Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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PorscheRacingCarSpain’s Guardia Civil traffic division has thwarted a plan to race high-powered sports cars from Spain, through Portugal and then down to Marbella in a modern version of the Gumball Rally.

Three Dutch drivers have been arrested and eight others have been clocked at illegal speeds with several high-end cars seized.

The rally teams were intercepted as their cars passed through the province of Zaragoza on the Catalonia-Madrid stage of The Challenge 2017 - the Private Rally.

Several law-abiding drivers on the AP-2 motorway (Zaragoza-Barcelona) phoned the Guardia Civil traffic police after they had been overtaken by vehicles travelling at break-neck speeds.

Officers quickly set up a speed trap, using a mobile radar on the Zaragoza to Madrid road and logged the speed of eleven speeding vehicles. Three cars were being driven at more than 210 kmph (130mph) and some of the vehicles had their number plates blanked out.

When two of the cars were stopped, the Guardia Civil found accreditations issued by the organisers of the race, as well as detailed route maps for the various stages to be covered through Spain and Portugal.

The driver of a third vehicle, that had been logged at 210 kmph, later was arrested in Madrid.

The three drivers that were caught are Dutch and resident in the Netherlands. All three have been accused of road safety violations.

According to sources at the Guardia Civil, the documents showed the race was to cross Spain into Portugal, head south and then leave the country, ending up in Marbella.

The Challenge organisers say the event is a private organised rally that started in 2002, that it is not a race and there are no time qualifications.

Pitching the appeal of "nice cars, their teams and their life style" - the organisers state that "Challenge Teams are experienced, safe and disciplined drivers who respect local traffic laws and regulation at all times."

Click on The Challenge 2017