• Nov 18th 2009 at 7:29PM
  • 10
Ginetta G50EV and John Surtees at the Channel Tunnel – click above for high-res gallery

Electric cars have been around for over 100 years, and Britain's Beaujolais Burlington Run has been going on for 37. The Channel Tunnel between the UK and France (a.k.a. "The Chunnel") turns 15 this year. On Tuesday, motor racing legend John Surtees added a bit of history to all three items by being the first person to drive a production car through the tunnel (usually, it's just trains and service vehicles down there). The F1 World Champion's vehicle of choice was an all-electric, all-sexy Ginetta G50EV.

Ginetta Cars has been making vehicles for 51 years, but the G50EV is something new. It's Ginetta's first EV, and is really the company's first entry into the "low carbon vehicle arena" full-stop. The car's three battery packs drive the rear wheels with a brushless DC motor in honor of Ginetta's sports car heritage. Officials say that the G50EV can go up to 120 mph and has a 250-mile range – plenty to cover the Chunnel's 31 miles.


  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees crosses the Channel tunnel in a Ginetta G50EV electric sports car prototype in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees crosses the Channel Tunnel in a Ginetta G50EV electric sports car prototype in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees crosses the Channel tunnel in a Ginetta G50EV electric sports car prototype in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A Ginetta G50 EV electric sports car driven by motor sport great John Surtees drives through the service tunnel of Euro Tunnel from England to France on November 17, 2009, as part of the celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. Eurotunnel has teamed up with The Burlington Beaujolais Run and British sports car maker Ginetta to take on the challenge. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees drives toward the exit of the Channel tunnel in a Ginetta G50EV electric sports car prototype in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees crosses the Channel Tunnel in a Ginetta G50EV electric sports car prototype in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • British former Formula One and Moto GP world champion John Surtees (L) lays a laurel wreath onto a Ginetta G50 EV electric sports car after driving through the Channel tunnel, in Coquelles, northern France, on November 17, 2009. Surtees crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France by driving the car in the Eurotunnel service tunnel in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Motor sport great John Surtees waves to onlookers in Folkestone, southern England, on November 17, 2009, as he sits behind the wheel of a Ginetta G50 EV electric sports car before driving through the service tunnel of Euro Tunnel from England to France as part of the celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. Eurotunnel has teamed up with The Burlington Beaujolais Run and British sports car maker Ginetta to take on the challenge. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Jacques Gounon (R) Chairman and Chief Executive of Eurotunnel, talks with motorsport great John Surtees after he drove through the service tunnel of Euro Tunnel from England to France on November 17, 2009, in an electric-powered Ginetta sports car as part of the celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of the opening of the Channel Tunnel. Eurotunnel has teamed up with The Burlington Beaujolais Run and British sports car maker Ginetta to take on the challenge. AFP PHOTO/Adrian Dennis (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

[Source: Telegraph | Images: Adrian Dennis/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see there's a camera mounted on top of the car. Does this mean there's a video of the trip out there somewhere?
      • 5 Years Ago
      COOL! Great choice of car! :D
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't half the fun of driving through a tunnel the sound (which this car doesnt have)? I guess this is good for publicity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That looks like alot of fun.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great car and its look so must awesome..!!

      http://www.automotivecraze.com
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is really a job of some adventurous kind of people.What else we can say ???? after his son death.But watching John while driving such a way makes us to hold our chair.

      http://www.macktruck.org/
      • 5 Years Ago
      His son was the one who died in GP2 this year right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes it was sadly his son Henry who died at Brand's Hatch this year, a tyre from a competitor's crashed Formula 3 car struck him directly on the crash helmet whilst he was going something over 120mph. A terrible tragedy, and good to see him smiling again after this stunt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ribbit...ribbit...ribbit...
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