Mille et Une Nuits - day 1!
Ca commence! With the Jaguar E-type of husband and wife team of Bernard and Claude Consten leading the field away from La Residence in Tunis, heading initially inland then back to the coast at Tabarka. Taking in 278km of roads with just the initial 35km to the extremities of the capital city experiencing any traffic at all. In fact that initial section featured a police guard of honour at every junction and pretty much every 100 yds in between!
Once clear of the City a 75km blast down deserted (and given the amount of dust on the road, unused!) motorway took the competitors of the first running of the Mille Et Une Nuits into the hills of Western Tunisia where the first regularity was won by the #1 starters and pre-rally favourites, the Constens.
This finished directly at the lunch halt where desert-legend Fenouil and his team had organised a Tunisian barbeque on a hill top with stunning views all around.
The second and final regularity of the day ran immediately from the lunch break and was once again won by the Constens but with the patron of race helmet and fabricators, Stand 21, Yves Morizot and his wife in 3rd and his brother Yannick and his wife 4th. This despite neither car having any specialized rally trip equipment on board! Thus giving hope to some of us who aren't kitted out with more onboard timing gear then Seb Loeb...
The final liason down out of the mountains rates as one of the drives of my life: Sat on the tail of the stunning original 1973 Porsche 911 RS of Jean Claude Miloe who in turn was chasing hard the RS replica of Jacques Fossa on empty mountain switch backs the views were stunning and the cars able to stretch their legs in the manner they were designed for.
The arrival at Tabarka came almost as a disappointment and if these are the kind of roads we get to run on for the next 5 days this rally will exceed all expectations!
Tomorrow sees one of the longest days of the rally as we head down to the Tunisian interior with a 423km run to Tamerza via Kasserine.
Yours apologizing for the lack of photos with this update but the Internet here is VERY patchy!
2 classic 911s and a modern imposter rest after a storming run down
to Tabarka Beach on Day 1 of the Mille et Une Nuits.