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Man vs. Car challenge for London to Brighton Veteran Car Run


1902 Delahay Driver Dan Suskin Runner Duncan Philips


Ultramarathon runner Duncan Philips will take part in a friendly challenge with veteran car driver Dan Suskin to see who gets to the coast first during the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Nov. 4. The annual event is hosted by the Royal Automobile Club and is the world's longest running motoring event.

Dan Suskin, from Atlanta, Ga., has been an enthusiast of the event since childhood and first took part in 2010. This year he will drive his 1902 Delahaye, which has an engine of just six horsepower. Vehicles taking part in the event, which are all built before 1905, must average no more than 20mph for the 60 miles from London to Brighton.

Suskin is a real fan of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. He says: "My plan had always been to do just the one run in 2010, as I had already flown the oldest air race in world – the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett – and now I had driven the oldest car event in the world. But we so thoroughly enjoyed the event that we decided we would go back every year.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge that Duncan has agreed to. As a marathon runner myself, I know well the challenge that long-distance running presents, but cannot even imagine the extremes to which Duncan will need to go on the way down to Brighton. I believe he might fare better than I will on the uphills, but I should pass him again on the downhills!"

Duncan Philips from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, competes in Ironman (swim, ride, run) competitions and, last September, attempted the Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon, which started in Marble Arch, London, and finished at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Having successfully run the 87 miles from London to Dover, he then began swimming the English Channel to Calais. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury 4 miles from the French coast forced him to retire.

Duncan, who is aged 48, says: "Although I’ve been running for several years I only had the idea to run against Dan's car just recently. We have a friendly wager on who will win and the loser must buy the ice creams in Brighton!"

One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, this year's London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will feature a maximum entry of 550 pre-1905 vehicles making their way from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive, Brighton. The event is part of a weekend Celebration of Motoring that includes the RAC Future Car Challenge (for low energy use vehicles) and the Regent Street Motor Show (celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring).

About The Royal Automobile Club

Founded in 1897, the Royal Automobile Club's continuous support and promotion of the development of motoring in Great Britain began with the famous 1000 Mile Trial in 1900. In recent years the Club has focused on running the three largest annual free-to-spectate motor shows in the country.

  • Nov. 3 sees the third annual RAC Future Car Challenge, which runs from Brighton to London and showcases the performance of low energy use vehicles. In excess of 80 electric, hybrid and low fuel consumption conventional vehicles are expected to be entered – some of which will make their debut on UK roads. The RAC Future Car Challenge will support Help for Heroes.
  • The weekend of free motoring action continues with the Regent Street Motor Show, also on Nov. 3. Here the world's premier concours event for veteran cars will be joined by future cars and iconic vehicles to celebrate the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring. Regent Street will be closed to traffic making a relaxed and spacious shopping experience with displays, stage shows, award presentations and passenger rides, making the Regent Street Motor Show an excellent free family day out.
  • The world's oldest motoring event, the annual London to Brighton Royal Automobile Club Veteran Car Run, takes place on Nov. 4 with more than 500 vehicles built before 1905 expected to take part. Each year the event has a chosen country to celebrate and in 2012 it is Great Britain – tying in with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will support The Royal British Legion.

The Royal Automobile Club also awards a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements, while the Motoring Committee continues to foster links and relationships with industry and the wider motoring world.

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