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Champagne Charlie 2022 | A 2CV, a lambo, 40 degree heat... & Alicia Keys!

It might be 3 years since this rally had a run out - but the old favorite was in fine form as we returned to the lands of fizz, mountains and sunshine with a bang(er)!

We made our triumphant return to Saint-Quentin in time for Bastille Day celebrations. Our beach party registration was filled with the usual fun and frolics - and excuses for forgetting paperwork! About 50% of teams were veterans meaning we had a great mix of teams to undertake the original route of Monte Carlo or Bust with only the small matter of a huge heatwave to content with. Late into the evening fireworks were set off over the main square and (most of) our teams were to bed at a sensible time.

A bright and early start on Friday morning and we were treated to a smoke display by the Wrong Arrows accompanied by some flying body parts from SHambulance - that was already firing on 3 cylinders before she crossed the start line.

The Wrong Arrows


There were some amazing outfits on display at the start line including Beetlejuice, Mario & Luigi, and The Hulk. Have sympathy for the SHambulance team who had coated themselves in fake blood made from something sugary - so they spent most of the morning getting chased by the local battalion of French wasps.

The start line (38 degrees!)

Our bangers rallied (not raced!) away with a handful of challenges to complete for the day including fisting a postman, pulling a pint and cooking in a campervan! Heading South-East and following quick pit stop at Reims, we were on the Champagne route!

Daily challenges

Day one saw a number of cars suffer with the heat, a couple of the MGs clearly weren't used to the climate - and the VW Beetle decided it didn't like its exhaust anymore. However, with a bit of TLC all our cars rolled into Dijon where we were treated to an outdoor concert by the excellent Jo Ivorra. It was great to hear all the stories from the day, including that The Shapes had thought the challenges had to be attempted in order, so had driven through the Champagne route several times. They saw the funny side - eventually!

Teams were delighted to hear that day 2 began with a bin liner fashion show to help soak up the sweat. We had a lively morning as several teams mucked in to bring a suffering Zafira back to life. The VW Beatle also made it onto the ramp to get its exhaust sorted.

Bin liner beauty

It wasn't long before we were off, heading South towards Switzerland and Lake Geneva. It wasn't a straight forward drive though as our teams were tasked with collecting random items on the way ...including the all important photocopy of a banana. Every car should have one.

Banana copy

As we continued along the shores of Lake Geneva, it was time to start climbing the mountains and heading for the mighty St. Bernard's Pass. At least, this was the case for most teams! One team got a bit confused and headed Gotthard Pass - only a few hundred miles in the wrong direction. We won't name them (SHambulance).

It was glorious weather at the top of the pass - and probably the least amount of snow we have ever seen. Temperatures will still high and several cars required breathers to recover from the climb. It provided too much for a few and several cars ended up in the did a few others than missed the turning for the pass :)

The evening of day two was spent in the home of Fiat and the Italian Job - Turin. The crazy road system and blistering heat tested our drivers to the max but they all safely landed in the end. We spent the evening cooling off and comparing scavenger hunt results.

Day three was a relaxed start with a few extra hours in bed and a visit to the Torino Motor Museum - the home of one of the best car collections in the world.

From Turin, it's a short 3.5hr drive to Monte Carlo. It's manly downhill, so teams enjoyed the chance to give the engines a bit of a rest and take in the stunning scenery of the coastal highway.

We dropped into a jam-packed Monaco as temperatures continued to rise. There were a number of celebs in town and we soon found out why, as we turned the corner straight into the set-up of an Alicia Keys concert. Sorry about that Alicia!

Unbelievably, despite the heat, all our beautiful bangers made it across the finish line. A few laps of the circuit, snaps in front of the casino and we were all soon on our way to Nice.

As usual, we gathered all our teams together on Sunday evening to celebrate a brilliant few days together. Our awards presentation was made even better air conditioning and more excellent live music that went on long into the evening.

Celebrations in Nice

Well done to all our teams! Thank you all for taking part, it was amazing.

We are back baby!


Roll of honour:

Champions: Wrong Arrows

Runners up: The Shapes

Best Dressed Team: Beetlejuice

Best Dressed Car: SHambulance

Best Team Spirit: Speedy Bob


Champions: Wrong Arrows

Runners-up: The Shapes

Best Dressed Team: Beetlejuice

Best Dressed Car: SHambulance

Best Team Spirit: Speedy Bob

Monte Carlo or Bust: Champagne Charlie is the original Bust Rally adventure. Started in 2013, it's seen thousands of participants rising to the challenge of a rust-bucket romp across Europe.

Fancy giving it a go?! Find out more at

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