This past weekend in Michigan, hundreds of rusted-out shitboxes likely spewed fluids, rust, and unburnt fuel all over the roadway, and while that event had its own share of drama, it didn’t get hit hard by the fuzz like a fancy-car road rally in Europe did. Specifically, German police stopped “Eurorally” last week due to suspicion that there may have been some illegal racing going on on the unrestricted Autobahn.
Eurorally is a road rally, kind of like the Gambler 500 run across the U.S., except the cars tend to be much nicer, it’s run on paved roads, and there’s a ~$900 entry fee—which is nearly double what many Gambler cars cost. The route is fairly lengthy starting in Oslo, Norway and finishing up in Prague, Czech Republic, and there’s no tough off-road segment. Plus, the organization claims the event is “not a competition” and that Eurorally is really just a “holiday planner.” So, actually, in many ways, Eurorally is very much not the Gambler 500.
In any case, according to the German newspaper Bild, a group of sports cars was traveling on the A20 stretch of Autobahn in Germany at claimed speeds of up to 155 mph, when other drivers notified the authorities, who arrived and yanked over 100 cars out of traffic and into a rest stop.
As Bild puts it, the cars were pulled over in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern under “suspicion” that they may have taken part in an illegal race. Apparently the police wasn’t playing around, bringing helicopters into the fray. From the story (translated from German):
The police also set up mobile and stationary checkpoints along the highway, and two helicopters supported the action. There were police officers of the Presidia Rostock and Neubrandenburg and the Federal Police in action.
Seriously, just look at this video from a BMW i8 driver participating in the event; German police appear to be rolling deep:
The story says the police are investigating the situation due to the concern that the Autobahn driving may have been illegal racing, and that it may have put other drivers at risk. According to the article, a police representative made it clear that she wanted to ensure that no further races were conducted.
Global News breaks down in the caption to its YouTube video (shown above) a little further why German police pulled the cars over, writing:
“Just some car guys having fun,” said one of the drivers.
The German police said they had strong indications that this was not the case and, having gathered photos and testimonies from witnesses complaining about what appeared to be an illegal road race with cars overtaking aggressively at high speed and using the emergency lane to get past.
While the investigations continued, police said they would let the drivers back on the road on Friday afternoon but released them slow, one by one and with lots of distance between each of them.
I reached out to Eurorally over Facebook, but the organization declined to comment. It did, however, recently post on its Facebook page, alluding to—I suspect—this incident in Germany, writing:
We want to thank all participants of Eurorally 2019 and are touched by everyone who sacrifised so much!
Especially because of the circumstances during this year’s trip.
Hope to see you all next year!
When asked by someone in the Instagram comments section if everyone got their cars back, Eurorally wrote “Yes, they released all cars from Friday 13:00 - Saturday night.” According to the organization’s Instagram page, participants were able to continue on to the rally’s conclusion in Prague:
So basically, the “Germans Are Strict” stereotype is no joke. That, and maybe these folks in the rally were actually screwing around—it’s not entirely clear at this point.