The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2010

September 10th - October 16th, 2010




Almaty - Rest Day

Car 54… Where are you?


It’s been a relatively restful day for most here at the Intercontinenal in the centre of Almaty, a busy lively modern city surrounded by a ring of snow-capped mountains. A chance to catch up on the laundry, chill-out in the piano bar, or dive into town for the Red Scorpion workshop for a spot of welding and repairs.

Just about everyone has been servicing and fettling broken metal today.

We have been missing #54, the South Africans in the Rolls Royce 20/25 of Wenzel Kerremans and Tony Watson. They finally arrived here at 6.0pm this evening, having survived a solo three day drive from Belokurikha, having decided to stop to take on repairs from the local motor-club. 

This Russian club has impressed all round with their generous help and ability to sort just about any mechanical disaster, and as the Rolls needed a new spring made from scratch, the crew decided to stop to make a proper job of it with a whole new leaf spring rather than welded broken pieces.

Out in the car park, David and Jo Roberts have been working on their Sunbeam Talbot as the mountings between body and chassis have broken up after the pounding of the terrible roads of Mongolia.

The Aston Martin DB5 of Adrian Gosden and Andrew Honeychurch was having the once-immaculate under-bonnet area cleaned and dusted out, Andrew using a small brush to clean the three carburettors, while reminiscing on the punishment of Mongolia the car has endured. 

The Aston is in third place in the Classics Category, and Andrew regrets not spending more time on pre-rally homework getting to grips with understanding the timing system.

 “We dropped an hour of penalties on the first day in the Gobi Desert through silly mistakes, if we had we not copped a load of penalties we would be neck and neck with the leader now.”

The Aston and Sunbeam crews have not been alone. 

Bits of vintage and classic cars scattered around the hotel car park and some fairly hefty rebuilds going on all watched by the bemused regular hotel guests and supported by numerous taxi runs to the ‘Car City’ street-market, an enormous complex of motor-factors selling all manner of car parts.



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