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500 Slovak kilometres

Where the tracks end, the race begins

The legendary historic vehicle race is back on the road. Period atmosphere filled with burnt gasoline, hot oil and rumbling engines is a magical attraction for the spectators, while competitors are unable to resist the opportunity to measure their strength and find new friendships in the struggle.

The race itself will be complemented this year by exhibitions of historical vehicles, a charity ride of the Slovak Arrow railcar and the Drop of Hope foundation, a lovely children’s race entitled 100 Bratislava meters or a charity concert.

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The legendary 500 Slovak kilometres speed race was held in 1937 and 1938 on the circuit Bratislava – Malacky – Baba – Pezinok – Bratislava. To actually travel 500 kilometres, the riders had to cover this circuit five times in total.

For the first time, the race started on June 20, 1937 in extremely unfavourable weather conditions. With a time of 5 hours, 12 minutes and 3 seconds, the absolute winner in the car category was Ján Kubíček on a Bugatti car having a Ford engine. On the wet and difficult to go track there were several accidents and falls in the corners on the Pezinská Baba, but already a year later the competitors were ready to fight for the first place again at the start.

Driving 500 Slovak kilometers for several years has become part of another well-known race – 1000 Czechoslovak miles, but it is currently being renewed as a separate race in its full glory. In 2004, the 27th year of the competition started on the original track of the race under the apt title “Original 500 Slovak kilometres”.

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The speed race is based on the preservation of history, and therefore in this and the following years, the riders will take a challenging trip along the winding roads of Pezinská Baba, where they will travel on beautiful roads through the heart of Slovakia from the very heart of the High Tatras.

A novelty compared to the past will be the “prologue”, which will take place in the Tatra Truck Museum in Kopřivnice. It is here that the 500-kilometer race through Slovakia will be combined with a gem on the rails, the Slovak Arrow railcar, which will accompy the entire race and become a part of it.

The competition is run in three stages or in a prologue and two competitive stages respectively. Prologue of the race leads from Tatra Truck Museum Kopřivnice to Tatranská Lomnica on Wednesday, June 29. The day will be brightened by a historic vehicle and Slovak Arrow exhibition in Tatranská Lomnica in front of the Lomnica hotel and the adjacent park. The parking lot and the park will be filled with veterans, period music and preparations for the ceremonial arrival of the Slovak Arrow railcar. There will be an opening ceremony of the race in the evening.

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The first stage will start on 30 June at 7 a.m. The vehicles will go from Tatranská Lomnica to Bratislava via Spišská Sobota in Poprad, Telgárt, Brezno, Banská Bystrica, Zvolen, Hodruša-Hámre, Jedľové Kostoľany, Nitra and Sereď. The finish is at Hviezdoslav Square. At 10:20 a.m., the Slovak Arrow train will also leave for Bratislava. There will also be a vehicle exhibition on Hviezdoslav Square. It will take place between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in front of the Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel. The racers will be here at 5:30 p.m. At the same time, the Slovak Arrow will report the arrival at the Bratislava Transport Museum.

The next day, the second stage will begin at 8 a.m. It will lead through Slovenský Grob, Viničné and Pezinok to Pezinská Baba and from there through Pernek, Jablonové, Lozorno and Stupava back to Bratislava. The racers are to arrive at Hviezdoslav Square between 14:30 and 15:30 p.m. Competitors will also race to the top of Pezinská Baba on this day. This regularity run will take place between 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meanwhile, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can see the Slovak Arrow railcar in the Transport Museum. And on the square again the exhibition of historic vehicles from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be on display. Staring at 4 p.m. and lasting to 6:30 p.m., the race of the most little riders, 100 Bratislava metres, will begin.

Hviezdoslav Square will be then immersed in music in the evening. At 8 p.m., a charity concert in support of bone marrow donors will begin. Ondřej Havelka and his Melody Makers together with Bratislava Hot Serenaders will perform and as guests Juraj Bača, Peter Lipa, Katka Koščová, Zuzana Mauréry, Kamil Mikulčík, Soňa Norisová, Barbora Švidraňová, Peter Cmorik and Peter Bič Projekt will be present, too.

On Saturday, June 2, the participants of the rally will be leaving. You will see them gradually leaving Hviezdoslav Square between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. However, the Slovak Arrow will remain in the Transport Museum, so you will be able to come here to admire it at the same time as the previous day. The iconic fast railcar will say goodbye to Bratislava a day later at 10 a.m.

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International competition of historic vehicles within the FIVA organization with the support of Association of Collectors of Historic Vehicles of Slovakia is organized by Design Veteran Car Club Bratislava in cooperation with Tatra Truck Museum and Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

The competition is open for historic personal cars up to the 1945 model year. There are 6 categories of vehicles in the race. The race is held on open roads off the expressways, while observing the road traffic regulations. The winners in each category will be the crews with the best result of the evaluated criteria. In each category the riders placed 1st – 3rd will receive an award. The absolute winner of the competition will receive the travelling cup.