Huge crowds expected for historic Monte Carlo Rally’s return to Banbury

Competitors gather at the start of the Banbury stage of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique NNL-180102-171357009
Competitors gather at the start of the Banbury stage of the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique NNL-180102-171357009

Huge crowds are expected when the most well-known historic car rally in the world returns to Banbury for the second year running at the end of January.

In February last year, thousands gathered in Market Place and along Bridge Street to see the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique return to the town for the first time in 50 years.

The councils are now preparing for when the event returns once again on Thursday, January 31.

Douglas Anderson, coordinator of the UK leg of the rally, said: “The crowds lining the streets: the knowledgeable enthusiasts peering under bonnets and asking questions, the great show put on by the district council and the warm welcome from the town council, it was not a difficult decision to return to Banbury in 2019.”

The UK leg of the rally starts in Clydebank, Dumbartonshire at 6pm on Wednesday, January 30, ahead of the 1,500 mile rally to Monaco.

Cars taking part are set to start arriving in Banbury from late morning on January 31.

The stop will be a chance for the veteran vehicles to be serviced by Bicester’s Blue Diamond Riley Services and for the drivers and navigators to take a rest and eat.

Once again the day will begin with a display of classic and notable cars from major motorsport firms, local companies, classic car clubs and private owners.

The event will coincide with Banbury Charter Market which will include additional food stalls to help keep out the cold and sustain the crowds.

Cherwell District Council lead member for financial management and governance Cllr Tony Ilott said: “So many jobs and lives in Cherwell rely on the automotive and motorsport sector.

“Companies of all sizes exploit our strategic position in the UK and the rally once again finds Banbury the most desirable location to stop and share a bit of the excitement that follows it around.”

Classic car owners can still apply to display their pride and joy alongside race teams, car clubs and major manufacturers when the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique returns to Banbury.

Email tom.duckham@cherwellandsouthnorthants.gov.uk, or call 01295 221704.

Details of necessary road closures will be published in due course.