Back to 2019 Edition
D-7 BEFORE THE START FROM PLACE VENDÔME
The clock is ticking! In exactly 7 days the 20th RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE, the most famous women’s car rally in France, will set off from Place Vendôme for 5 days and as many unforgettable stages, on what promises to be a memorable anniversary edition. From Paris to Saint-Tropez, nearly 1600 kilometres over the finest roads in France, no less than 99 all-female crews will be having fun behind the wheels of their magnificent classic cars.
Rendez-vous on 1 June, in the most beautiful square in Paris, for a day of scrutineering, where the public can come along and admire cars from a bygone era and chat to the crews throughout this exceptional day.
YOU’RE NOT 20 EVERY DAY!
And because you don’t turn 20 every day, this 2019 edition of the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE will have a special flavour. When she talks about a time that those less than 20 couldn’t have known, VIVIANE ZANIROLI, the organiser of this unique event, savours the enthusiasm that today her event, dedicated to female automobile fans, elicits.
A glance in the rear-view mirror pays witness to the progress made and the fight against entrenched ideas regarding a woman’s place in a car. Inspired by the Paris- Saint-Raphaël Rally, the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE has broken down barriers, changed ideas and paid homage to women who love automobiles and a challenge, who prefer regularity over speed. For almost 20 years the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE has inspired women to test their limits in the spirit of sport and fun that the event promotes.
FAMOUS NAME PARTNERS
The event has now acquired a legitimacy both with participants and its partners, as shown by the support of watch makers RICHARD MILLE, sponsors since 2015, this year joined by the prestigious cosmetics brand SISLEY. And then there’s RADIO VINCI AUTOROUTES, loyal supporters for the last 6 years, who relay the participants’ exploits live over the air waves. And FIAT France who is the official carrier of the event.
FOCUS ON THE CARS AND THE ENTRY LIST
No less than 50 different models to feast your eyes on!
Ferrari 260 GTS, Austin Healey, Porsche 356, Mercedes 190 SL, Jaguar XK 140, Type E, MGA, Citroën Traction, Pontiac, Corvette Sting Ray, Alfa Roméo Giulia Spider, Porsche 911 Dino Ferrari 246, Triumph TR3, 4, 6, Mini Cooper, Fiat 124 Spider, Ford Cobra, Mustang, MGB, Renault Caravelle, Peugeot 504 Cabriolet ... An exceptional and varied line up for this exceptional 20th edition!
99 crews at the start: an absolute record!
The 20th RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE has been full since the end of last September. Even better, this anniversary edition sees the absolute record number of participants, with no less than 99 crews on the start line! Among them several crews who have already won the event, such as that of CAROLE GRATZMULLER and ELISA NOEMIE LAURENT (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray n°56) who between them have chalked up no less than 6 victories! Also among the favourites PATRICIA BERTAPELLE, (1969 Austin Healey MK1) three times winner in the mixed crews category (that hasn’t been run for over 7 years) and ADELINE PAQUIERS and HELENA EUVRARD, victorious last year in Biarritz and so the title holders aboard their impressive Ford Cobra n°100.
Audrey Marnay, ‘godmother’ of the event
With the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE also being an event of glamour and beauty, this 20th edition will have as ‘godmother’ the actress and model AUDREY MARNAY, a committed car enthusiast, who will take part for the first time aboard her 1971 Mercedes Pagode 280 SL n°34, that she acquired 20 years ago while working in New York.
Wives of champions and a young champion...
Among the participants of the 20th RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE there are also wives of champions, such as SÉVERINE LOEB (Porsche 911 S Nr.70), wife of nine-times WRC champion Sébastien Loeb and LINDA MORSELLI (Porsche 356 Nr.2), the Italian model who shares her life with double Formula 1 World Champion and 24H du Mans winner, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
At 20 years old, the young American champion AURORA STRAUSS is the same age as the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE and has been called up by the event’s title sponsor to share this adventure over the most scenic roads France has to offer. (Porsche 356 Nr.1)
THE ROUTE AT A GLANCE
Two days in Saint-Tropez
The 20th edition of the RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE gets under way early on the morning of 2 June from the Place Vendôme for 5 days of competition over 1600 kilometres of the most beautiful scenery France has to offer, with night stops at BEAUVAL (2/06), VICHY (3/06) and AIX-LES-BAINS (4/06), before arriving in style on the Côte d’Azur with two days in SAINT-TROPEZ (5-6/06), finishing on Thursday 6 June with the GRAND PRIX DE SAINT-TROPEZ, a final loop of 300 km, stopping off at the Château Saint-Martin in Taradeau, birthplace of the Paris St Raphaël Féminin, before the final podium in the famous Place des Lices. The gala soiree and price giving will be held in the middle of the vineyards of the Domaine de BERTAUD BELIEU in Gassin.
THE 20TH RALLYE DES PRINCESSES RICHARD MILLE IN NUMBERS
20th edition (2000-2019)
99 crews entered
5 stages: Paris, Beauval, Vichy, Aix-les-Bains and St-Tropez 17 departements crossed
280 towns and villages crossed
19 regularity zones
1600 kilometres of country roads
13 different nationalities, from 16 to 72 years old
Cars from 1952 to 1985
+ than 2800 participants in the last 20 years
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.”