Alps re­port

The Mini Cooper Reg­is­ter folk headed to the Alps for their an­nual event in Septem­ber.

Mini Magazine - - Contents - Words and Pho­tog­ra­phy Justin Rid­yard

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.

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