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Offbeat

Briton caught driving at 265km/h in clandestine race across Europe

The Modball Rally’s motto is ‘Drive all day … Party all night!’ but organisers say drinking is not mandatory and they do not encourage speeding

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 8:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 July, 2018, 8:22pm

A British driver zipping through northern France was caught going 265 kmh (165mph) during a clandestine car rally across Europe, local authorities said on Monday.

The driver was one of six given tickets for going at least 180km/h on the A26, known as the “British Motorway”, which links the port city of Calais with Reims.

The Voix du Nord newspaper, which first reported the racers, showed a picture of one of the stopped vehicles bearing logos for the Modball Rally, an annual event for which the motto is “Drive all day … Party all night!”

Organisers did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but the Modball website says this year’s rally began on Sunday after drivers registered at the Hilton Park Lane hotel in Mayfair, London.

The first leg of the race started at the Intercontinental Hotel near the O2 Arena on the banks of the River Thames and took the competitors to Paris.

The website says drivers are not supposed to race, but that does not stop dozens from competing to be the first to arrive at the daily destinations during the weeklong event.

Four of the drivers stopped on Sunday were temporarily prohibited from driving in France, though the Voix du Nord said they were allowed to continue on their way after their teammates agreed to drive – and they had paid a 750 (US$875) fine.

This year’s Modball involves 180 modified speedsters heading from London to Paris, Lyon, Monaco, Venice and Vienna, where the rally is set to wrap up on Friday.

The organisers have arranged meet and greet events for the drivers and fans of the event at each of the cities along the route.

The race fee of nearly £3,000 (US$4,000) – or £4,000 for the luxury package – also gives participants access to lavish parties, though the Modball website stipulates they are not “required to drink alcohol”.

And the organisers insist they do not encourage speeding.

“We focus on the events each night and keep driving time down to ensure safe journeys between cities,” says a post on their Facebook page.

The organisers are already advertising next year’s race, which they say will end on the Balearic Island of Ibiza in the Mediterranean.