The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997
September 6 - October 18, 1997
Bulletin 21 (Day 33) - Target Turkey
Tuesday 7 October Tabriz to Palandoken 593 kms
Tabriz is the fifth largest city of Iran on a high plateau close to Lake Urmea. To the north is Azerbajdzan and the mountains of the Caucasus. The Main road climbs steadily into the Zagros mountains and passes into Turkey only 40 kms south of Mount Ararat (16,800 ft). From the border the road crosses several minor passes before coming to the valley of the River Aras at Palandoken.
No change at the top again after today's route of good roads and changing temperatures. The thermometer is back around freezing tonight as the Challenge spends its first night in Turkey. The rapid 1942 Jeep, running to the more forgiving, pre-1950 time schedule, remains four minutes in the lead. The stalemate is likely to remain until the Acropolis Rally roads of Greece are reached at the weekend.
The Morris Minor, reported repaired yesterday, arrived at Palandoken on the end of tow rope: the welded piston has obviously not lasted. A new fix is being investigated.
Don Saunders' Packard has lost another day, but there is no news yet of the reason. David Wilks' Austin 1800 (No 83), a car not previously mentioned in any despatches, due to what looks to have been a fairly trouble-free run so far, has broken a piston ring. While it's still running, a repair will be needed and the Istanbul rest halt on Friday should provide the ideal opportunity if the car can be coaxed that far.
On the subject of cars that have not been mentioned so far, the reports received from the event and posted here have been accused of an anti-Australian bias by Antipodean rally follower, Don Rainbow. The Matheson Rolls-Royce has featured several times, but the absence in particular of detailed mention of the sixth-placed Australian-crewed 1964 Holden (No 88), is due simply that there has been nothing reported...
The crew of Gerald Crown and John Bryson are both over 60 and have put in one of the best performances of the event so far - fast and reliable. Tonight they lie just 38 minutes behind the leader and they must be high on the list of possible winners with the tough, fast roads of Greece to follow at the weekend. In this case, "no news is good news," we believe.
The Richmond/Newman Citroen 2CV (No 41), well-placed in 24th slot tonight, has lost a fair proportion of what little power it had. The crew are trying to find the reason. All three 2CVs that started the event are doing well, lying in the top half of the field in 22nd, 24th and 34th places.
John Goldsmith's Aston Martin DB6 soldiers on with multiply patched up drive shafts after failures attributed to a machining problem, according to Aston restorer Goldsmith, who may now be regretting dumping most of his spares in China.
Roby Hellers Sunbeam Talbot 90 (No 29) has moved back to the main group of the event after temporarily dropping back to the touring category. He still holds 61st place from 70 runners in the main group.
Penalties at TC52 Palandoken (part 1) from first place:
Penalties at TC52 Palandoken, Tabriz (part 2)