The oversubscribed (a record 380 entries) Tour de Corse Historique 2023 will offer a new route of more than 1000Kms in total, that will include 18 timed special stages, some of which are those used in the WRC event, over five days of competition on 7-14 October.
The entry list includes crews from a dozen countries, among them many gentlemen drivers and regulars of the great historic races and rallies, as well as several renowned former professional drivers, ex-champions and winners of the original event. Among them are reigning 2022 winners, Alain Oreille and his wife Sylvie, with a Porsche 911. Having won the 2020 edition, the former double World Rally Champion in Group N (1989 and 1990) and winner of the 1989 Tour de Corse WRC at the wheel of his official Renault 5 GT Turbo, will try to add a third victory to his record. He will be up against 2016 victor, Romain Dumas, who returns this year at the wheel of a Porsche, a marque for which he has been an official driver since 2004. After a brilliant career in single-seaters, the Gardois built an impressive track record in endurance racing, with two overall victories at Le Mans with Audi, then Porsche and other great classics, such as the 24 Hours of Spa, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the 12 Hours of Sebring. A four-time Pikes Peak winner, he still holds the course record there. He also shone in the Dakar, as well as in the France rally cup. Back next October on the Corsican roads, Dumas will team up with Denis Giraudet, former co-driver of Didier Auriol in the World Rally Championship, and Tour de Corse winner in 1995, before becoming European Rally Champion in 1996 with Armin Schwarz.
Another former multidisciplinary professional (F3000, IndyCar, Touring, Endurance, Dakar…), winner of the Tour de Corse Historique in 2011 and 2012, Philippe Gache will also be at the start to join the fight for victory. Christophe Vaison, double French rallycross champion and winner of numerous ice races, will also be back after winning in 2014 and 2015 with his Lancia 037, and young Tom Pieri (23), winner of the Clio Trophy France Junior in 2022, will line up as last year at the controls of a BMW M3.
Island pilots will be numerous, with drivers like Patrick Bernardini (double French rally champion in 1994 and 1995), driving a BMW M3 in the J2 category, Thomas Argenti, reigning winner of the J2 category, Anthony Agostini, winner of the 2021 edition, and Olivier Capanaccia.
Since 2021, there has been a growing number of young crews from modern rallying that have chosen the Tour de Corse Historique to discover a different format and universe, and maybe for a chance to drive some of the stages at real speed in preparation for the modern championships.
The regularity section also contains some famous names, amongst which is the rally star Bruno Saby, WRC Tour de Corse winner 1986. He will be driving a Ford Capri 2300 identical to the one with which he participated in the Tour de Corse in 1970 in aid of the Association Espoir Isère charity against cancer.
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