Published on : September 1st 2020
All set for the 2020 Normandy Beach Race
September 1st 2020

Renault Classic is proud to announce its involvement in the Normandy Beach Race 2020, being held on the historic “Sword” beach in Ouistreham from September 26 to 27.

This exciting event, premiered last year, gathers hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles for three days of motoring thrills on the family-friendly Riva Bella beach, only hours from Paris.

Entry preference is given to pre-1949 cars and pre-1947 motorcycles, with other pre-1964 vehicles, including hot-rods, allowed subject to selection. Drivers, co-drivers and event staff dress in period clothing to help conjure up a magical era in motoring history.

In 2020, Renault will be showcasing the 1934 Nervasport des Records, whose rocket-like shape was designed by Caudron-Renault engineer Marcel Riffard. Its eight cylinders 4,825cc engine could deliver 108hp and hit a top speed over 170kph – although fans will enjoy seeing it better at a more sedate speed.

Also running will be a 1938 Coupé Primaquatre, a very stylish roadster lovingly restored from a “barn find” or sortie de grange as it’s known in France.

On static display will be a 1933 Primaquatre KZ10 that was transformed into a tow truck sometime in the 1940 or early 1950s, This will be on the Renault Classic stand, where you can also buy fashionable items from the Renault Classic collection range produced specifically for this event.

The event is inspired by The Race of Gentlemen (“TROG”), an annual weekend of racing held on New Jersey’s beaches since 1905. Close friends Jean-Marc Lazzari, Marc Felix and Thomas Hervé attended a TROG event in Santa Barbara, California, and then spent two years planning this French tribute, drawing 14,000 motoring fans to its launch last year.

The Normandy Beach Race borrows several notable features from its American cousin, including the high-jumping flag-women who start each event. Cars and motorcycles are paired up to race each other across the sands in a sometimes less-than serious drag-style race. Winners gain bragging rights, while losers have a chance to go again.

Spectators are encouraged to join in the atmosphere by dressing just like those who came to watch the famous American beach races of the 40s. With free entry for all, you can enjoy the sensory experience of the unique sight, noises and smells of these old motors, while admiring the vehicles up close in the parc fermé or shopping with the many vendors and food trucks.

The three days start on Friday with a static exhibition outside Ouistreham Town Hall, with free access to the public. On Saturday, Sep 26, 350 vehicles will cruise the Riva-Bella Beach waterfront, with runs on the sand all day, followed by an “After-Run Party” until late that includes flood-lit night runs. On Sunday, the cruising continues as do the sand runs, and the party runs down with a collective beach clean at 6pm. 

The history of Sword Beach, where the Liberation of Europe began with the D-Day landings of 6 June 1944 can be explored in the nearby Musée du No.4 Commando. Historic Caen is a short walk away and visitors with an interest in history will also enjoy seeing William the Conqueror's and Queen Mathilda's tombs, not to mention the Bayeux Tapestry.

Renault Classic is excited to be part of this remarkable event, with its connections to Renault, French, European and World history.