Between the 4th and 5th October at the dizzying Portimao circuit in Portugal a field of 21 pre-war cars took part in the first 24-hour event of its type for 75 years, the ‘Benjafield’s 24’.
Impressively, 20 of those cars finished the marathon which was held to commemorate Captain John Duff’s win at Le Mans in 1924. That race was also Bentley’s first win at Le Sarthe so the grid at Portimao featured a bevvy of cars ‘aligned to the stable of the eclectic Bentley Boys’, which meant a selection of the giant green cars from Cricklewood accompanied by Lagondas, an Aston Martin Ulster, Talbot 105, Chrysler 75, BMW 328 and a Triumph Dolomite 8C.
Teams of three or four drivers each took their turn to do two-hour shifts in between grabbing what sleep they could. The event was less of a race and more of an endurance rally and was by all accounts a great success. In true Bentley style at the the Gala Dinner where the various awards were presented, some of the cars joined the guests in the ballroom!
It all sounds like wonderful fun. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold a similar event here at Goodwood, but after Portimao what are the odds that someone will look to run something similar elsewhere in the UK?