very capable of winning… so stay tuned for next year!