2018 Minis to the Alps

Minis to the ALPS 15th – 22nd September 2018

This year sponsored by Mini Sport & Carole Nash Insurance. 38 cars, a lead car of legendary rally navigator Paul Easter and his son William, a service van and sweeper car (course close).

The cars all started from Chatham in Kent on Saturday 15th September and after a hop across the channel on the Sunday the first destination was Reims, a visit past the grandstand of the old circuit missed this year by a celebration of the life of racing driver Juan Manuel Fangio. The next leg of the event took the team firstly through the vineyards of the champagne region onto Colmar mainly on the ‘A’ equivalent roads taking in two Col’s and the Rhine Valley.

From Colmar the teams headed to Nantur and then Gap the days starting to take in more and more twisty and scenic roads. With the Chartruse Mountains providing the backdrop the teams took in various Coupes des Alpes rally stages, the rally plate for the event based on those of the 60’s Rallies.
From Gap the destination was Aix Les Bains and the teams under took the Col d’Espreaux, used on this 2018 Monte Carlo Rally. No less than 6 conquered for the day including the fantastic Col du Granier where incidentally great coffee and omelettes can be found at the top. Final Col of the day was across Mount Revard with many tight hair pins on the decent to Lac du Bourget and then into Aix Les Bains.
The final day was the run from Aix Les Bains to Evian les Bains, across more Col’s and some of the road section for previous Coupes Des Alps events. Breath taking views taken in all week the entrants had a final night dinner and presentation.
Cars all very well behaved, the service van had a reasonably quiet event. A few wheel bearings and a couple of brake issues only, apart from that just minor maintenance.

Carole Nash Spirit of the Event – David Brazell for always being first to help anyone with a car issue.
Mini Sport Route Master Award – David Sumner & Gloria Pino Correa


This was the itinerary for the route which is just over 1300 miles

Day 1 – Saturday 15th September – Signing-on.  Overnight at Chatham.

Day 2 – Sunday 16th September – Maidstone to Reims – Maidstone to Dover for an early crossing to France.  Autoroute to just after St Quentin then across country through Champagne growing country to the old Reims circuit and on to Reims for the overnight stop.  Total 251 miles.

Day 3 – Monday 17th September – Reims to Colmar – Some main roads but plenty of country bits to the Vosges mountains including a climb over the Col du Bonhomme towards the end.   Overnight stop at Colmar.  Total 207 miles.

Day 4 – Tuesday 18th September – Colmar to Nantua – Over the Vosges mountains including the Petit Ballon and the Grand Ballon.   Then mains roads in the valley of the Doubs alongside the Swiss border and over a couple of cols to the overnight halt at Nantua overlooking a lake.  Total 230 miles

Day 5 – Wednesday 19th September – Nantua to Gap – In the morning continuing southwards on country roads to Grenoble and over the Chamrousse. In the afternoon there are several cols to climb over scenic roads on the way down to Gap. Total distance 217

Day 6 – Thursday 20th September – Gap to Aix-les-Bains – We now head back northwards over roads familiar to many but not used in this direction by us before, starting with the Col d’Espreaux.  Skirting the Vercors mountains, we will then circumnavigate Grenoble again and get up on to the Col du Granier to Chambery and then use back roads on the way to Aix-les-Bains, reached round the Lac du Bourget. Total distance 219 miles.

Day 7 – Friday 21st September – Aix-les-Bains to Evian-les-Bains – We start with the traditional climb up Mont Revard, then cross the River Isere for more country roads, and go northwards through Albertville. We then take to roads entirely new to us over several climbs until we drop down to Lac Leman overlooking Switzerland and our final destination Evian-les-Bains. Total distance 202 miles

Day 8 – Saturday 22nd September – After breakfast back to Calais, a distance of 540 miles




Contact the Membership Secretary, Lesley Young, by email – membership@minicooper.org or phone 01580 763975 for further details on our Minis to events.