The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997
September 6 - October 18, 1997
Bulletin 23 (Day 34) - No control
Thursday 9 October Nevsehiv to Istanbul 733 kms
North from Nevishir along quiet country roads until the outskirts of Ankara, Turkey's capital city. We skirt Ankara on the Motorway and head westwards. A short stop at the top of the Bolu Mountain pass and then back onto the motorway and into Istanbul for a well earned rest and some concentrated sightseeing.
Friday 10 October Rest day in Istanbul
Sightseeing and possible crew change point for those in the Touring Category.
Despite the long distances covered in the last few days, the better quality roads have brought few changes over the couple of thousand miles covered by the 82 crews. However, one crew seems to have relaxed rather too much on the run in to Istanbul.
The Bellm/Taylor crew in their Camaro (No 91), are reported to have arrived early at the lunch stop time control yesterday. They checked in but, having eaten and relaxed, climbed back into the big Camaro and shot off down the road, forgetting to check out of the control.
They realised only after it was too late to go back. The absence of that one little time control stamp has earned them four hours in penalties. They thus drop from their excellent eighth place down to 26th - a bitter pill with the end now almost within sight, particularly as it means the loss of their Gold Medal.
Roberto Chiodi's Lancia Flavia (No 67) has blown its engine on the run in to Istanbul and the Italian crew are doubtful that a repair can be made, even with Italy just one country away. David Arrigo's Allard, which cut out some of Iranian leg to save mileage, has made it to Istanbul, but the engine cooling problems have worsened and the car is now in bits, with a repair being attempted.
The leading Jeep still performs flawlessly and the GB Surtees/Bayliss crew can now scent victory and know the event is "theirs to lose" during the final eight days, the difficult Greek mileage notwithstanding.
With the Camaro leaving the top ten, the German-entered 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn of Kurt and Roswitha Dichtl (No 28) now moves up to ninth place overall, a superb performance for an unlikely rally car.
Into tenth place comes the Peykan (Hillman) Hunter of the Iranian crew of Javid and Heday. This means that all the Hunters are in the top ten and thus look like being a firm bet for the team award come Paris. The efforts of the Iranian crews in smoothing the passage of the event through their home country were considerable and appreciated by all the other competitors.
Today, Friday, is the final rest day of the event. Several cars are still in something of a 'walking wounded' state and are receiving major attention in Istanbul. The percentage of entries that look likely to complete the distance has exceeded even wildly optimistic forecasts and the final tally should exceed 80 next Saturday (18th) in Paris.
Penalties at TC59 Istanbul (part 1) from first place:
Penalties at TC59 Istanbul (part 2)