87 year old Aussie wins the Peking - Paris Challenge
As motoring competitions go they don't come much tougher than the Peking - Paris Challenge. Endurance rallying is first about getting there and second about getting there with the least penalty points. Drivers and navigators must work together to not only find the right route but to do so within the allotted time scale or face picking up penalty points. Navigators must find their way using paper maps and directions printed in the rally road book. Trip meters and timing equipment help with accuracy but even so, over 8500 miles (13680 km) errors are bound to happen. It was therefore quite remarkable that only 2 minutes separated the 1st and 2nd placed cars.
I had the pleasure of meeting the winning team and their Leyland P76 when they competed in the Samurai Challenge Rally of Japan (above). They finished first in class on that one too! Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson are clearly serial ralliers, this was there third time competing in the Peking - Paris challenge, although Gerry has said he would like some more octogenarians on the rally to keep him company.
A special shout out must also go to Anton Sr Gonnissen and Herman Jr Gelan of Belgium who completed the rally with a 1907 Contal Mototri three wheeler, 112 years after Auguste Pons failed attempt. 34 days of pure terror for the navigator seated up front in the 'suicide seat'!
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