The last race of the season was eagerly awaited as I would be travelling down to Dijon in one of Frances all-time most iconic cars the Citroen DS21 Pallas. These Gallic beauties were the combined work of two geniuses Italian Sculptor Flaminio Bretoni and French aeronautical engineer André Léfébure. Cruising down through the fabulous French countryside in a DS enveloped in the worlds most comfortable seats ever put in a motorcar, it is a truly memorable experience.
It’s a big switch turning from a lovely relaxed DS Citroen to a full-on racing Muscle Car with 500 bhp. Anyway, brain suitably in gear we set off in qualifying in the Masters Touring car final. It was the first time I had been to the Dijon track so a few laps were needed to get the lay of the land. We had a good chat with other drivers in the Master hospitality Marque before venturing out most of whom had previous circuit experience.
It’s always interesting for drivers to get any additional help from whatever source but the more experienced drivers will always have an interesting perspective. We managed 3 rd place in qualifying on Saturday which was a great result considering my lack of track knowledge at Dijon.
The race was at midday on Sunday and I had two quick cars in front of me as we rolled down to take our positions on the grid. Mike Gardiner was on pole in his fast Falcon and Canadian Peter Klutt in a similar Mustang to mine was in second place. Before the race started I had been warned that the circuit marshals keep a beady eye on the track limits. We all got good starts and after a couple of hectic laps I managed to outbreak the Falcon at the end of the very long straight to take second place now after the leader I closed right up to the back of the other Mustang ready to make a move but as it happened the driver received a ‘drive-through penalty’ so now in all the excitement I found myself leading the race ! I knew Andy Wolf was taking over from Mike in his Falcon and would likely be putting me under pressure towards the end of the race. I got my head down and kept pounding in good lap times with my team keeping me posted each lap from the pit wall on the gap between me and the Falcon. Fortunately, we maintained a small gap and this allowed us to take a great race win and a magical result for the last outing of the year. Ending on a high we made our way back to the team who by now we’re all in great spirits and celebrating the win.
After all the excitement of the race, I couldn’t wait to drop back into that most comfortable of cars the DS 21 Pallas and amble my way back to the U.K. through the wonderful French scenery imagining how our next season might pan out. 2018 had been a belter and we all experienced fabulous hospitality from all our French hosts at Dijon. The season-ending on a great high.