We’re right at the business end of the tournament now with only the strongest nations remaining in the competition. Sports cars, classic cars and tiny hatchbacks are all represented in the Redex Car Euro Championships – trying to capture eternal glory for their nation and car driving populations.
There’s home nation interest in the form of Wales, perennial big-performers in Italy and France, and the surprise contenders, Poland. So let 90 minutes (or at least, five minutes) of nail-biting commence as the semi-finals of the Redex Car Euro Championships get underway.
Poland 1-3 Wales
With identical top speeds, the Ypsilon (another Polish-manufactured car with Italian roots) and the Genie are surprisingly well-matched, despite the half a century difference in birth dates. However, the older model gives Wales the lead thanks to impressive performances in the acceleration and brake horsepower categories. And despite a greater MPG performance, Poland can’t scrape back the lead.
Despite suffering a disheartening defeat, Poland’s Lancia Ypsilon should be proud of bearing a name which British tongues struggle to pronounce, much like the national football team’s flying winger Jakub Błaszczykowski and #1 keeper Wojciech Szczęsny.
The full manufacturing run of the Gilbern Genie between 1966 and 1969 oversaw only 197 models ever built – making them almost as rare as a Welsh appearance in a major tournament.
But with this result, that’s Wales through to their first ever major final – who will they face?
Italy 4-1 France
Unfortunately for France, the Renault Clio is more Claude Makélélé than Thierry Henry – small, sensible and perfectly suited to a specific role rather than a cheetah-paced force of power, guile and goal scoring ability. Italy’s Alfa Romeo Spider just had too much for the classic inner-city Clio, designed solely to ferry beautiful French people from café to café.
Going 4-0 up with little contest, the Alfa Romeo eased Italy past the French setting up a final day date with the Welsh.
As France’s participation in the Redex Car Euro Championship comes to an end, they can at least find satisfaction in the consolidation point they secured right at the end with the Clio’s fuel economy proving stronger than that of the profligate Spider.
And the Italians qualify for another major final – this is the ninth in their history (naturally, we only count the big three – FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships and Redex Car Euro Championships).
France have been gracious hosts for the tournament, but they must now make way for the finalists – Wales and Italy. Click through to discover who wins the first ever Redex Car Euro Championships.