Businesses in Banbury are being asked to drive support for the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.
They're being encouraged by the district council to display promotional posters in shop windows and encourage customers to experience the event.
On Thursday, 1 February, the annual rally will stop in Banbury for the first time since 1962 as dozens of drivers driving historic cars make their way in convoy from Glasgow to Monte Carlo.
Cherwell District Council is encouraging business and shoppers to welcome the drivers whilst using the event as an opportunity to promote the town.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell’s lead member for estates and the economy, said: “The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique attracts international followers so the fact that Banbury has been chosen as an official passage control point is hugely exciting. Not only will this entice fans into the town centre, but it will give businesses the chance to promote themselves to new visitors and reap the benefits of such an historic event.
“We want people who travel in for the event to see what else Banbury has to offer; an historic old town of independent traders, a precinct with national retailers and a good selection of eateries, pubs and cafes where they can take time to recuperate. This is a great opportunity to put Banbury on the map for visitors as well as the drivers so I would encourage all businesses to get involved and take advantage of this momentous occasion.”
Cherwell has designed promotional posters which businesses can download for free and display in their windows.
The rally will comprise a 1,500 mile journey, starting in Scotland on 31 January, passing through England before finishing in Monaco with a black tie dinner on Sunday, 4 February.
On 1 February, the rally drivers will congregate in Bridge Street and Market Place where they will be joined by a display of more than 100 vintage cars from local exhibitors and clubs. Local businesses including Prodrive, Brackley-based BGM and Tuthill Porsche will all join the display as will representatives of Blue Diamond Riley Services in Bicester who will also be participating in the rally in a 1949 MG TC car.
Banbury market will go ahead as usual with additional stalls selling street food and refreshments to the crowds.
The event takes place between 10am and 3.30pm. From 1.30pm, the rally vehicles will leave the town at one minute intervals. During the event Bridge Street and Market Place will remain closed to traffic.
Promotional posters are available to download from https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/info/3/leisure-and-culture/500/explore-cherwell/2