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Classic Reliability Trial to celebrate the 1903 Paris-Madrid Race – 23 to 26 May 2013

* Charles Jarrott Trophy created

Once in a while, an iconic event is born. On 24 May 2013, just such an occasion will take place, as the first cars are flagged away from Versailles on the Paris-Madrid Rally, to mark the 110th anniversary – to the day – of the 1903 Paris-Madrid race.

The original race was flagged off with excitement and expectation, but was prematurely halted in Bordeaux, marking the end of road racing and the birth of motorsport as we know it today.

From then on, races were for circuits and rallying on roads was governed by strict rules. The Paris-Madrid rally is the great unfinished symphony of the motoring world and we will add the final notes to complete the work.

We are marking the 110th anniversary with a classic reliability trial for Veteran and Vintage vehicles, to test the skills of each driver and navigator along with the capabilities of their car.

We have also created the Charles Jarrott Trophy, to commemorate the first recognised British motoring hero, who also started Car No 1 for the great race of 1903.

Following the original route wherever practicable, the three-day, 1,300km (815-mile) event aims to reflect the society of the period, with drivers and passengers dressing in clothing appropriate for the pre-war period; a sort of ‘revival’ on the move, with awards for originality, sartorial elegance and style, as well as for vehicle performance.

As with the original schedule, we will run the event in three legs, but our first stop will be at Angouleme (instead of Bordeaux), which delights in welcoming classic motoring events, having its own events around the ramparts.

From Angouleme, we will head south via Saint Emilion and the Pyrenees Mountains to our overnight  stop at Pamplona (Vitoria on the original event), famous for its bull run.

The third leg will take the less-travelled roads through Navarra and Rioja, to a hero’s welcome and the finishing flag in Madrid – finally, the great Paris-Madrid opus will be complete.

The efforts and style of the crews will be rewarded with a gala dinner and prizegiving, where family and friends will also be welcome.

To reflect the by-gone days, we will have classes for two-, three- and four-wheeled petrol/steam or electric-driven vehicles in the following classes:

:: Veteran (in two classes: up to 1905, and from 1906 to 1919). These cars can do one, two or all three days;
:: Vintage (from 1920 to 1929);
:: Pre-war (from 1930 to 1940).

The entry fee includes: accommodation in a twin/double room, including breakfast for the nights of 23, 24, 25 and 26 May inclusive; group dinners and the gala prize giving dinner on 26 May; three lunch halts, parking, breakdown support, rally plates, road book, and finishers’ medals. There will be individual and team prizes, including an all-ladies crew prize.

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