Eight edition of the Zoute Grand Prix shows suppremacy again.
When the Zoute Automobile Club started 8 years ago with the Zoute Grand Prix, few could have dreamed of what the event looks like now. In just a few years, the Zoute GP has surpassed all the traditional classic car rallies that take place in Belgium. There is literally no other event in Belgium that attracts that much attention in in the national and international press. And that is not only the automotive press, as the complete city of Knokke participates in the succes and the atmosphere of the Zoute GP.
The epicentre of the event is the Albert Plein in Knokke Zoute, better known as the ‘place m’as tu vu’. Both the drivers club and the Bonhams Auction tent are located there. On Thursday , the visitors can witness the technical scrutineering of the classic cars that participate in the rally that starts Friday early morning after breakfast. In the neighbourhood, most of the shops , galleries, bars and restaurants have decorated their windows in an automotive style.The complete weekend of the Zoute GP 2017 is built on several events : the Zoute Top Marques, the Zoute Rally, the Bonhams Zoute Sale, the Zoute Concour’s d’Elegance and the Zoute GT Tour.
The Zoute Top Marques
The Kustlaan and the earlier mentioned Albertplein is the place to be when you want to spot the latest models of the premium partners of the Zoute GP. Both on Saturday and Sunday, the streets are crowded to admire the cars that are on the different podia. No other place, except maybe for a major car show, where you will be able to see the quality shown at the Zoute Top Marques. The following top brands had a podium and showed at least one car. Alpine, Alpina, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Land Rover, Audi, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Mc Laren, BMW, Alfa-Romeo, Lamborghini, Lexus, Tesla & Bugatti.
The Zoute Rally
The Zoute Rally is a regularity rally that allows car first registered from 1920 to 1965. An impressive number of nearly 220 cars entered in the 2017 Zoute Rally. There are 2 formulas designed. There is a more ‘touristic’ rally, that drives a long shorter routes without imposed average speed and RT. The absence of the competition stress allows the participants to fully enjoy the scenic routes. The more competitive formula is the actual regularity rally with an imposed average speed and RTs. Both rallies share some of the roads, and brings them to the same spots for coffee break or lunch. The road book brought the competiors the first day to the region of Oudenaarde where some exquisite food waited. After lunch, the cars started back, heading to Knokke Zoute again, with the obligte Flying 1/4 Mile inKnokke-Heist to bring some extra excitement to the largely gathered crowd. Saturday brought the participants to Yerseke in the Netherlands, over highly picturesque roads. As Yerseke is best known for the mussels, no surprise lunch took place at the offices of the well-known Premier Mosselen. Even though many of the classic cars had been driving in torrendeous rain all day, we only spotted happy people, enjoying the ride and the food to the most.
Porsche fans definitely had busy days spotting all the Porsches competing in the rally. There were numerous Porsche 356 from all ages participating in both the formulas, from early Porsche 356 A Coupes over the legendary Porsche 356 Speedster and it’s successors : the Porsche 356 Convertible D and Porsche 356 Roadster to the most powerfull of the Porsche 356 model range : the Porsche 356 C. only cars first registered till 1965 are allowed in the Zoute Rally, with the result that only 1 Porsche 911 could be spotted. The absolute eye catchers in the rally are the 2 iconic Porsche 550 Spyders that are meanwhile known among the regular vistors of the Zoute GP.
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