THE 12th WINTER CHALLENGE TO MONTE CARLO
Gary Critcher reports from the start at Brooklands in Surrey.
Sunday the 14th January saw the start from Brooklands Museum of the 12th Winter Challenge. This rally re-creates the Monte Carlo rallies of old, and what a line-up they had for anyone prepared to beat the sub-zero temperatures that were presented to us. In the end, it was a fine, crisp morning, with the sun (and the odd cup of coffee!) keeping us warm.
Brooklands was the main starting point, with others located right across Europe in France, Germany, Sweden and Holland. The route was to take the competitors across France and the Alps and down into Monte Carlo. Just like old times then!
Arriving at 7.30, I was greeted with the sight of some forty-odd cars that had parked up overnight being scraped clean after a hard frost. Another hundred cars were to follow in the next hour or so. You couldnt have asked for a more diverse entry list : from pre-war Lancia Aprilias, Bentley saloons, a Lagonda tourer and Aston Martins to MGAs, Mini Coopers, Lotus Cortinas, Big Healeys, Sunbeam Rapiers and TR4s, to name but a few. A couple of these were being given last minute attention, but by and large, most cars were ready to form in line for the start at 9am prompt.
A surprisingly large crowd greeted the cars as they left the start at thirty second intervals.
Im sure they will have harder stages to deal with than today, but the most difficult thing seemed being able to negotiate the Brooklands car park!
Last update of this page: 15 July, 2001 12:12:07