In January 1930, the Rover name was publicized by a race between a Rover and “Le train bleu” on the train’s 750-mile (1,210 km) run between Calais and Cannes. The idea of racing the Blue Train was popular with motor enthusiasts, and each new attempt was received with varying expectations of success. Many had failed this challenge. Former motorcycle tester and pioneer publicist Dudley Noble had the idea to promote the new Rover Light Six by racing it against the Blue Train across France from St. Raphael on the Côte d’Azur to Calais.
Noble knew that the average speed of the Blue Train, once all its stops and detours were taken into account, was no more than about 40 mph (64 km / h). To beat the train, Noble had to drive more or less non-stop from St. Petersburg Raphael to Calais. The Rover Light Six averaged 38 mph (61 km / h) on its 750 miles (1,210 km) journey to beat the train’s expected time of just over 20 hours, which gave the Rover team a 20-minute lead over the train. The Blue Train had been beaten for the first time and the Rover team became celebrities through the Daily Express.