The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2010

September 10th - October 16th, 2010




Samarkand - Rest Day

Tyred Out...


What’s the best tyre pressures for the Peking to Paris? Now there’s a tricky question. The general view is that harder pressures are needed, it keeps the sidewalls stiffer, keeps the tread blocks open, and helps tyres run cooler, while helping to protect the rims from the ravages of pot-holes and desert corrugations.

The crew of Car 18, the Model A Ford of Chris Evans and Mark Seymour, suffered three punctures early on in Mongolia on the same day – one was from a six inch nail, something that could happen to anyone, the other two were from insufficient air, as the rim received a dent (put right with a broad-bladed screwdriver and a hammer). 

Chris reckons a touch more air could have prevented this and they didn’t receive another puncture after this.

Fritz James and Lang Wightman, from America, in their ’29 Model A haven’t suffered a single puncture.

A crew of a heavy Rolls Royce saloon have had 12 punctures so far, and running 50 lbs… should they go up some more? Put six drivers together and you get six different opinions.

David Ayre, in Car 2, the oldest car in the event, the 1907 Itala, runs 75 lbs pressure, that’s over 5-bar. He says it suits his car, he didn’t get any punctures on the last Peking Paris and hasn’t suffered a puncture on this event either, so it’s a policy that works.

There is a view that the long hot tarmac to come is heating up tyres, and those on crossply tyres heat up much more than radials, so now is a time to soften the tyres before setting out.

We have several days of hot tarmac ahead, including the Taklamikan Desert in southern Turkmenistan – we have 400 kms to go to the Turkmen border ahead.

The news today is that Car 83 is now in serious trouble, six pistons have burnt out but it hopes to make the border and get repairs later on… and, surprise surprise, the crew of Car 60 have re-joined us, American Doug Mackinnon and Russian Anastasia Karavaeva, have arrived with their Chevrolet two-seater Special, having suffered a second axle half-shaft break… they are optimistic of joining us somehow tomorrow but admit further work is needed.

Today has been a rest-day, and a chance to take in the splendours of the remarkably architecture of this cross-roads city on the Silk Route, Samarkand certainly looks like nothing else we have seen so far.


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