Monte Carlo looks to Clydebank for classic rally start…
Latest details have been released about the quality of entries for the Clydebank start next month of the 2019 historic rally run to Monte Carlo.
It is the second time the town has hosted the prestigious event, with thousands turning out to watch the event when it last started there in 2012.
It is the only British start point of six European cities for a range of classic cars to make the 1,500 mile trip to the South of France, and is staged by the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM).
Around 80 cars, in three separate categories, are expected to leave the start ramp in Aurora Avenue, in the shadow of the town’s giant Titan Crane, at 6pm on Wednesday January 30th.
The Historique Class is being run for the 22nd year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews undertaking a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.
It’s been confirmed that among the cars taking part in that class will be a Mk2 3.8 litre Jaguar, an Austin A40 and a Rover 2000 SC, all from the 1960s, and an Opel Kadett GTE, Fiat 124 Coupé, and Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF from the 1970s.
The Classique event is for older cars and in the 2019 entry list there are no fewer than five Rileys from the 1930s – two of them driven by American crews and another which actually competed in the Monte Carlo Rally before the last war – plus an MG TC from 1949.
Other cars include a 1958 Standard Pennant, a French-entered Austin Healey Sprite from 1959 and a 65 year old Ford Popular.
They will follow the same route to Monte Carlo but will not compete in any test stages, the goal simply being to finish after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.
Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale starts and take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland, including John O’Groats, Aberdeen, Stirling and Dumfries.
With just over a month to go, the event was given a launch preview at Clydebank today. On display were two rare classic Riley cars from the 1930s, similar to the models which were popular for long-distance rallying in the pre-war years, along with a Volvo Amazon which successfully completed the event this year.
Convener of the Cultural Committee at West Dunbartonshire Council, Baillie Denis Agnew said: “I’ve always felt that hosting the Monte Carlo Rallye projects West Dunbartonshire onto a world platform and the fact that drivers are travelling from America and France to start the Rally in Clydebank is testament to this.
We are very much looking forward to welcoming organisers back to Clydebank as well as participants and spectators from near and far.
It will be a thrilling start to the year for West Dunbartonshire, and not to be missed.”
Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator of the event and the man responsible for bringing the Monte start back to Scotland a few years ago, is delighted: “It is wonderful to have the Scottish start returning to Clydeside. The event grows in stature every year and we’re confident the 2019 event will attract big crowds to wave them off on their drive to the sunshine in the South of France. They’ll all be sharing the magic of the Monte”.
More information can be found at www.monte.scot
About West Dunbartonshire…
West Dunbartonshire Council serves 91,000 residents and a lively business community in an area stretching from the banks of Loch Lomond to the shores of the Clyde. The region is one of great diversity and natural beauty, just half an hour from the heart of Glasgow, and includes the towns of Clydebank, Dumbarton and Alexandria. It has a rich past, shaped by its world-famous shipyards, and boasts many attractions, ranging from the rugged beauty of Dumbarton Rock to historic whisky warehouses.