The Mini Cooper Register folk headed to the Alps for their annual event in September.
The Mini Cooper Register arranged a trip to the Alps for its annual ‘Minis to…’ event, which this year was sponsored by Mini Sport and Carole Nash Insurance. Thirty-eight cars, a lead car of legendary rally navigator Paul Easter and his son William, a service van and sweeper car (course close) took part.
The cars all started from Chatham, Kent on Saturday 15 September, and after a hop across the channel on the Sunday the first destination was Reims, a visit past the grandstand of the old circuit missed this year by a celebration of the life of racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio.
The next leg of the event took the team firstly through the vineyards of the champagne region on to Colmar, mainly on the ‘A’ equivalent roads taking in two Cols and the Rhine Valley.
From Colmar the teams headed to Nantur and then Gap; the days starting to take in more and more twisty and scenic roads. With the Chartruse Mountains providing the backdrop the teams took in various Coupes des Alpes rally stages, the rally plate for the event based on those of the ’60s Rallies.
From Gap the destination was Aix Les Bains and the teams under took the Col d’Espreaux, used on this 2018 Monte Carlo Rally. No less than six conquered for the day, including the fantastic Col du Granier where incidentally great coffee and omelettes can be found at the top. Final Col of the day was across Mount Revard, with many tight hairpins on the decent to Lac du Bourget and then into Aix Les Bains.
The final day was the run from Aix Les Bains to Evian les Bains, across more Cols and some of the road section for previous Coupes Des Alps
events. With breathtaking views taken in all week, the entrants had a final night dinner and presentation.
Happily, the cars were all very well behaved and even the service van had a reasonably quiet event. A few wheel bearings and a couple of brake issues only.
Next year the club returns to Ireland for its Minis to… event, taking in many Circuit of Ireland rally stages, great hotels and some of Ireland’s best hospitality. More information can be found at www.minicooper.org.