Inside the Andros Trophy
On Thursday 4th December, Val Thorens wasn’t filled with the sound of silently falling snow, but of roaring motors and squealing tyres.
The Andros Trophy drivers arrived and the first trials began.
They’d come to brave the ice aboard their 6-cylinder, 350-hp F1 cars.
Despite it only being a warm-up, they clocked up some impressive speeds! A fantastic show was clearly on the cards!!
The Andros trophy has a 27-year history, 49 drivers and 4 disciplines: Elite and Elite pro for internal combustion cars, Enedis for electric cars and the AMV Cup for motorbikes.
The Andros Trophy also has a tradition of sharing, with 2 guests specially invited by the teams each year to come and try their hand at motor racing. This year Camille Lacourt and Guillaume Pley from NRJ came to test their mettle, coached by the Trophy’s top drivers.
We entered the world of electric cars. On the track, all you could hear was the sound of the studded tyres. Was it going to be a quiet race? Only on the surface! Underneath, a fierce battle was raging between favourites, Louis GERVOSON, Aurélien PANIS and Christophe FERRIER!
A number of spectators who’d already made up their minds against electric cars were forced to reconsider after seeing them race, and very quickly went from “bah, that’s not going to go very fast” to “Wow, they’re just a few seconds behind internal combustion cars!”
On Saturday, the serious business began: the spectators arrived and the races started. The atmosphere built steadily up and up until nightfall. There was truly something magical in the air. At night, we all felt like children again: starry eyed about having seen the cars tussling for pole position. On the Elites Pro final podium stood:
1- Benjamin RIVIERE - 65 pts
2- Evens STIEVENART - 117pts
3- JB DUBOURG - 56pts
Sunday was the motorbikes’ turn: nothing stops these ice-warriors! With both the finals and the Super finals, it was an incredible show! The atmosphere was electric: every race finished to thunderous applause, and the drivers played their part by taking laps of honour.
But the best people to tell you about it are the spectators, organisers and participants:
Fabien Aficionados from Andros Trophy “One year I was lucky enough to ride in Jean-Baptiste Dubourg’s car. It was an amazing experience, especially going around the corners when you really felt as though you were gliding. It’s such a great experience every year with the new celebrities and drivers. My brother is a road rally driver so I prefer the 4-wheel internal combustion cars. For me, Val Thorens is the oldest stage and it’s where it all began, it’s quite easy to meet the drivers (for photos and autographs) in the paddocks.”
Jonathan, spectator: “This is the first time we’ve come to the Andros Trophy after a number of friends recommended it. We made use of the day to explore Val Thorens’ slopes; me on skis and my girlfriend on snowshoes.
The setting is magnificent and we were pleasantly surprised by the electric cars which are impressive on the ice”.
Eric, event volunteer: “I’ve been an official at the Andros Trophy for over 20 years. Motor sports are in my blood! My dad was a driver, and my uncle and two sons have driven too. Here in Val Thorens we’re given such a fantastic welcome, it’s wonderful to come back every year! This year, there are so many talented, experienced drivers. That pleases us greatly because it adds an extra edge to the event.”
Marianne, spectator: “I came for the atmosphere and the spectacle. I’ve never seen an ice rally so this was a new opportunity. It was great, different to road rally driving, there’s more gliding and a wider range of disciplines, all of which are interesting”
Maxime THINON, from Les Bruyères motorbike racing team, “motorbike racing is a passion of mine. Thanks to the ice at the Andros Trophy, you can really glide.
I’ve done races on normal tracks all season so the Andros Trophy lets me have a different experience on the ice.
I’ve been riding motorbikes and doing endurance races for 10 years and I’ve done the Andros Trophy for 2 years. Last year, Val Thorens was the track with the most ice and it’s a beautiful circuit.
On a motorbike, it’s worth knowing that there are 11 competitors and 4 guests in every race…, we manage to have fun with the competitors on the same level as us, seeing as there are 16 at the same time! On certain circuits we’re faster than the cars as the trajectories are different and we’re on 2 wheels. The advantage with a motorbike is that you can easily overtake.”
Anyway, I’ll be sure to come back next year! How about you? Will you be there?