Going round the world in 80 days might sound like a flight of literary fantasy but a new classic rally, launched last night in London, will do just that.
Rally the Globe is living up to its name with this 22,000-mile, three-part competitive adventure for pre-’76 cars that, just like Phileas Fogg’s circumnavigation, will start and finish in the British capital, in this case at Greenwich’s Prime Meridian Line.
Leg one will run from 23 May to 9 June 2020 and will see participants depart London bound for Casablanca, with the Portsmouth-Bilbao crossing giving crews a breather after a series of demanding tests before they’re challenged again across Spain and onto Morocco, covering around 3125 miles in all.
Part two kicks off on 19 September in Boston, USA, and will take in motorsport landmarks including Watkins Glen and Indianapolis, as well as Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and the Rocky Mountains before finishing, around 6250 miles later, in Vancouver, Canada, on 10 October 2020.
The final leg will be the longest by far. Taking place between 8 May and 19 June 2021, this 42-day, 15,5000-mile contest back to London from a starting point in Vladivostok, Russia, will go via Kazakhstan and Siberia, onto the Silk Route, then Belarus, Poland, Germany, Holland – and the race track at Zandvoort – before boarding the ferry to Harwich.
Participants can compete in individual legs or the whole rally and over 100 competitive sections, with priority given to those taking on the entire route and those in older vehicles.
The cars will run in five classes:
- Pioneer – for those built up to December 1918
- Vintage – for cars built between January 1919 and December 1930
- Post-vintage – for cars built between January 1931 and December 1947
- Early classic – for cars built between January 1948 and December 1959
- Late classic – for cars built between January 1960 and December 1975
Heading the experienced team of organisers is former World Rally Championship co-driver and long-time event organiser Fred Gallagher.
“It’s one of those projects for which the planning has been almost as challenging and rewarding as the participating,” he said.
“We have had teams all over the globe liaising with regional authorities, local experts and assisting car clubs to create what we are convinced will be the greatest adventure on four wheels ever staged.
“We have purposefully followed the sun travelling west so the three legs are of escalating length and challenge. It will be a lifetime achievement for all those who complete the remarkable journey and the eventual winners will have every reason to celebrate their unique success.”
While not for the faint of heart or light of wallet, this should be an epic adventure to remember. Find out more here.