The Paris-Prague Rally
11-17 June 2017
A thrilling event inspired by the pioneers of motorsport
Rally Round’s summer 2017 event was a truly spectacular one, exploring the delightful roads and gorgeous scenery between the romantic Capitals of France and the Czech Republic.
The Paris-Prague Rally was always designed to be an enjoyable and highly sociable celebration of the pioneering days of motorsport (see ‘Why Paris-Prague?’ 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, so they conducted a second recce and made some changes to the route outlined in the event brochure. Rather than pushing south into the Italian Dolomites we took a more northerly path on quieter roads through the Austrian Tyrol, staying overnight in the famous 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 recce report, which you may read or download via the link on this page. At 2,145km (1,333 miles) it was almost 300km shorter than originally proposed but no less magnificent, starting from the fabulous Chateau de Chantilly on the north-easters 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 were plenty of sporting challenges along 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 was breathtaking too, from hills and high mountains to lush flower meadows, pretty villages, lovely lakes and forests studded with picturesque Bohemian castles – all bathed in glorious sunshine. As ever the event was designed to suit novices and experienced crews alike and was open to all cars of a type in production before 1969; as on our Paris-Madrid and Paris-Vienna Rallies, the pre-war categories competed for the prestigious Charles Jarrott Trophy, named in honour of Britain’s first motorsport hero.
Rather than bring the narrow streets of Prague’s Old Town to a complete standstill, the competitive finish line was set at the Day Six lunch halt at the Konopiste Golf Resort and Spa, 60km outside the city. Crews hoping to improve their final positions therefore had only a few hours in which to do so, and with four regularity sections and a timed test it was certainly an eventful morning. Second-placed vintage crew Rudi and Helga Friedrichs retired with a damaged differential on their 1932 Alvis, leaving Martin and Olivia Hunt clear winners of the Charles Jarrott Trophy in their 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW. Meanwhile in the classic category, 1962 Triumph TR4 crew David Liddell and Mark l’Anson saw off all challengers to take the category and overall rally victory. Trophies were presented at a glittering awards dinner at the Prague Intercontinental, where indefatigable 1917 American LaFrance crew David and Catherine Harrison received the Spirit of the Rally Award and were acclaimed by a standing ovation.
You can read all about the event in our Paris-Prague Rally blog or watch video highlights via the links below. If you would like more information about our next six-day event, the Paris-Amsterdam Rally in June 2018, click here.
Vintage Category – 1st Overall – The Charles Jarrott Trophy
Martin & Olivia Hunt – 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328
Class 1 – Vintage up to 2500cc
1st: Peter Tierney & Carol Tierney – 1939 Lea Francis Hyper S
Class 2 – Vintage over 2500cc
1st: Mark Robinson & Simon Parfitt – 1936 Bentley Derby 4.25
2nd: Martin Tacon & Alexandra Tacon – 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans
1st: Richard Dresner & Colin Mackenzie – 1970 MGB V8 Costello
2nd: James O’Mahony & Frank Hussey – 1964 Volvo 122 S
3rd: Andrew Wenman & Tom Goddard – 1975 Ford Escort RS2000
‘The Young Ones (the cars)’
David Liddell & Mark l’Anson – 1962 Triumph TR4
Adrian Turner & Dannis Greenslade – 1974 Jaguar E-Type V12
James O’Mahony & Frank Hussey – 1964 Volvo 122 S
Best Period Dress
Victoria Freer (1957 Triumph TR3) & Nicola Walsh (1968 Triumph TR5)
Spirit of the Rally Award
John Harrison & Catherine Harrison – 1917 American LaFrance Roadster
|No||Driver||Co-Driver||Car||Engine Size (cc)||Class|
|1||John Harrison (GBR)||Catherine Harrison (GBR)||1917 American LaFrance Roadster||14500||Vintage|
|2||Steven Collins (GBR)||Dimitros Stoliopoulos (GRE)||1922 Bentley 3.0||2966||Vintage|
|3||Paul Darrouzet (GBR)||Sonia Hill (AUS)||1927 Packard Tourer||4200||Vintage|
|4||Peter Tierney (GBR)||Carol Tierney (GBR)||1930 Lea-Francis Hyper S||1496||Vintage|
|5||Rudi Friedrichs (DEU)||Helga Friedrichs (DEU)||1932 Alvis Speed 20 SA||4387||Vintage|
|6||Martin Tacon (GBR)||Alexandra Tacon (GBR)||1933 Aston Martin Le Mans||1493||Vintage|
|7||Richard Cunningham (GBR)||James Chancellor (GBR)||1937 Riley 12/4 Special||1496||Vintage|
|8||Mark Seymour (GBR)||Chris Seaton (GBR)||1961 Maserati 3500 GT||3485||Classic|
|9||Mark Robinson (GBR)||Simon Parfitt (GBR)||1936 Bentley Derby 4.25||4257||Vintage|
|10||Martin Hunt (GBR)||Olivia Hunt (GBR)||1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328||1971||Vintage|
|11||Andrew Wenman (GBR)||Tom Goddard (GBR)||1975 Ford Escort RS2000||1990||Classic|
|15||John Hilbery (GBR)||Moira Hilbery (GBR)||1950 Bentley V1 Chelsea Workshop Special||4257||Classic|
|16||Thomas Groot (GBR)||Line Sandvik (NOR)||1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS||3442||Classic|
|17||David Wenman (GBR)||Geoff Robinson (GBR)||1954 Triumph TR2||1991||Classic|
|18||Peter Harland (GBR)||Jane Harland (GBR)||1953 Aston Martin DB2||2600||Classic|
|19||Ben Freer (GBR)||Victoria Freer (GBR)||1957 Triumph TR3||2138||Classic|
|20||Rudolf Hug (CHE)||Erhard Grossnigg (AUT)||1958 Jaguar XK150 DHC||3442||Classic|
|21||Peter Zimmermann (USA)||Jonathan Newhall (USA)||1968 Datsun 2000 Roadster||1982||Classic|
|22||Ivor Lammerink (CAN)||Len Treeter (CAN)||1959 Mercedes-Benz 220 S||1900||Classic|
|23||Tim Wilkinson (GBR)||Chris Evans (GBR)||1969 Aston Martin DBS||4200||Classic|
|24||Michael Kershaw (GBR)||Elizabeth Comstock-Smith (GBR)||1960 Aston Martin DB4||4200||Classic|
|25||Mike Timmins (GBR)||Mike Morgan (GBR)||1960 Jaguar Mk2||3781||Classic|
|26||David Liddell (GBR)||Mark l'Anson (GBR)||1962 Triumph TR4||2200||Classic|
|27||Mike Chilman (GBR)||Joshua Chilman (GBR)||1964 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII||2912||Classic|
|28||Dr Michael Feichtinger (LIE)||Sebastian Haberl (AUT)||1963 Porsche 356B T6 Carrera 2||1966||Classic|
|29||Michael Eatough (GBR)||Stephen McKelvie (CAN)||1965 Mercedes-Benz 230 S Fintail||2778||Classic|
|30||Barry Weir (GBR)||Roma Weir (GBR)||1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV||1570||Classic|
|31||John Walsh (GBR)||Nicola Walsh (GBR)||1968 Triumph TR5||2498||Classic|
|32||Tom Hayes (IRL)||Frank McDonagh (USA)||1970 BMW 2002ti Alpina||1998||Classic|
|33||Richard Dresner (GBR)||Colin Mackenzie (GBR)||1970 MGB V8 Costello||3528||Classic|
|34||Adrian Turner (GBR)||Dennis Greenslade (GBR)||1974 Jaguar E-Type V12||5344||Classic|
|35||James O'Mahony (IRL)||Frank Hussey (IRL)||1964 Volvo 122S||1782||Classic|
Dr Alexander Pasha with the fearsome Laurin & Klement FCR at the Gaillon Hillclimb in 1911
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 travel through some of the most beautiful regions of France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.