The Beaujolais Run 2010 Makes History

After a leisurely breakfast, teams set out for their third and final historic Formula One circuit; Reims-Gueux. Les Amis du Circuit de Gueux were present to join competitors in witnessing a magical piece of history; one of the Amis brought with him a copy of a 1967 race programme signed by John Surtees. John took to the circuit in a Maserati Quattroporte S, 44 years after he first drove for Cooper Maserati having left Ferrari and as leader of the World Championship. John relished reliving his days at this evocative Formula One circuit; he sprayed competitors in Champagne Taittinger before leading competitors on a lap of the circuit; a truly moving occasion. This special morning saw a truly magnificent champion return to the circuit that had been so significant to his career.

Approaching Calais, the teams met unseasonably warm sunshine and boarded Eurotunnel to reminisce their fun filled five days. Undoubtedly thoughts turned to Henry Surtees whose helmet illustration stands proud on their vehicles and adorns their teamwear sleeves. All teams were victorious in their efforts to celebrate Henry’s life and raise much needed funds in his memory for the immediate and measurable benefit of those who need it most.

The Beaujolais Run film, filmed by Felix Prasser of hotels.tv, continues to bring the ‘Run to life for families, friends and sponsors across the world. Sponsors enjoy a vast audience on a global scale, giving patronage of a unique event where 100% of competitors’ sponsor monies benefit the event’s nominated charities.

The Beaujolais Run 2010 - Macon to Reims

Competitors awoke in Mâcon and passed Beaune heading for Champagne. All teams made good progress to Reims as they knew a treat was in store…

As the sun went down on Reims, teams were escorted to a stunning Taittinger owned venue; most famous for entertaining the Kings of France and visiting heads of state.

Vitalie Taittinger led teams through five different wines accompanying a sumptuous dinner and a gastronomy and Formula One themed charity auction. During dinner John Surtees praised teams for their fundraising efforts and gave an evocative insight into the role France played in his epic career. John was accompanied by his family who thoroughly enjoyed being part of the evening and were only too pleased to accept The Beaujolais Run 2010 Burlington shirt which includes Henry’s helmet illustration on the sleeve.

Expectations were running high as the time for prize giving arrived. Angus Hughes and Owain Lloyd of Shaken But Undeterred took P2 for the GT1 Maps Only navigation class. Winners of P2, Any Assistance, were Oliver Smith and Emmylou Wherlock of More Dash Than Cash. The highly coveted P1 went to John Riley and Jeffrey Smith of Men in Black. This year the trophy attached to P1 was donated by Andy Wall of Sunpower father to James Wall who tragically lost his fight against cancer in April 2009. This wonderfully individual trophy will continue in perpetuity, known as the James Wall Trophy for the Highest Fundraiser.

Always a hotly contested award, L’Esprit du Cours went to Geoff Core and Phil Bubb of Encore Le Trognan (More Core) for their ingenuity in fundraising, their press efforts and showing the spirit to be Beaujolais ambassadors on the ‘Run.

The Mitras proudly collected the Wooden Spoon Award having chalked up the most miles during day two’s navigation trial.

Teams then retired to the ‘Run’s ‘home bar and brasserie’, Hall Place and Le Curtayn Club to end a high energy, albeit at times emotional, night.

The Beaujolais Run 2010 - Reims to Macon

Reims awoke to the lively start of the navigational shoot out, synonymous with this ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ event. Jean-Pierre of Taittinger readied the starting flag as teams anxiously awaited receipt of their cryptic checkpoint clues. The scene outside Pierre-Emmanuel’s offices in Reims was transformed into a mix of childhood dreams with teams attired to the theme; ‘What I Want To Be When I Grow Up’. Unleashed from Reims, teams ceased the challenge and went about solving five cryptic checkpoints in their attempt to cover the course in the shortest possible distance. Each task included an obligatory future aspiration impersonation; guaranteed to bring smiles (and raised eyebrows!) to highly populated villages throughout France. But the air of comedy couldn’t disguise their dedication to finding the shortest route – which didn’t always mean taking the most obvious route.

The rolling D-roads of rural France were once again sensational. After three checkpoints including the splendour of Chablis, teams were stunned to find their marshall team waiting for them at checkpoint three. Faces were incredulous as it dawned upon the teams that they were being instructed to multiply lap Dijon’s famous Formula One circuit as part of their navigational trial! Turbos whined, superchargers howled and rubber squeeled as some of Europe’s finest metal was let loose on the finest operational track in France. For many competitors it was their first time at Dijon, following in the footsteps of motorsport legends; Villeneuve and Arnoux who fought a memorable battle at the 1979 French Grand Prix.

Teams’ antics were viewed in real time all over the world, thanks to iTrack Protect. For the teams themselves it was like being part of a video game, as they tracked their competition en route.

A superb meal at Château de Chasselas ensured teams were suitably fuelled before heading out into the night for the midnight release of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Inimitable in its spectacle; teams joined a torch lit walk into the heart of the village, mixing with local vignerons who were only to proud to proclaim the near perfect conditions in Beaujolais, producing a fabulous 2010 vintage! Sante! A few glasses of the 2010 crop amidst an awesome party atmosphere, music and fireworks lit the sky until the early hours. For those who didn’t fall asleep on the return coach, Anthony Reid’s stories of his career, past, present and future, on the microphone kept them thoroughly entertained! Tomorrow brings the return to Reims – where we’ll find out who is victorious!

The Beaujolais Run 2010 - Brands Hatch to Reims

One of the UK’s legendary Formula One circuits saw a return by two world champions. Nigel Mansell returned to the scene of his first Grand Prix victory; John reminisced about his first ever road race on the new tarmac circuit in 1950 and the wins that he had on both 2 and 4 wheels. Robbie Kerr thrilled the competitors and assembled press behind the wheel of the Surtees TS7, live on the circuit. This classic Formula One car paraded the circuit before taking up its position as an unusual pace car. Nigel was ably supported by John and Jonathan Palmer who all spoke of their delight at being present on the ‘Run and how committed they were to support the newly formed Henry Surtees Foundation. Teams formed up on the distinguished Formula One grid, before Nigel, John and Jonathan walked the grid, shaking hands with the teams, talking tactics and wishing them all the best on this year’s ‘Run. Nigel then returned to his role as starter and dropped The Beaujolais Run 2010 starting flag. The competing teams were off and France bound!

After a high spirited drive south from Calais, the teams found themselves welcomed warmly into the arms of the Taittinger family at their breathtaking cellars. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger himself welcomed the teams to Reims. A private tour and tasting was followed by an exclusive preview of the magnificent new Visitors’ Centre. Pierre-Emmanuel announced that teams would be part of Taittinger history; as they would be the last people to visit the Visitors’ Centre as it stands today and the first to visit the new site, which will not be opened until tomorrow! Teams debriefed the day before receiving their first cryptic checkpoint clue for tomorrow’s navigation challenge and heading into the bright city lights of Reims’ nightlife.

The Beaujolais Run 2010 - Opening Night

It was back to school for the competitors on the The Beaujolais Run 2010. The late Henry Surtees former school, Worth School, resounded to exhaust notes and the excited voices of competitors. The entrance to this year’s special launch venue was framed by the Maserati GranTourismo S, striking in white, and John Surtees’ TS7 Formula One car; whilst inside they found Henry Surtees’ kart waiting for them. Once inside, teams immersed themselves in the romance and history of Formula One and learnt what they could expect on this year’s ‘Run. Teams were privileged to share a venue central to Henry’s life, which is now home to The Pit Stop. Competitors’ eyes were drawn to the mural on the wall of Henry in his car; the focus of this wonderful recreation space constructed in Henry’s memory. For one night only The Pit Stop at Worth School had become ‘Run HQ. A Champagne Taittinger reception and wines by Messrs Louis Jadot ensured the competitors were kept refreshed in style as they came face to face with their competition for the first time. Friends of the ‘Run Steve Berry, Anthony Reid and patron John Surtees all took to the stage to brief the teams. All competing vehicles, including the first touring motorbike to compete, were blessed by the Abbot in the style of the Italian road races of yore, before a night start; destination Brands Hatch. Competing teams picked their way through the night to parc fermé.

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