For the love of supercars
Christo Thompson is the founder of The Run To Monaco, a spectacular supercar adventure to the Monaco Grand Prix. Discover his love of the open road and highlights of the 2020 rally from Rome.
What inspired you to start The Run to Monaco?
I’m a huge fan of the golden age of grand tour motoring, when adventurous couples would set out on bespoke routes across Europe. Driving in those days was romantic and adventurous, a far cry from what most people are exposed to today. By setting up The Run To Monaco, we’re able to capture this same spirt and discover spectacular lesser-known beauty spots along the way. Finishing in style at the Monaco Grand Prix each year fits perfectly with the experience we like to create.
What do you love most about the rallies?
It’s hard to describe the sense of camaraderie which develops on these trips, and let’s face it driving amazing cars in beautiful places has an awful lot to recommend it. Roaring over a drawbridge into a medieval castle amongst a fleet of supercars is a spine-tingling experience that’s difficult to beat.
Finding new and creative ways to entertain entrants when they’re not in their cars is also one of our favourite challenges. The Run To Monaco is about much more than the drive, we take great care to arrange a host of performances and parties in some unusual venues along the route.
Why change the itinerary each year?
When I founded The Run To Monaco, we didn’t know it would become so addictive for our guests. Having said it was a once in a lifetime trip, many people come back again and again so we’re obliged to make an entirely new adventure each year. Having explored Europe from Lisbon to Dubrovnik, offering something different certainly keeps us busy.
What’s your favourite memory from last year?
It has to be starting the rally in Paris, at Dorchester Collection’s outstanding Hôtel Plaza Athénée. The atmosphere at the start line was fuelled with excitement and the hotel’s colourful red façade, along the famous avenue Montaigne, made for a beautiful backdrop and a memorable launch. Our fleet set off with tremendous fanfare and our first left turn took us over the Pont d’Iéna and past the majestic Eiffel Tower – truly magical.
Where’s this year’s event?
For our 2020 The Run To Monaco, Rome has been selected as a very deserving starting point, giving us a completely different route to last year. The fact that Italy produces many of the world’s most sought-after supercars also adds to the excitement.
We’ll set out from Dorchester Collection’s Hotel Eden, having stayed the night at this exceptionally stylish hotel. Our drive will then take us through scenic Tuscany and picturesque Portofino on the Italian Riviera.
How do you go about designing the routes?
By living out of a suitcase for weeks! Over the last decade, we’ve had a team of researchers on the road for a good part of the year, building up an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best places to drive. The venues are incredibly important too, and I suspect we’d make a good living as a location agency for films! To knit together stunning scenery, empty roads, hidden retreats, exquisite food and unforgettable evenings can only be done in person.
What other adventures are you planning?
We’ve put on adventures in Europe, the Americas, and in the Middle East and in 2020 we’re breaking new ground with our first rally in Asia. Tropical beaches, jungles, tea plantations and the Singapore Grand Prix will make for an exceptional trip.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
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An authentic Roman spirit infuses this radiant hotel, alive with the stories of a legendary city and the hospitality of its remarkable people.Discover more
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