E-car driven from Dover to Calais

John Surtees goes for subterranean spin

Leccy Tech Veteran racing driver John Surtees has become the first man to drive from Britain to France in an electric car.


John Surtees at the Channel Tunnel's halfway point
Credit: David Barzilay

Surtees – the only man to ever win world championships on both four and two wheels – yesterday drove a prototype Ginetta G50EV through the 31-mile Channel Tunnel that runs from Dover to Calais.

The drive was designed to celebrate Eurotunnel's 15th anniversary, while also raising awareness for the Burlington Beaujolais Run (BBR) – an annual car-themed charity event.

Surtees actually drove through one of the Channel Tunnel’s service passageways, meaning his speed was limited to 31mph – rather than the G50EV's 120mph top-end.

The racing veteran also stopped at the tunnel’s halfway point, where French and British diggers first met in 1990 for a photo call as they signed the tunnel’s wall.


Surtees and his G50EV emerge in Calais

Register Hardware’s dream of some in-tunnel Italian Job-style tunnel acrobatics wasn't fulfilled, sadly.

Thirty-five conventionally powered sports cars also travelled the same distance through the tunnel – but aboard the passenger shuttle - before continuing down to BBR’s final destination of Mâcon in the Bourgogne region of eastern France. ®

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