The Trans-America Challenge 2012

7th May - 8th June 2012


Fairbanks to Anchorage

JUNE 7TH, 2012

The end of the road. Thank you and good night.

In the land of the midnight sun it's hard to say that another day dawned when the previous day didn't seem to end. Anyway, it got a bit brighter around 5.00am so we figured that it was time to get up and after breakfast we all pulled out of the Wedgewood Lodge for the 350 miles drive south to Anchorage.

It's the last day of Trans America today, there are no time trials so we're touring down route 3, through the Denali wilderness with the obligatory snowy peaks and silver shining rivers as our travelling companions. Somewhere in that huge mass of snow and rock was Mt McKinley, the highest point of North America. We'd hope get a closer look at it from the terrace at the lunch halt but it was still pretty much hidden by cloud.

Unbelievably we drove across the Tenana River into a town called Nenana where a boat called the Yanana was parked up on the shore. Into the cafe for a quick banana milkshake.  Lunch itself was a very agreeable affair in the McKinley View Lodge with soup and rolls and fresh coffee and fruit pies bringing up the rear.

We arrived in Anchorage with the usual mixed emotions. The sense of relief and pride at having made it so far is tinged with the sadness of leaving behind the friends we've made along the road and the reassuring Rally bubble. Class winners, medal winners, the special award winners ...... you're all winners.

Everyone has been truly bowled over by the sheer variety of scenery and the way the route plan weaved one remote road into another that often proved even more remote. There were many highlights - from the Blue Ridge, to Yellowstone, to the Grand Canyon, but everyone has been in full agreement that the driving under big skies down totally empty roads has been a resounding success.

The evening saw the Gala Prize giving dinner where the silverware was handed out. After a month on the road, the two lads in the E-Type, Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown were stunned to find that they could not find a single second to open up a clear margin and had to settle for a dead-heat second overall with the most experienced rally driver on the event - Gerry Crown. His big Australian Leyland being one of the more unusual cars on Trans America. The Leyland and the Eagle-prepared E-type both finished behind the winning Jaguar Mk2 of Richard Worts and Nicola Shackleton and is the first time there has been a Jaguar 1st and 2nd result on any Endurance Rally Association event. For Richard, who used to rally Triumph Dolomites and Triumph TRV8s, it’s his first "big win" and he was understandably delighted modestly ascribing the victory to a dose of good luck when he managed to find somewhere to weld up his rear axle in Eureka Springs.

Terry Ward and Geoff Nicholls in the blue Mercedes V8 saloon won the True Grit trophy after dropping two days to fix a clutch and then playing catch up - and Spirit of the Rally was a special award that went to Dorothy Caldwell aged 94, who ran the clocks and the maps from the co-driver’s seat in the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that allowed her son Alastair to stroke it home to 6th place, and the highest position for a Rolls Royce on an international timed event since a works Silver Ghost won the Austrian Alpine Rally in 1913, according to our resident rally historian, Syd Stelvio, who no doubt recalls that triumph well. "This has been a wonderful event, with a terrific atmosphere, and I’m planning to come back and do it again in five years’ time," said Dorothy at the prize giving.

So that's all folks. Thanks for reading and maybe we can do it all over again sometime soon. Finally if you've been one of our Facebook Friends or have Twittered news of the event thanks very much.

Final Overall Results

No.CrewCarLegO/A PosCls M
New York to Anchorage
32Richard Worts / Nicola ShackletonJaguar MkII00:03:2111/c3G
37Phil Garratt / Kieron BrownJaguar E-Type00:03:592=2=/c3G
39Gerry Crown / Matt BrysonLeyland P7600:03:592=2=/c3G
23Roy Stephenson / Peter RobinsonDatsun 240Z00:04:0641/c2G
9Nicholas Pryor / Lesley StockwellVolvo PV54400:04:4652/c2G
33Alastair Caldwell / Dorothy CaldwellRolls Royce Silver Cloud III00:05:5964/c3G
2Martin Hunt / Olivia Hunt Bentley Le Mans00:06:0571/c1G
35Paul Kane / Mary Ellen KaneFord Mustang GT35000:06:2785/c3G
21David Roberts / Jo RobertsTriumph TR25000:07:20 93/c2G
20Werner Esch / Patrick FischbachMercedes 280S00:07:33104/c2G
14Keith Ashworth / Norah AshworthMercedes 230 Fintail00:08:25115/c2G
25Hans-Erik Rhodius / Sabine LetzerFord Escort Mexico Mk100:12:08126/c2G
24Stephen Hyde / Janet LynePorsche 911000:13:43137/c2G
3030 Phillip Haslam / Yvonne HaslamJaguar XK120DHC00:14:07146/c3G
5Bruce Washington / Judy WashingtonDodge Coupe D500:15:12152/c1G
22Jose Romao de Sousa / Maria Romao De SousaVolvo 14200:21:01168/c2S
6Tom Gatsonides / Rosalie Gatsonides-LangenbergAlvis Tourer VDP 00:24:21173/c1S
15Ian Brawn / Jan SmithPorsche 91100:35:48189/c2B
16Michael Eatough / Morgan RobertsMercedes 230S Fintail00:38:241910/c2B
18David Inns / Pamela WallisVolvo 144S01:14:592011/c2S
3Bert Kersten / Huibert van VroenhovenBentley Speed Six01:22:04214/c1B
36Hans Middelberg / Jurgen GrolmanFord Mustang Convertible02:56:12227/c3B
40Terry Ward / Geoff NichollsMercedes 450 SEL012:09:40238/c3B
26Peter Lovett / Zoe LovettPorsche 3.0RS016:20:162412/c2~
31John Raker / Melinda RakerJaguar XK1501232:53:06259/c3~
34Michael McInerney / Eunice McInerneyFord Mustang Convertible1253:35:492610/c3~
43Ed Howle / Janet HowleVW Beetle054:52:182713/c2~
 Vancouver to Anchorage
52David Rayner / Sarah RaynerFord Capri00:01:3511/c7S
49Brant Parsons / John ParsonsPorsche 91100:06:3222/c7S
47Jan Voboril / Meredith VoborilLancia Theta00:37:4531/c6S
54Klaus Von Deylen / Maja Von DeylenNSU RO8002:44:5243/c7B
53Frank Gump / Betse GumpVolvo PV544016:45:0054/c7~
51Richard Taylor / David PierceSaab 961249:52:0065/c7~


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