Thanks to the new Official Timing Partner Wyler Genève, participants, spectators and armchair followers of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run were able to follow the progress of each of the 483 cars on the route live for the first time in the event’s 112-year history.
Thousands of spectators lined the 60 mile route to see the annual procession of Edwardian automobilia. Although the event has never been intended as a race, the few pre-1905 racing cars were keen to get ahead of the traffic and arrive in Brighton early, whilst others were simply happy to see the finish line at any hour. The less lucky 63 cars that did not finish had to rely on their support crew or a familiar orange van of the RAC (an event sponsor) to continue their journey.
Having left Hyde Park Corner at sunrise, the first car to cross the finish line – some three hours later - was the 1900 Napier of Mr Christopher Thomas. Finishing his 22nd London to Brighton and the car’s 54th, he arrived ten minutes ahead of the second car, Tim Scott’s 1903 Mercedes two-seat racer and 25 minutes ahead of the 1902 Opel Track Racer of Mr Rene Kreis.
With the LBVCR (London to Brighton Veteran Car Run) celebrating French manufacturer in 2008, 270 of the 550 cars entered for the event were made in France and numerous participants had made the trip over from France. Dancers from the Moulin Rouge saw the cars off from Hyde Park in the morning chill and travelled down to welcome the finishers in the bright afternoon sunshine in Brighton.