Cars set off from Race Retro to pay homage to the Monte-Carlo rally

Twenty classic cars will leave Race Retro on February 23rd and travel over 2000 miles across Europe in this year’s Winter Challenge rally.

The five day event, which is organised by the Classic Rally Association (CRA), will take drivers to Monte-Carlo over some of the most famous and exciting mountain roads that Europe has to offer.

Crews will drive down from the famous historic motorsport show through Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire to Portsmouth where they will take an overnight ferry to Caen, in France.

Cars set off from Race Retro to pay homage to the Monte-Carlo rally
The continental part of the rally will start from Troyes in Northern France, where drivers from mainland Europe will join the UK starters. The main route will take them through Le Mans, Bourges, Valence and Saint-Raphael before crossing the finish line on the famous Col de Turini on the afternoon of February 27th. Crews will then drive down to Monte-Carlo, where they will stay at the iconic Hermitage Hotel with the prize giving dinner in sight of the Casino Square.

Jeremy Dickson, CRA’s event director, said: “The International Winter Challenge to Monte-Carlo rightly pays homage to the most famous rally in the world, and the founding fathers of the A.C. de Monaco who started it all off in1911.”

He added: “It will again be organised with the emphasis on historical authenticity, everything from route design up to time cards will be a step back in time to the golden era of rallying. It’s back to driving through empty, snow bound landscapes on the most challenging and enjoyable mountain roads of France.”

Travelling with the crews will be Chris Easting from Ealing, London, who is the winner of a competition to take part in the event. The prize included an entry for the winner and a navigator plus the hire of an Arrive & Drive Ford Cortina GT, worth over £5,000 in total.

Chris Easting said: “I'm thrilled to have won the competition. Funnily enough, our family owned a 1963 Mk1 1200 saloon for 40 years and it was my first car, so it will be great to see what a rally prepared classic car is like to drive.”

Patrick Burke, HERO’s joint Managing Director, said: “Classic rallying is growing fast in UK and we want to encourage people to become interested and learn more about it. We run a training and briefing day for novices every year at our Throckmorton event and this competition is another exciting way of getting more enthusiasts involved.”

The event will serve as the first qualifying round of the much coveted HERO Cup 2014, in association with EFG International.

Image credit: Philippe Fugier