E-car driven from Dover to Calais

John Surtees goes for subterranean spin

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

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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.

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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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