His Excellency Mr. João de Vallera, the Portuguese Ambassador to the UK, will flag off the 60 classic cars leaving on the sixth edition of the London-Lisboa Reliability Trial and Tour from the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, on April 27th.
Organized by HERO, the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation, the event is a qualifying round of the 2013 HERO Cup, in association with EFG International, and will see crews travelling through more than 3,000km of route to arrive in Lisbon on May 5th.
Patrick Burke, joint Managing Director of HERO, said: “It is the first time that such an international classic rallying event receives support from both the Portuguese Embassy in UK and the British Embassy in Portugal. Also, as this is a major event for the city of Lisbon, the International Relations division of the Camara Municipal of Lisbon is giving us their support, which will certainly contribute to make a sensational arrival in the city.”
Patrick Burke, joint Managing Director of HERO, said: “It is the first time that such an international classic rallying event receives support from both the Portuguese Embassy in UK and the British Embassy in Portugal. Also, many partners have joined forces to make this event truly spectacular, including the International Relations Division of the Camara Municipal of Lisbon, who are giving their support and will certainly contribute to make a sensational arrival in the city.”
He added: “We prepared a route that combines wonderful roads and stunning landscapes with challenging tests and have already managed to attract some amazing cars and participants from all over the world.”
Around 60 international crews from countries as diverse as South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, England, Italy and Argentina, will take their classic cars on an epic journey over nine days through spectacular scenery across England, France, Spain and Portugal.
The rally is open to all cars manufactured before 1983 and the entries received so far combine a mixture of pre and post-war vehicles, including a rare Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, owned and driven by the charismatic Lord Irvine Laidlaw.
The route will take the participants from London to Portsmouth, passing through St Malo, Poitiers, Pau, Burgos, Leon, Ourens, Vila Real, Caramulo and Sintra, where the British Ambassador to Portugal, Her Excellency Mrs. Jill Gallard, will flag the cars under the “Finish arch” before reaching Lisbon.
The passage in Caramulo, on the penultimate day of the rally, will feature the ascent of the mythical Caramulo hill-climb, which will be closed exclusively for the event. At night, participants will have the unique opportunity to dine inside the exhibition halls of the Museum of Caramulo, surrounded by classic cars.
Patrick Burke added: “We would like to thank our Partners the Museu do Caramulo and ACP Clássicos (Automovel Club de Portugal Clássicos), who are lending us their full support in the coordination of the Portuguese leg of the event.”
He added: “We are building a special atmosphere for the arrival in Lisbon as on the last day of competition, a group of Portuguese motoring enthusiasts, members of the ACP Clássicos, will join the crews at the Seteais Palace in Sintra to drive all together in a classic car convoy for a spectacular finish.”
Participants will stay at the Lapa Palace, who have kindly offered to host a drinks reception for the crews ahead of the prize-giving ceremony and dinner that will take place at the hotel. Guests and dignitaries are anticipated to include Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Braganza (heirs to the Portuguese Crown) and it is hoped the trophies will be handed out by HRH The Duke of Braganza himself.
The London to Lisbon Classic Rally is supported by the Museu Do Caramulo, ACP Clássicos, Octane Magazine, Orianda, Hagerty Classic Car Insurance and the Lapa Palace (part of the Olissippo Hotels).