In France, motor cyclists and motor rally drivers have been testing their skills on the country's only ice track at Pra Loup, two hundred kilometres (124 miles) north of Marseilles.
GV EXTERIOR Peugeot 504 and Opel Kadett come round bends on ice followed by motor cyclists
GV Motor cycle overtakes car on bend
MV PAN Opel Kadett slides round bend
GV Motor cyclist comes off bike on bend
TRAVEL SHOT Motor cyclist slides through course
MV PAN Peugeot 504 slides through bend
TRAVEL SHOT Peugeot 504 going round course
TRAVEL SHOT Renault Alpine chasing Porsche through bend
MV PAN Porsche slides through bend
TRAVEL SHOT Renault Alpine overtakes Porsche
TRAVEL SHOT Porsche chasing Renault Alpine round course
SPORT: MOTOR CYCLE AND CAR TRIALS
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Background: In France, motor cyclists and motor rally drivers have been testing their skills on the country's only ice track at Pra Loup, two hundred kilometres (124 miles) north of Marseilles.
SYNOPSIS: Various competitions are planned for this season's winter driving, but the track also serves as an excellent training ground for competitors in this year's Monte Carlo rally, which starts on Saturday (20 January). On Tuesday (16 January) both cars and motor cycles took part in trials at Pra Loup -- and not surprisingly the bikes had a strong advantage over four wheeled-transport.
But even the best of the two-wheelers occasionally came unstuck. This was "open day" at the new circuit, which comprises both a course for motor cycles and a longer one for cars through some spectacular mountain scenery. The complex also includes a skating rink. Both professionals and enthusiastic amateurs can perfect their skills under the most arduous conditions.
This Peugeot 504 is one of the cars used to train drivers under instruction from experts. Renault Alpines will be competing for the honours in the Monte Carlo Rally. Pierre Saulnier was driving the Renault and was involved in some spirited competition with Porsche driver Jean-Pierre Nicolas.
Nicolas won three major rallies in 1978 -- the Monte Carlo, the East African Safari and the Ivory Coast's Bandama rally.
The duel between the Renault and the Porsche was the highlight of the Pra Loup inauguration day. Jean-Pierre Nicolas is from Marseille and drives his Porsche with Jean Tadt in major events. On Tuesday the competition was intense, but lighthearted. For safety reasons the number of cars allowed onto the course was restricted to five.