Classic motor rally gears up for Banbury return

The world’s most famous classic car rally will be returning to Banbury in 2020.

Following the warm reception for drivers and exhibitors early this year, the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique will be passing through town again in on Thursday 30 January with the support of Cherwell District Council.

Glasgow will be the only UK start point for the dozens of British-based drivers undertaking the 1,500-mile rally to Monaco. The council and its partners will be using the passage control as an opportunity to host a display of over a hundred classic and notable cars from major motorsport firms, local companies, classic car clubs and private owners.

Douglas Anderson, coordinator of the UK leg of the rally, said: “You have to be a bit of a masochist to go on such an arduous journey in the depths of winter but the stop-off in Banbury is a chance for the drivers to get a well-earned rest and a hot meal.

“We’re coming back to Banbury because it’s really the capital of motorsport, it’s motorsport valley down here. We’re delighted to be here and we’ve had a fantastic turnout. It will be a great atmosphere so come along.”

Graeme Kane, Cherwell’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re really proud of our ties to the motorsport industry in north Oxfordshire, from the high-tech Formula One teams to the great work that goes on restoring classic cars.

“When the Monte Carlo Rallye came to town in 2018, we gave it a really warm welcome, because it was its first visit for 50 years. It’s a win for Banbury town centre that they’ve now decided to make it three years in a row.”

The UK leg of the rally starts in Glasgow on Wednesday 29 January 2020 with those cars taking part due to start arriving in Banbury from late morning on Thursday 30 January.

The stop will be a chance for the veteran vehicles to be serviced by Bicester’s Blue Diamond Riley Services. Meanwhile, the drivers and navigators will take a rest and eat thanks to Banbury Town Council, who will be hosting them and laying on food.

The event will coincide with Banbury Charter Market which will include additional food stalls to help keep out the cold and sustain the crowds.

Details of necessary road closures will be published in due course.

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