Historische auto's doen de rally Peking-Parijs
Ruim honderd jaar na de monstertocht Peking-Parijs, wordt de tocht voor de vierde keer gereden, met originele auto's, waaronder de winnaar van 1907, de 7433cc sterke Itala 40, die destijds door de rally onsterfelijk is geworden. De Peking Parijs werd, na natuurlijk de 1907 editie, ook verreden in 1997 en 2007. Dit jaar doen er, naast diverse andere merken, ook een handjevol Italiaanse auto's mee, zoals een 4401cc Lancia Theta, een Alfa Romeo 6c 2500 uit 1939 en een Alfa Romeo Matta AR51 jeep uit 1952. De route voert o.a. langs de Chinese Muur, kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Iran en Turkije. De rally wordt georganiseerd door de Endurance Rally Association en gaat vrijdag 10 september van start. De grens bij de Vriendschaps Brug tussen Tibet en Nepal was tot 1997 afgesloten, omdat Partijvoorzitter Mao d grens had dichtgegooid, maar de 90e editie van de Peking-Parijs rally heeft het mogelijk gemaakt dat de brug weer open blijft:
Next Friday just over one hundred cars will set off on the fourth edition of the Peking to Paris Rally and just as in the legendary edition in 1907, the first and oldest car off the start ramp in China will be a 1907 Itala, a monster of a motor car that was immortalised by history during that epic adventure more than a century ago. Starting at #2 (the first car) next week, David and Karen Ayre will be reliving the "100th Anniversary" Peking to Paris edition of 2007 that they undertook in their Itala 40, a hundred years after Prince Borghese overcame all the many obstacles strewn in his path, not least the lack of roads, as the mighty 7,433cc Itala thundered its way into automotive legend.
In the age stakes the British duo will have stiff competition as the second oldest car on the rally, lining up right behind them at #3, will be a 4,410cc Lancia Theta to be driven by another British crew, Daniel Ward and David Ingleby. There is more Italian interest in the entry list: at #39 Alastair Caldwell and Catriona Rings will be tackling the mammoth challenge in a 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 while at #91 Lithuanian crew Dany and Joel Rollinger will be behind the wheel of a 1952 Alfa Romeo Mata AR51 jeep on the route that will take the crews from the start line in Peking to the finish line in Paris via the Great Wall of China, Inner Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, Outer Mongolia, Ulaan Baatar, Kazakhstan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Samarkand, Turkmenistan, Iran, Tabriz, Turkey, Istanbul, Greece, Italy and France. The quartet of Italian representation from Itala, Lancia and Alfa Romeo will face competition from a string of other brands including Rolls-Royce, Lagonda, Buick, Chrysler, Bentley, Plymouth, Buick, Chevrolet, Packard, Ford and Vauxhall.
The event is once again organised by the Endurance Rally Association and the adventure that will unfold when the cars set off from Peking next Friday (September 10) on their way to the scheduled finish in Paris on October 16 will relive (for the third time after the editions of 1997 and 2007) the 1907 edition which was the first-ever trans-Continental motor-rally between Peking and Paris. That became a epic challenge between a Prince and a Pauper – Prince Borghese had the best funded entry and carefully researched the conditions of setting out on a journey where the first 5,000 miles saw no roads, at all, so, no maps and no garages. His chief rival was a fair-ground worker who until he read news of the race in a Paris newspaper, Le Matin, picked up blowing in the wind, had never even sat in a motor car, so had no idea how to drive one.
Five cars set out from Peking, four made it to Paris to a tumultuous welcome and worldwide fame – they had set out to prove that man and machine could now go anywhere, they hoped it would make borders between countries redundant. They had left Peking with no passports – these had been confiscated by Chinese authorities who suspected they were spies, and had no interest in seeing the success of the motor-car having just invested in shares in the trans-Siberian railway.
The second Peking to Paris was not held until the summer of 1997, when on the 90th anniversary the Endurance Rally Association staged the first-ever rally for classic and vintage cars to cross China, and the first-ever rally to cross Tibet, camping at the foot of Mount Everest as well as cracking open the border between Tibet and Nepal.
The border at Friendship Bridge between Tibet and Nepal had been closed for 40 years since it was slammed shut by Chairman Mao – the 90th Anniversary Peking to Paris negotiated the re-opening, it remains open today. the event drove on into India and Pakistan, and became the first rally to cross Iran since the 1977 London to Sydney Marathon. Of 96 cars that set out, all but nine made it to the celebrations in Place de la Concorde, and TV film of the epic drive has been seen in more than 80 different countries. In New Zealand, our Peking to Paris became part of the school curriculum for children who followed the adventures of the mad motorists as part of their geography lessons.
Alle nieuws die niet in de andere categorieén passen (bv eenmalige races).
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