The sun had barely risen behind the famous column gracing the Place Vendôme as the 91 crews prepared to embark on a first stage of 303 kilometres with no less than highly technical 14 regularity zones on their way to Beauval. The sun shone brightly, as did Aurora Straus, the young American driver and partner of the brand, who slid behind the wheel of the N°1 car, a red Porsche 356, one of eight Porsches sporting Richard Mille’s livery and dedicated to special guests. The 20-year old Straus is a familiar figure on motorsport tracks Stateside, where she has competed against men in the IMSA Continental Tire SportCar Challenge for the past three years.
In the end, the stopwatch played traffic cop in Saint-Tropez the last day, breaking the tie. The result? A fifth victory for Carole Gratzmuller and a third for her co-driver, Elisa Noémie Laurent, aboard a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray bearing number 56. A triumphal ovation awaited the 200 Princesses as the last mechanical roars were heard. ‘We could not have imagined a more wonderful week with which to celebrate the 20th year of the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille. The weather was just perfect, the race was tight up to the finish line, and we have two magnificent winners who perfectly embody what this sporting challenge is all about. It’s a rally for women that has nothing to envy the most famous of men’s events,’ confided Viviane Zaniroli, the rally’s organiser.