Rallye des Princesses: Bold People In Beautiful Cars
Images: Peter Auto
Saturday, the 3rd of June, marked the start of the 22nd edition of the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille, an all-women event now organised by Peter Auto that is becoming increasingly popular with enthusiasts of the fairer sex.
It was a beautiful day under the Parisian sun, and as the technical checks were going on, the public (who were there in large numbers) could take a good look at the superb line-up of historic vehicles.
The parc fermé brought together some exceptionally beautiful automobiles such as the 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso of crew #2, Amanda Mille and Mila Bey.
Thus, on that sunny Saturday morning, at Place Vendôme, 164 drivers and co-drivers readied themselves for their five-day long adventure.
Amongst them were several veterans, such as Elisa Laurent, who had been the co-driver and winner in the Chevrolet Corvette C2 in last year’s edition, as well as five victories earlier.
The first leg of the rally took the competitors to Beaune by the end of the afternoon, after a day of 360 km of driving.
Four regularity zones punctuated the day for the crews, through the magnificent landscapes of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté.
After lunch at the medieval castle of Chevillon, the competitors went through the scenic roads of the Morvan natural park.
The revelation of this 22nd edition of the Rallye de Princesses was the team of Sophie Treilles and Magali Le Bourgeois in car #43, a Porsche 911 T. In their very first regularity rally, they proved to be very good.
The competitors arrived at the end of the day at the spectacular Hospices de Beaune. At the close of the first stage, Laëtitia Guarinos and Isabelle Godin in car #45, a 1970 Opel GT 1900, were leading.
The day after a fabulous evening at the Hospices de Beaune, the competitors left for the chic resort town of Megève, in the Alps.
Part of the route was driving through the bucolic landscapes of Burgundy, and then into the mountainous massifs of the Alps, with a stopover for lunch at the Royal Monastery of Brou.
The first crews arrived at around 6pm at the Parc Fermé in Megève. Nestled in the heart of the Alps, in Haute Savoie, Megève is a mid-altitude village resort steeped in history.
The second leg of the rally was won by crew #18, Stéphanie Brandys and Laure De Carrière, in a Porsche 356 (A) 1600 cabriolet from 1958.
By the third day, at the end of the third Alpine stage, Laëtitia Guarinos and Isabelle Godin were back in the lead, with their Opel GT 1900.
So, halfway through the rally it was Guarinos and Godin (in their Opel GT 1900), followed by Ambre Boucherie and Stéphanie Wante in their #41 Chevrolet Corvette C3 Stingray, and Marie Perin and Catherine Labbe in their #64 Innocenti Mini Cooper.
On the fourth day the rally arrived in the sublimely beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence, and the competitors had the opportunity to dine in the heart of the famous underground quarries, with a magical son et Lumiere show being the highlight of the evening!
The winner of the fourth stage was the team of Marie Perin and Catherine Labbe in their 1973 Innocenti Mini Cooper.
The last stage of the rally took the teams through the gorgeous landscapes of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, arriving finally at the Pearl of the Côte d'Azur: Nice!
The last stage was through the Alpilles mountain range in the Provence Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Lunch was at the Château de Colbert Cannet. Three regularity zones made up this stage.
Overall, the crews covered over 1,700 kilometers between Paris and Nice.
The winner for the 2023 edition was the Chevrolet Corvette C3 Stingray of crew #41, Ambre Boucherie and Stéphanie Wante.
Second place went to the duo Laëticia Guarinos and Isabelle Godin in their Opel GT 1900, and third overall was the team of Marina Orlandi Contucci and Stéphanie Heymans of team number #78, in their Lancia Beta Montecarlo.
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