2023 was a momentous year for Rally the Globe culminating in the not-for-profit club’s first long-distance ‘Marathon’ style event – an epic 7,500 mile (12,000kms) driving adventure from chilly Alaska to sun-drenched Mexico across no fewer than 38 lines of latitude.
Soon 2024 will dawn with an even more enthralling and spectacular programme of unforgettable motoring odysseys for vintage and classic cars.
For the first time, Rally the Globe will be offering ‘Carrera’ and ‘Challenge’ as well as ‘Marathon’ style competitive escapades all within a single year of its eagerly-anticipated globe-trotting calendar.
The year commences in grand style in South East Asia with the Road to Hanoi Marathon (27 January-23 February) with two continental European ventures to follow: Carrera Bavaria (16-26 June) and Austria to Athens Challenge (30 September – 13 October).
The comprehensive five event schedule also includes two established favourites based closer to home: the third running of the award-winning Generations Rally (22-24 March), and the Vintage Shamrock (6-9 May) which is organised in partnership with Irish Racing Green.
“Generations and the Vintage Shamrock have swiftly established themselves as much-loved – and significant – staples on our calendar,” confirmed Mark Appleton, Rally the Globe’s busy Clerk of the Course. “The former encourages younger participants to enjoy our sport while, set in stunning Irish scenery, the latter never fails to deliver all the hospitality and charm for which Ireland is so renowned.”
Endorsing their popularity, both those events are already at full capacity with Reserve Lists open. Both also offer participants eye-catching new vistas with new locations for 2024. Next year’s Generations Rally will be based in the heart of the Cheshire countryside and includes Tests and Regularity Sections in the midst of the Welsh mountains while now in its fifth year the Vintage Shamrock, a celebration of pre-war motoring, moves north in the Emerald Isle to the ancient kingdom of Connacht including a visit to the spectacular Connemara.
“It promises to be our best year yet with something special for all our members,” confirmed Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s vastly experienced Rally Director.
“As our second Marathon, the Road to Hanoi is going to be an incredible journey of discovery on the trails of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos, and our two continental expeditions will offer many, perhaps surprising delights with routes travelling through often undiscovered regions.”
Indeed, Gallagher has just returned from driving the entire Carrera Bavaria itinerary and was bowled over by the ever-changing beauty of the scenery, the excellence of the luxurious hotels and the availability of traffic-free roads and test tracks along the way.
“Southern Germany really is a truly incredible area that is all too often overlooked by travellers. It ranges from the wine regions in the north to the majesty of the Alps in the south, via medieval villages, crystal clear lakes and the famed Black Forest,” enthused the incredibly well-travelled Gallagher.
“I’ve got to say I was amazed and delighted by what our crews are going to experience in the late summer sunshine. The underestimated beauty and deserted roads are certainly going to astound many, while the many added attractions – including trips to notable museums and the Porsche Experience circuit at Hockenheim – will delight others. I had a big smile on my face all the way!”
The ever-industrious and creative Rally the Globe team has well-founded high expectations for the Austria to Athens Challenge, too. For the more intrepid – and visiting seven countries in 14 days – this two week competitive automotive adventure is set on a mix of asphalt and gravel roads from the Alps, through the lesser-known parts of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania all the way down the Balkans to the wonders of the ancient capital of Greece by the warm waters of the Aegean Sea.
While many events are already at capacity a few places remain open for both Carrera Bavaria and the Austria to Athens Challenge. Looking further ahead, entries for both the 2025 Generations Rally and Vintage Shamrock will open in March and May respectively. Moreover, Rally the Globe is starting to plan a third Marathon – Islands of Japan Marathon, which will be an incredible journey through the cultural and topographical landscapes of faraway Japan in the Autumn.
“There’s no standing still,” confirmed the highly-regarded Appleton who has just returned from an initial recce of sections of the outstanding Austria to Athens route. “With five very different events on the calendar, 2024’s portfolio is perfectly primed to build on our many recent successes and we are already starting to explore the globe for further wonderful driving adventures thereafter. We never stop moving!”
RALLY THE GLOBE CALENDAR (2024-2025)*
27 January – 23 February 2024 Road to Hanoi Marathon
22-24 March 2024 Generations Rally
6-9 May 2024 Vintage Shamrock**
16-26 June 2024 Carrera Bavaria
30 September – 13 October 2024 Austria to Athens Challenge
28-30 March 2025 Generations Rally
12-15 May 2025 Vintage Shamrock**
24 September – 21 October 2025 Islands of Japan Marathon
*Further events to be announced shortly and 2025 dates provisional
**In association with Irish Racing Green