J0 - Vérifications
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRINCESSSES!
Twenty years today! How time flies. The sunlight scenery has glided by in pure road movie style. Memories come and go. The RALLYE DES PRINCESSES has come a long way in two decades! The pioneers of the Paris-Saint-Raphaël have found a worthy successor. A faithful and almost perfect descendent, version 2.0, with just a few differences that simply add to the event’s appeal. Because here it is the competitors that enhance the charm of their vehicles, not the other way round. Because in regularity the road is not tamed, it tames. Over those little French backroads, from Paris to the Côte d’Azur, or from Vendôme to the Atlantic. Saint-Raphaël, Cannes, Monaco, Biarritz and, of course, Saint-Tropez. Across the Alps, or the Massif Central, nearly 40,000 kilometres have been covered. Come rain or shine, our Princesses never faltered. Better still, they have always been humble and determined, brave and uncomplaining, magnificent and steadfast. And as it is a regularity rally there’s no point in rushing, the important thing is to be precise. This time there’s nearly 200 setting off on this twentieth edition. Happy birthday Princesses!
A DAY LIKE NO OTHER
Today the Place Vendôme is the most beautiful square in the world! Once a year it brings together gorgeous cars and their charming pilots. The first day of the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE is like no other. A chance to catch up for some, a rite of passage for others, technical and administrative scrutineering is the start of a big adventure. Safety checks, stickers on cars, checking paperwork, interviews, photo sessions. Under clear blue skies the parc ferme gradually fills up with some of the most beautiful classic cars in existence. As always the evening brings with it the traditional cocktail party at the Pavillon Vendôme. Bienvenue, welcome! You don’t turn twenty every day…
200 PRINCESSES ON THE STARTLINE!
Twenty years ago there were just 18 cars on the start line of the first Rallye des Princesses, here at the Place Vendôme. But because she’s worth it, two decades later the 20TH RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE has set a new record. In just 25 days, last September, the event sold out. With 99 crews entered from 13 different countries, this anniversary edition has surpassed all others in terms of number of entrants. And because the passage of time gives them even greater appeal, the parc ferme is a sight to behold. While a Porsche 911, both effective and reliable, remains a favourite, its ancestor the 356 has this year proved a more popular choice. It would seem that every year the tendency is towards older vehicles. This year the honour of the oldest car entered goes to the 1952 Citroen Traction Avant of FANNY ADAM and FRANÇOISE POULAIN… and is proving a hit with the public, among the Austin Healeys, Mercedes 190 SL and MGAs. In total 50 different models on display for this high-class, four-wheel fashion show.
SUNDAY: AND THEY’RE OFF - DIRECTION BEAUVAL!
As always on this first Sunday of June, the heart of Paris will wake up to the sound of classic cars clearing their throats. First away will be the Porsche No 1 of the young American driver AURORA STRAUSS, direction the Chevreuse valley for the first regularity zone of the 2019 RALLYE DES PRINCESSES. Straight away the competitors will have to be ultra-precise with to their navigation and their timing, as they head south through the Beauce for a lunch at the ECURIES DE RAINVILE, a beautifully restored farm just outside Orléans. The afternoon, heading towards the Loire chateaux, will be even more demanding. Right-angle bends, hairpins and narrow roads: there will be something for everyone in the heart of the Touraine vineyards, before arriving in Beauval for a well-earned night stop!
The rest of the programme
Monday 3 June: Beauval – Audes – Vichy (325 kms)
Tuesday 4 June: Vichy – Saint Lager – Aix-les-Bains (341 kms)
Wednesday 5 June: Aix-les-Bains – Sisteron – Saint Tropez (408 kms)
Thursday 6 June: Saint-Tropez – Taradeau – Saint Tropez (214 kms)
Viviane Zaniroli (organiser): “It is a huge satisfaction and a fine achievement to have 99 crews at the start of this 20th edition. We’ve come a long way. 20 years ago what seems obvious today was a real challenge. We had to overcome lots of prejudice and many other obstacles. Today, thanks to our title sponsor, the RALLYE DES PRINCESS RICHARD MILLE has come of age and established an international reputation. If you’d told me then where we would be today I wouldn’t have believed you. This event has made a significant contribution to female emancipation in motorsport. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved…”
Aurora Straus (USA/Porsche 356 n°1): “So normally I race in a professional championship in the States (with considerable success - ed) so this is a very different ball game for me. It’s a while since I’ve been in a manual car and I’ve never been in a vintage car but I’m looking forward to a new experience. As I understand it I have to drive at a steady speed rather than going flat out, so that’s going to be another new experience for me. I’ve also never had a female co-driver but I’m really looking forward the whole thing. Everybody is super friendly.”
Audrey Marnay (Fra/Mercedes Pagode n°34): “We’ve entered this 20th edition of the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES in my own car. It is a Mercedes Pagoda that I picked up 20 years ago. And given that she a little bit my daughter I wanted to offer her this birthday present. My choice of teammate was also obvious because we did the 10,000 Virages in Corsica together in September 2016. I’m very honoured to be chosen as the ‘godmother’ of this fine event. I have already met all the organisers and I think I’ll make many other friends.”
Nathalie Bienvenu (Fra/Porsche 356 n°41): “I was on holiday in Saint-Tropez when I came across the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE and decided I’d like to take part in this excellent adventure, 100% female and very glamourous. Share good times, see France in a different way, behind the wheel of a classic car, that’s what I want to share my co-driver.”
Flick Haigh (G-B/Austin Healey n°50): “We’re a little bit stressed out about our trip but hopefully we’ll be able to sort that out. This is our first time at the Rallye des Princesses. We’ve done a couple of events in Wales but they weren’t nearly the size of this one. At the moment all we want to do is finish and have a good time.”
Martine Lievens (Bel/Ferrari Dino n°72): “This is my 16th Rallye des Princesses. I was on the first edition 20 years ago. Back then we drove with our husbands, and then it became all female. It is a really unique atmosphere over a week of fun. In all these years I’ve worked out that the only ambition you can have at the start is to get to the finish.”