24 HOURS OF PARIS TOUT TERRAIN: IT’S LIKE LE MANS BUT WITHOUT THE ASPHALT!

27.09.2018

We all know the 24h of Le Mans as the ultimate French endurance classic, but a few hours north of the legendary track there’s another lesser-known but equally gruelling endurance race: the 24h of Paris Off-Road tout terrain endurance rally. We talked to Motul partner and participant Lucas Beurois to find out more about this exciting race.

 

24 HOURS OF PARIS TOUT TERRAIN: IT’S LIKE LE MANS BUT WITHOUT THE ASPHALT!

Lucas, what is the 24h of Paris exactly?

It’s just like the 24h of Le Mans, it’s an endurance race on a closed course that lasts 24 hours. The biggest difference is that it’s driven on an off-road course. It’s the final of the Off-Road Endurance Championship and it is, without a doubt, the toughest off-road challenge with the possible exception of the Dakar.

 

Lucas, what is the 24h of Paris exactly?

There aren’t many off-road courses near Paris. Where do they run the race?

Well, the track is a 7.5 km long track that is carved out especially for this competition, but it isn’t a permanent track. They literally dig it out of farmers’ fields. And now, two weeks after the race, it’s farmland once again. The organisation designs a new track every year just for this race, so every participant starts with zero track knowledge and no-one has an advantage because of experience. It’s always new for everyone.

 

There aren’t many off-road courses near Paris. Where do they run the race?

The participating cars look very similar to the cars we notice at the Dakar rally. Are the rules equal to the Dakar rally?

Yes, indeed the rules of the Dakar are similar. You can enter with buggies or SSVs, just as in Dakar, but you can also race dedicated off-road vehicles in different classes. We raced a Toyota Landcruiser in the T2 category which is the modified production category. It’s a car with quite a long history because it’s a former Toyota Works car which was driven in the Dakar by none other than Jacky Ickx’s daughter Vanina. It’s a 4-cylinder, 3-litre turbo diesel which has been completely modified. It has a specific gearbox, off-road protection, dual suspension on each wheel, and much more.

 

The participating cars look very similar to the cars we notice at the Dakar rally. Are the rules equal to the Dakar rally?

Why the 24h of Paris? What attracted you to this race?

I’ve been a mechanic for the Dakar Rally for a very long time and I’ve also prepared this specific car for this race in the previous years. Now is the first time I’m taking part as a competitor though. It’s a challenging race and a lot of fun. Next year, we’ll compete in the whole championship, which consists of four races in total.

 

Why the 24h of Paris? What attracted you to this race?

That certainly sounds like a big challenge. How did the race turned out?

Challenging… and unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the end. I started the race ready to do a two-hour stint but after less than an hour I had to come back into the pits with a technical problem. After we spent four hours trying to fix the issue, we went out again, but we quickly realized it just wasn’t going to be our race, so to save the car from further damage we decided to retire. That’s all part of racing … But we’ll be back next year!

 

That certainly sounds like a big challenge. How did the race turned out?

Pictures : ©Axbophotos ©Motorlifestyle.com

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