D996, Côte D’Or, France

This Great Road was initially published in issue 101 of Total 911.


Think ‘France’, then ‘Great Driving Roads’ and your thoughts probably turn to the south of the country, probably the Cote D’Azur. And with good reason, littered as it is with spectacular Cols combining stunning views with roads fit for a tarmac WRC stage.

But France is a country blessed with many great driving roads, and you needn’t venture to the far end of the country to find them. Take the D996, for example; this little gem sits in an area peculiarly rich in road names which resonate for Porschephiles: D928, D959, D965, D396 & D901 all within a few kms radius of the 996.

Its beginning at the Northern tip of the Cote d’Or just south east of Troyes – a 4hr trip from Calais – locates it perfectly to break up the monotony of the autoroute, and perfectly punctuated our drive to Geneva. It’s an absolute must for anyone heading SE across France.

D996 Great Road 2

Location: Côte D’Or, France

Latitude: 47.4167N, 4.8333E

Length of drive: 40 miles

Points of interest:
Hotel de l’Ecrevisse, Moloy

Food and accomodation:
Perrain Jean
9 Rue Pautel, 52120 Lanty-sur-Aube, France
+33 3 25 02 77 92

Hotel de l’Ecrevisse
1 Place Eglise, 21120 Moloy, France
+33 3 80 75 12 36

Cruising the A5 autoroute Eastbound from Troyes jump off at J23 which takes you to the D396 – the ‘Route de Dijon’. After 13 southbound kilometres the road becomes the D996 and you’ll wonder what the fuss is about, with the northern section remaining pretty dull for another 20kms or so.

But just a few kms before Leuglay the smooth tarmac starts to twist and turn with often well sighted fast curves serving up a tasty amuse-bouche to whet the appetite. Hors d’oeuvres consists of more smooth, curving – and virtually traffic free – blacktop south of Leuglay before we reach the main course North of Moloy.

With the trees closing in, and the road surface less than perfect, your full attention is now required and rewarded in equal measure as the road starts to follow gradient and throw 180-degree switchbacks into the mix. This drive is so much more enjoyable than cruising the autoroute, with typical mid-French vistas and cute towns serving the visuals cues otherwise missed on the Peage.

Stopping for a coffee at the delightful Hotel de l’Ecrevisse in Moloy serves as a perfect pause before the final stunning section of the 996 serves up a dessert of deeply cambered corners and complex combinations, a truly immersive driving experience delivering you all the way to Dijon.

D996 Great Road 4

This being mid France there’s virtually no traffic, so whilst there may be no WRC stage here you might just feel like you’re on one!

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