• Rene Robertson

Monty Carlo Classic Car Rally

Dozens of classic cars have set off from Paisley in the 2018 Monte Carlo Classic Rally.

Spectators watched 70 cars leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey on Wednesday evening, the highest number of entrants so far.

Twenty-four of the cars will make the journey to Monaco, with the first crews due to arrive on Saturday evening.

They will join 293 other cars from across Europe, with Paisley the only UK start point in the competition.

Crowds gathered to wave off the procession, which was led by a 1961 Triumph Herald Coupe, one of around 20 thought to be still on the road.

Renfrewshire's Provost Lorraine Cameron said she was "thrilled" to be welcoming the Monte Carlo Classic Rally back to Paisley.

It is the fifth time the town has hosted the event, which featured classics from Jaguar, Fiat, MG and Mini across the three event categories.

The Historique event is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980.

Now in its 21st year, it will run over eight days on open roads finishing in Monte Carlo on Wednesday.

Crews have to undertake 15 average speed test stages in the mountains of southern France.

Next off the ramp was the Classique event, which was open to cars as old as 1911.

It was introduced three years ago to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the first Rallye Monte Carlo in 1926.

For these competitors, the focus is on simply reaching Monte Carlo, with many expected to arrive on Saturday night.

The final event to reach the start ramp was the Monte Heritage Run offering motoring enthusiasts the chance to complete a more leisurely route to either Stirling or Dumfries.

For the crews that successfully make it to Monaco, a gala and prizes giving ceremony will take place on Wednesday 7 February in the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club's Salle des Etoiles.

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