The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2010
September 10th - October 16th, 2010
SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2010
Shymkent to Tashkent
Adventures started early this morning. Firstly, for the crew of Car 3, the 1914 Lancia Theta three-litre Veteran of Daniel Ward and David Ingleby.
Confident that their Russian-made front stub axles would last all the way to Paris, they were turfed into the undergrowth at dawn today when the front right hand side snapped like a stick of barley sugar, the wheel and remains of the stub axle rolling off for some distance into long grass.
Time-keeper crew Andy Actman and Ian Langford came along minutes later and found Daniel scrabbling down a bank carrying the wooden wheel, obviously feeling pleased to find it. “This is lucky!” was Daniels first words. Andy was confounded by this… “it was not the sort of first-reaction you would normally expect to hear.”
Both crew members were covered in coffee – David had just managed to pour out two mugs of coffee from a Thermos flask when the front wheel suddenly parted company.
With a spare stub-axle on board, they were able to fettle the car into running again and made the border control before it closed for lunch. However, disaster struck again once into Uzbekistan, as the other side then decided it had suffered enough metal fatigue and snapped in half. When this happens the front of the car just suddenly drops onto the tarmac, scraping along, as the errant wheel bounds off into the boondocks.
One of the quickest Vintageants on the road most days, the Alvis Speed 20 of Rudi Friedrichs broke a steering arm in the car park leaving the hotel this morning. He too was thinking “this is lucky” as he reckoned he was glad it let go at zero-speed before turning into the road. He was able to find a garage, get it welded, and also make the border-control by lunchtime. He then came across the MG Magnette ZB of the crew from Portugal, Jose and Maria de Sousa, who suffered an under-bonnet fire as constant vibration had chafed through an earth-lead, and sparks then set fire to oil leaking from an oil-cooler pipe. Rudi was able to put out the fire and use one good oil pipe to by-pass the oil-cooler, and then wrap the battery lead with fresh insulation.
The Shooters are back with their 1930 Model A Ford, they went to the airport to collect a fresh gearbox at 1.30 am, then went to a garage lined up to do the swop, and finally got going to reach us here in Tashkent having gone through the night twice on the trot, but despite two hours sleep in the last 48 hours were elated to hand in their time-card book with the announcement: “We are back in the rally.”
They are not the only ones who have burnt midnight oil. Tim Scott was on the road before light this morning, he got into the hotel at 4.30 am, announced he was just off for a shower, and, was back on his bike and on the road again an hour later.
We motored some good roads today, with borders to negotiate – helped by the excellent Kyrgyz Concept team the day went smoothly for most.