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Dramatic finish for inaugural Blue Train Challenge

Published 28 September 2017

The inaugural Blue Train Challenge reached a dramatic conclusion in Cannes. The Cadillac that had been leading from the start of the five-day rally suffered a failed wheel bearing and had to retire. Leaving Richard and Tom Jeffcoate to take the win in the 1938 Riley 16/4 Special.

Inspired by the legendary run by the Bentley of Wolf Barnato from Cannes to London in March 1930, the Blue Train Challenge set off from Deauville with James Gately and Tony Brooks driving into the lead in their 1937 Cadillac Convertible.   

As the event (organised by the Endurance Rally Association) journeyed 1690kms through Fountevraud, Vichy, Lyon, and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, with crews and cars competing in a series of regularity sections, special tests, and time controls, Gately and Brooks kept the rest of the field at arm’s length until mechanical failure hit at the final regularity just before the finish line.

Following the Riley home, second and third place was taken by a duo of Aston Martins. Nigel Dowding and Mary Antcliff claiming silver in their 1934 MkII and Christian and Matthew Brash securing third in their 1938 15/98 Sports.

Riveria Cup Winner

The Riviera Cup, open to sports car made between 1 January 1948 and 31 December 1962, was won by Xavier and Lucas De Sarrau, from Switzerland, in the gleaming white 1957 Porsche Carrera 1500GS.

Discretionary prizes awarded included the Tin Top Trophy which went to Colin and Veronica Weekly in the 1939 Dodge Business Coupe. The Concours d’Elegance award went to Bjorn and Anne Schage in the 1938 Alvis Speed 25, and the Spirit of the Rally prize went to Max and Andrea Sowerby in the 1939 Talbot Lago T120.

For all the results on the Blue Train Challenge as well as the calendar of other ERA events right up until 2021, visit


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