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Heading westward

 

The sun shone for the run-up inspection day for the 19th Richard Mille RALLYE DES PRINCESSES. Our ladies and their vintage cars assemble at the foot of the famous column in the prestigious Place Vendôme, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. The 90 crew event kicks off at the starting point in cheerful mode with this compliance ritual, rounding off in the evening with a cocktail buffet in the Pavillon Vendôme. Next morning at 8.30 a.m. the road rally will covers some 1 800 km, heading west from Paris down some of France’s most glorious roads to Biarritz, in 5 spectacular stages. The first stopover on Sunday is at the Château de Champvallin in Sandillon, then on to Beauval, totalling some 320 kilometers.

 

180 ‘Princesses’ at the starting line, comprising 90 crews. The 2017 Richard Mille Rallye des Princesses confirms that it is still the country’s most popular all-female motorsport event. And this year at least 180 female entrants will be driving along France’s most beautiful roads, meticulously tested and primed by the organisation. Fast becoming an international event, boasting at least 9 different nationalities this year, it has become the largest all-female car rally.  Although mainly from France and Belgium, entrants also hail from Switzerland, Italy and even much further afield, from the USA and Japan! .

 

A glass of champagne before the start of the race. ChampaGNE Tsarine, partners of the Richard Mille RALLYE DES PRINCESSES handed out their first glasses of champagne today in the Place Vendôme, Those refreshing, refined, perfect pink bubbles were just what the ladies needed in the sunshine!. All the way down France, the 90 crews will be sampling this exceptional champagne.

 

A legend made in the UK. The Richard Mille RALLYE DES PRINCESSES is a whole lifestyle, a thrilling ladies’ adventure, an escapade down some of the most beautiful roads in France. It is also an occasion for a hundred beautiful vintage cars to come together. In this 19th year of the event, the oldest car has come over from England – a 1951 Bristol 401 Mark 3 Coupé driven by Ann Hemingway and Sharron-Nyra Catchpole (a real challenge for it to reach Biarritz).

 

Princesses Paris… Texas!  Texans Susan and Suzanne dreamt of embarking on an all-girl adventure. Their dream has come true in the form of a journey from Dallas to Paris and an extraordinary road trip along some of the most beautiful roads in France. They will be driving a rented Triumph TR6 from Paris to Biarritz (with echoes of Wim Wenders! ).

 

Departing Sunday at 8.30! Early Sunday morning, in numerical order, the 90 cars will set off from the starting place in the Place Vendôme, driving down beautiful Paris avenues on the first leg of this 19th Richard Mille RALLYE DES PRINCESSES, until reaching Beauval.

 

Outline of the Route

 

Sunday, June 3         -  First leg: Paris - Sandillon - Beauval (319 km)

Monday, June 4        -  Second leg: Beauval - Meaulne - Vichy (309 km)

Tuesday, June 5       -  Third leg: Vichy - Muret-le-Château - Toulouse (482 km)

Wednesday, June 6 -  Fourth leg: Toulouse - Bonnemazon - Formigal (327 km)

Thursday, June 7      -  Final leg: Formigal - Bidarray - Biarritz (247 km)

N° 23 is ready to go! It should have been a 1961 MGA, but is instead it’s a Lancia Fulvia Zagato! Wivine Van Hullebusch and Stéphanie Riquet spent a frantic day, their inspection delayed hour after hour due to a problem with their MGA’s fuel system. The two ladies, about to be disqualified, at the very last minute decided to enter a beautiful Italian car.      

 

Honda in pole position! Marked with its double zero, a blue Honda NSX has pride of place in the Place Vendôme. In partnership with Honda France, Patrick and Tom Zaniroli, the event’s motorsport organisers, will be opening every TSD zone at the wheel of this hi-tech hybrid racing car (581 hp). Fasten your seat belts, they’re off!

 

A word from the event’s creator and organizer, Viviane Zaniroli.  She is pleased. ‘’The Richard Mille RALLYE DES PRINCESSES is pursuing its exciting course. Our event has evolved over the years, breaking new ground and blossoming. This is our 19th year, and it is sure to be a marvellous event. The 90 crews joining us this year will not be disappointed. The line-up is impressive (number wise and quality wise) and highlights the growing success of France’s largest all-female motorsport event. The exceptional rally route is both fabulous and challenging with its Pyrenees section. But I guarantee that all our rallyists will experience an unforgettable week on some of the most beautiful roads in France. The lovely sunny weather has set the tone, and things will only get better! We must also thank our loyal partners, particularly watchmakers Richard Mille whose unwavering support is a source of tremendous pride to us’.’