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Cannonball racers made to slow down

‘Welcoming parties’ of gendarmes dished out fines and confiscated licences, clipping the wings of participants

WOULD-BE speedsters in the Cannonball 2000 clandestine car race were forced to slow down by gendarmes.

Around 50 drivers of high-powered sports cars like Lamborghinis, Maseratis and a De Lorean made their way down the west of France yesterday, as planned. However “welcoming committees” of gendarmes along the way clipped their wings.

The drivers were expected to cross into Spain around 21.00 last night – much later than some participants, aiming for 17.00 in Barcelona, had planned.

They were met straight off the ferry from Portsmouth at Saint-Malo and made to take breath tests and checked for illegal speed camera detectors (one was confiscated).

Between Brittany and the Gironde two driving licences were confiscated for speeds of 150kph and 160kph in a 110kph limit and 25 speeding offences resulted in upfront fines. After that the cars appear to have slowed down.

One participant, in a red Ferrari decorated with a giant fluffy Tweety-Pie, said he was “escorted all the way from Saint-Malo to south of Nantes by a helicopter and gendarmes on motorbikes”.

The drivers were set to party in Barcelona last night and this morning were setting off again, for Monaco.

Previous story: Gendarmes will ‘welcome’ racers

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