Published on June 30th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Peking to Paris Motor Challenge Reminds Racers of Its Difficulty
The tough terrain of Mongolia and the Gobi Desert has widened the field in the 2016 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, with many of the early favourites suffering mechanical issues and limping into Russia for repair.
“Mongolia certainly separated the men from the boys as it were,” said Rally Director Fred Gallagher. “Recent bad weather had made the terrain more challenging and so it exposed any weaknesses in the cars.
Amongst these was last year’s runner up in the classics category Peter Lovett and Tim Smith in the 1965 Porsche 911. Major suspension issues made the car ‘near on impossible to drive’ in the latter stages of the Gobi Desert according to the experienced rally team. The car is now repaired and back in the rally but has cost them the chance to challenge for the overall trophy.
However, don’t count them out completely as three-time winner Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson are slowly climbing back up the leader board in their Leyland P76 after sorting their mechanical issues and are now in sixth place.
New Zealander Brice Washington and his son Harry in the 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster still lead the Vintageant category, with the UK’s Mike Thompson and Andrew Davies hot on their wheels in the same car. Fellow Brits Richard Thompson and Paul Dilley are in third in their 1940 Studebaker Coupe.
There has been a change in leadership in the Classic category after a serious of technical issues for Italians Giorgio Schon and Pierre Tonetti in the 1971 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super.
The Peking to Paris has had an amazing welcome in Russia and will spend 13 days driving across the country before making its first visit to Belarus.
Billed as the world’s toughest endurance rally for classic and vintage cars, the competitors will cover around 13,695kilometres and 11 countries before reaching Paris on Sunday 17th July at around 1pm.