The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997

September 6 - October 18, 1997

Bulletin 24 (Day 36/37) - Across Greece

Saturday 11 October     Istanbul to Thessalonika     640 kms

The route follows the north shore of the Sea of Marmara to the Greek/Turkish border.  To the south is the Peninsular of Gallipoli where so many ANZAC soldiers died in World War I.  The route then follows the Adriatic coast through Kavala before taking a diversion north of the twin lakes of Volvi and Koronia to approach Thessalonika from the north-east.  The view from the hotel and parc fermé takes in Mount Olympus across the sea.

Sunday 12 October     Thessalonika to  Kaména Voúrla    460 kms  

A short burst down the National Road is the prelude to a morning spent in the foothills of Mount Olympus before descending on the 'flying' monasteries of Metéora and a break for lunch in Kalambáka.  The afternoon sees the rally climb into the old Acropolis Rally's tough territory before descending to Lamia and the Plain of Thermoplyae and the night halt in Kaména Voúrla on the seaside overlooking Euboa.

The Friday rest day in Istanbul was put to good use by most competitors and more mechanical fettling than sight-seeing appears to have been the priority for most. Several cars that had been doubtful re-starters have made the cut and are running again.

The latter includes both David Arrigo's 1948 Allard (No 27) and the Dorey Morris Minor (No 45) which needed a rebore and new pistons to get going again, having initially been posted as an Istanbul non-starter. David Wilks' Austin 1800 is also running again after major engine work. Richard Clarks' big Buick (No 25) is also running again with a fixed motor, albeit classified last among the running in the main group.

Antonius de Witt's 1964 Volvo dropped six places back to 30th yesterday when he spun off of a wet section and lost more than an hour in a ditch. The Bellm Camaro (No  91), which dropped out of the top ten before Istanbul, slipped back further on the second Greek leg, and now lies some way back in 39th.

The only car in the top ten to get penalties during the last two days in the remarkable Austrian-entered 1950 Rolls-Royce of the Dichtls (No28) which lost 18 minutes on the tightest section. Nevertheless, the crew hold ninth slot, ahead of the third of the trio of Iranian-crewed Hunters.

The Hardmann/Dean Aston Martin DB5 ( No 77) is still knocking on the door of the top ten, just three minutes adrift on tenth slot, and more than a day ahead of the second and third-placed Aston which have all suffered major adventures.

The Lux Rover (No 93) has now dropped its first minute in the touring category but still leads clearly. Don Saunders' ailing Packard is  re-classified in the touring class, which now stands at 15 cars, leaving 66 runners still classified in the main Challenge.

Penalties at TC70 Kamena Vouria  (part 1) from first place:


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