The Paris-Prague Rally
11-17 June 2017
A thrilling new event inspired by the pioneers of motorsport
Latest News & Entries
Rally Round’s latest European event is the most spectacular yet, exploring the delightful roads and gorgeous scenery between the romantic Capitals of France and the Czech Republic.
As with all Rally Round events, Paris-Prague is intended to be a highly enjoyable and sociable celebration of the pioneering days of motorsport (see below), with plenty of leisurely lunches and refreshment stops. However, as Clerk of the Course Fred Bent and fellow route designer Kim Bannister embarked on their first recce, it became clear that the dream route they had plotted on their maps might be too long and too tiring for some of the Vintage cars and crews. For that reason Fred and Kim conducted a second recce and made some significant changes to the route initially outlined in the event brochure, reducing the daily driving distances by as much as 130km. The most noticeable changes are to days four and five, when we will no longer push south into the Italian Dolomites via Cortina d’Ampezzo. Instead we will take an easier, more northerly path on quieter roads through the spectacular Austrian Tyrol, staying overnight in the world-renowned alpine resort of Kitzbuhel. We are indeed fortunate to have so many wonderful route options in this part of the world!
The revised route is described in our new recce report, which you may read or download via the link on this page. At 2,145km (1,333 miles) the route is almost 300km shorter than originally proposed but no less magnificent, starting from the fabulous Chateau de Chantilly on the outskirts of Paris and pausing overnight at Nancy, St Gallen, Kitzbuhel, Linz and Brno before finishing in Prague’s stunningly beautiful Old Town. Naturally there will be plenty of sporting challenges on the way, with an entertaining variety of regularity sections and tests at historic motorsport venues such as the Freiburg-Schauinsland hillclimb and the old Masaryk grand prix circuit. The scenery is truly breathtaking too, from hills and high mountains to lush flower meadows, pretty villages, lovely lakes and forests studded with picturesque Bohemian castles. As ever the event is suitable for novices and experienced crews alike and open to all cars of a type in production before 1969; as on our Paris-Madrid and Paris-Vienna Rallies, the pre-war categories will again compete for the prestigious Charles Jarrott Trophy. The route will be set out in a comprehensive road book containing written instructions, tulip diagrams and distances in kilometres and miles, and there will be no car-breaking sections, night driving or tricky map work. Nevertheless, we can promise you many memorable moments!
Entries continue to roll in to the Rally Office. The most recent are Tim Wilkinson and Chris Evans in a 1959 Jaguar XK150 and father and son Mike and Joshua Chilman in a 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII; along with Mark Seymour and Chris Seaton in their 1934 Lagonda M45, these three crews have come together as ‘The Praguematists’ to compete for the Team Award. We trust they will be pleased to know that as on last year’s Paris-Vienna Rally, when Rally Round donated team entry fees totalling £1166 to the NSPCC, we will again be making a contribution to charity on the Paris-Prague Rally.
Also among the new entries are Timothy and Vanessa Reid in a 1935 Alvis Special, John and Nicola Walsh in a 1968 Triumph TR5, Barry and Roma Weir in a 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV, Thomas Groot and Line Sandvik in a 1952 Jaguar XK120 and Rudolf Hug and Erhard Grossnigg in a 1958 Jaguar XK150 with a truly impressive history (five Mille Miglias, five Monte Carlo Historiques, three Le Jogs and two P2Ps, amongst others). John and Moira Hilbery are bringing a 1950 Bentley Special from Chelsea Workshop, Peter and Carol Tierney have a supercharged 1930 Lea-Francis Hyper S, Mike Timmins and Mike Morgan have entered a 1960 Jaguar Mk2 and Adrian Turner and Dennis Greenslade will drive a 1974 Jaguar E-Type. Others include Australians Paul Darrouzet and Sonia Hill with a 1927 Packard Tourer, Peter and Jane Harland in a 1953 Aston Martin DB2 and Irish-American crew Tom Hayes and Frank McDonagh (car TBC), while Ben and Vicky Freer are not only taking part in their first competitive rally but celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and the 60th birthday of their well-prepared (130bhp) Triumph TR3. Meanwhile our old friend Richard Cunningham is bringing the 1933 Lagonda M45 he campaigned on our 2014 Road to Mandalay rally in Burma/Myanmar, co-driven on this occasion by James Chancellor. Coming all the way from the USA are Peter Zimmerman and Jonathan Newhall with a 1959 Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite, while from Canada we welcome Ivor Lammerink and Len Treeter in 1959 Mercedes-Benz 220 S. Paris-Vienna competitor Martin Tacon is returning with his 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans, co-driven by his daughter Alexandra Tacon, and from Liechtenstein/Austria Dr Ernst Feichtinger and Kurt Schimitzek return in their 1963 Porsche Carrera 2 Roadster. Further British entries include Paris-Vienna heroes John and Catherine Harrison with the big 1917 American LaFrance Roadster, Dominic and Jack Manser in their AC Cobra, Richard Dresner and Colin Mackenzie in a rare 1970 MGB V8 Costello (one of only four surviving examples), Michael Kershaw and Liz Lomstock-Smith in a 1960 Aston Martin DB4, Michael Eatough with the 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230S Fintail he drove on the 2016 Haka Classic and Martin and Olivia Hunt, who have just confirmed their 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328. At this rate the rally will soon be fully subscribed, so don’t delay if you want to join us!
As ever, Rally Round’s experienced team will make your participation as easy as possible. You will require a tripmeter and a stopwatch but you do not need competition licences, helmets or fireproof overalls – indeed we encourage you to wear period dress in keeping with your car. We are happy to offer all possible assistance and advice on event and car preparation, rally timing and navigation, with a special pre-event briefing for novices, and we will be accompanied by fully qualified medical staff and expert mechanical support teams. For your convenience there will be a luggage bus and we will recommend specialist insurance and car-shipping services so you may travel freely and make the most of our wonderful start and finish locations.
Your entry fee will include accommodation in high-quality hotels with secure parking and all lunches and evening meals; you need only bring enough money for fuel and drinks in the evening, when we’re sure you’ll have much to talk about! If you have any questions or wish to reserve your place on the event, please contact the Rally Round office via the Enquiry button at the top of this page, or by telephone – we speak five languages and we’re here to help!
Unlike our previous European events, Paris-Prague is not based on a period race, as such contests were halted after the catastrophic Paris-Madrid competition of 1903. Nevertheless, had fortune taken a different turn, Prague would have been an irresistible destination. The Bohemian capital had for centuries been one of the world’s greatest cities and the country we now know as the Czech Republic had a proud engineering and automotive heritage. Founded at Koprivnice in Moravia, Tatra (formerly Nesselsdorfer) is the third oldest motor manufacturer in the world after Daimler and Peugeot; in 1897 it produced the first car in central Europe, and in the 1930s Tatra engineer Hans Ledwinka’s pioneering designs were ‘borrowed’ by Ferdinand Porsche to create the Volkswagen Beetle, the Porsche 356 and the iconic 911. More recently, as a truck manufacturer, Tatra has achieved notable successes in the Paris-Dakar Rally.
Meanwhile the Laurin & Klement company, founded in 1895 at Mlada Boleslav, 65km north-east of Prague, quickly became the largest motor manufacturer in Austria-Hungary and achieved sporting success all over Europe; the fearsome car pictured on this page (above and below) is the FCR racer of 1909, a 100hp, 5,672cc machine with a 85mm bore and a 250mm stroke, which once broke the arm of an Italian mechanic attempting to start it but which nevertheless carried Otto Hieronimus to several race victories and Dr Alexander Comanos Pasha to a category win in the 1911 hillclimb at Gaillon, France. Laurin & Klement is known by a different name today, having been acquired in 1925 by Skoda – a marque that has since established a long and enviable record in international rallying.
Of course Prague is not the Czech Republic’s only attraction, as the country offers delightful roads through romantic landscapes dotted with fairytale castles, grand towns and charming villages, not to mention a hearty cuisine and world-famous breweries! What’s more, to reach this heartland of European culture and civilisation the 2017 Paris-Prague Rally will take you through some of the most beautiful regions of France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Unconstrained by historical precedent, the route has been planned for maximum enjoyment, allowing you time to savour the whole experience. In addition to a fantastic driving adventure you may take pleasure in some of Europe’s most breathtaking scenery, leisurely lunches and coffee halts, comfortable hotels and of course the good company of friends old and new. We hope you can join us!
|Driver||Co-Driver||Car||Engine Size (cc)|
|John Harrison (GBR)||Catherine Harrison (GBR)||1917 American LaFrance Roadster||14500|
|Steven Collins (GBR)||Dimitros Stoliopoulos (GRE)||1922 Bentley 3.0||2966|
|Paul Darrouzet (GBR)||Sonia Hill (AUS)||1927 Packard Tourer||4200|
|Peter Tierney (GBR)||Carol Tierney (GBR)||1930 Lea-Francis Hyper S||1496|
|Rudi Friedrichs (DEU)||Helga Friedrichs (DEU)||1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA||4387|
|Martin Tacon (GBR)||Alexandra Tacon (GBR)||1933 Aston Martin Le Mans||1493|
|Richard Cunningham (GBR)||James Chancellor (GBR)||1933 Lagonda M45 Tourer||4467|
|Mark Seymour (GBR)||Chris Seaton (GBR)||1934 Lagonda M34||4467|
|Timothy Reid (GBR)||Vanessa Reid (GBR)||1935 Alvis Speed 20/25 Special||3571|
|Mark Robinson (GBR)||Simon Parfitt (GBR)||1936 Bentley Derby 4.25||4257|
|Martin Hunt (GBR)||Olivia Hunt (GBR)||1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328||1971|
|John Hilbery (GBR)||Moira Hilbery (GBR)||1950 Bentley V1 Chelsea Workshop Special||4257|
|Thomas Groot (GBR)||Line Sandvik (NOR)||1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS||3442|
|Peter Harland (GBR)||Jane Harland (GBR)||1953 Aston Martin DB2||2600|
|Ben Freer (GBR)||Victoria Freer (GBR)||1957 Triumph TR3||2138|
|Rudolf Hug (CHE)||Erhard Grossnigg (AUS)||1958 Jaguar XK150 DHC||3442|
|Peter Zimmermann (USA)||Jonathan Newhall (USA)||1959 Austin-Healey Sprite||998|
|Ivor Lammerink (CAN)||Len Treeter (CAN)||1959 Mercedes-Benz 220 S||1900|
|Tim Wilkinson (GBR)||Chris Evans (GBR)||1959 Jaguar XK150 S||3442|
|Michael Kershaw (GBR)||Elizabeth Lomstock-Smith (GBR)||1960 Aston Martin DB4||4200|
|Mike Timmins (GBR)||Mike Morgan (GBR)||1960 Jaguar Mk2 3781||TBC|
|David Liddell (GBR)||Stephen l'Anson (GBR)||1962 Triumph TR4||2200|
|Dr Michael Feichtinger (LIE)||Kurt Schimitzek (AUT)||1963 Porsche 356B T6 Carrera 2||1966|
|Mike Chilman (GBR)||Joshua Chilman (GBR)||1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII||2912|
|Michael Eatough (GBR)||Stephen McKelvie (CAN)||1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 S Fintail||2778|
|Barry Weir (GBR)||Roma Weir (GBR)||1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV||1570|
|John Walsh (GBR)||Nicola Walsh (GBR)||1968 Triumph TR5||2498|
|Richard Dresner (GBR)||Colin Mackenzie (GBR)||1970 MGB V8 Costello||3528|
|Adrian Turner (GBR)||Dennis Greenslade (GBR)||1974 Jaguar E-Type V12||5344|
|Dominic Manser (GBR)||Jack Manser (GBR)||1984 AC Cobra 302||5605|
|Tom Hayes (IRL)||Frank McDonagh (USA)||TBC||TBC|
|Danny Day (USA)||TBC||TBC||TBC|
Dr Alexander Pasha with the fearsome Laurin & Klement FCR at the Gaillon Hillclimb in 1911