The Burlington Beaujolais Run - Brooklands to Reims
This year's start location was one worthy of 007 himself. A source of great inspiration to Ian Fleming for both the character of James Bond and that truly scrumptious car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was the historic Brooklands motor circuit.
Teams formed up on the fiercely protected, famous Brooklands banking. Formula One legend John Surtees OBE was on hand to give teams some last minute advice. After a brisk wave of the starting flag by John, teams were on their way. "It was an immense privilege to take to the road alongside such a great motoring hero" said one competitor; as John drove the Ginetta G50 Electric Vehicle bound for Eurotunnel with the pack.
Fresh from its Top Gear ordeal in Romania, the Aston Martin DBS Volante led an escort of Aston Martins. The 2009 celebrated marque swept towards France, mixing it with Ferrari, Maserati, Caterham, Lotus, Morgan, Bentley and Jaguar.
On arrival at Eurotunnel, teams were greeted with a media reception and found a real life Bond girl waiting for them! Tania Mallet who played Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger posed for photographs with the teams and talked of her time with Sean Connery in the famous Goldfinger car chase where the DB5 slashed her tyres!
Expectation was high as John Surtees OBE pointed the Ginetta towards the Channel Tunnel itself to set a new record for driving the 31 miles under the sea to France!
John emerged victorious in Coquelles to collect the first bottle of Louis Jadot Beaujolais En Primeur to ensure that his bottle was the first repatriated to the UK and onward for its presentation at The Ritz Club and Casino, Picadilly.
After a spirited drive south from Calais, the teams found themselves welcomed warmly into the arms of the Taittinger family at their Caves at Place Saint Nicaise, Reims. After a private tour and tasting, the teams headed into the Reims' nightlife.