After a hugely enjoyable and successful event, the annual Beaujolais Run® is over for another year, with the 45th anniversary of this iconic motoring tour marked with style and panache, aided by an underlying Battle of Waterloo theme to the Run on the 200th anniversary of this epic historical clash.
More than 30 participants took part in this year’s Run, using a wide variety of interesting classic and contemporary cars to navigate their way across some amazing driving routes through Belgium and France.
These cars included four Bristols from enthusiastic members of the Bristol Owner’s Club – ranging from a 1949 400 Pininfarina, one of only three built on this chassis by the celebrated Torinese coachbuilder, right up to a modern and rare Fighter gullwing coupe – plus a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, a TVR Tuscan, Morgan Aero 8, Bentley Continental GTC Speed and Eunos Roadster, among others, ably supported by a fleet of new Ssangyong SUVs.
Covering more than 1,200 miles over five days, the Beaujolais Run® crews encountering famous vineyards, chateaux, historic battle fields and the world renown Reims motor circuit at Gueux, where the participants – plus some very pleasantly surprised locals – where joined by the world’s only two and four-wheeled World Champion, John Surtees OBE, at the wheel of his Ferrari FF. John Surtees OBE is also the Patron of the Beaujolais Run® charity, which supports the Henry Surtees Foundation, with 100 percent of monies raised benefitting the charity with zero deductions to aide vital Air Ambulance services.
Each year the Run prides itself on its unique, unprecedented access to venues, wine makers, vehicles and experiences in a five day fund raising extravaganza, and this year was no exception. After being flagged away last Monday from the Royal Automobile Club at Woodcote Park, Epsom, by John Surtees OBE and Anthony Reid, the Run participants headed via the Eurotunnel to the diamond city of Antwerp, a location much favoured by Napoleon.
On Tuesday the navigation trial Run moved on the historic Battle of Waterloo site, including a long climb up the Butte du Lion to survey the battle fields, before heading into Reims to spend time with the Taittinger Champagne family, and explore the Champagne House’s vast network of cellars.
After a challenging navigational trial day on the Wednesday - designed to give a level playing field for all types of vehicles, with navigation classes for ‘maps only’ and ‘any assistance’ (satellite navigation) in the attempt to cover the course in the shortest distance to win the coveted ‘P2’ position on the following year’s start line - the crews headed for deepest Burgundy. Here they aimed to be the first to ‘bring back the Beaujolais’ after its midnight ‘launch’, having joined the mayor of Beaujolais for the official dinner and the release of the 2015 Nouveau vintage.
The Beaujolais Run® 2015 was generously supported by a number of key partners, including Partridge and Co., Champagne Tattinger, Ssangyong, Louis Latour, Rose and White Tailoring, The Review and Screaming Eagle Productions, as well as Bentley Motors, Ferrari North Europe and Artemis.
The Beaujolais Run® Background:
In 1970 at the Hotel Maritonnes, Joseph Berkmann and Clement Freud were sharing a dinner of Coq au Vin. Owner of eight London restaurants, Berkmann also ran his own wine distribution company and wrote a weekly column. Clement Freud was Director of the London Playboy Club, a respectable Member of Parliament and a wine correspondent. As bottle succeeded bottle that night, the germ of an idea took shape. Sometime after midnight, they roared away from Romanèche with several cases of 1970 Beaujolais in the back of each car, having challenged each other to be the first to get their cases back to London.
Fast-forward to 2006, and the first Beaujolais Run® in its refreshed, modern format took place, starting from the historic Goodwood location, and raising significant sums for charity. Every November since, the Run has headed to Beaujolais via some spectacular driving roads, breath-taking scenery and enthralling experiences, involving some of the finest wine, Champagne and food France has to offer. Since 2006, The Beaujolais Run® has raised more than £700,000 for charity.
Please note that The Beaujolais Run® is protected by Registered Trade Mark in format, name and intellectual property against replication in any form.
The Henry Surtees Foundation:
The Henry Surtees Foundation assists people with brain or physical injuries caused by accident to return to community living by the provision of support for equipment and facilities; advance young people in life by helping them to develop their skills, capacities and capabilities so that they can participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals and advance their education and relieve unemployment.
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