36
DAYS

The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2007

May 27 - June 30 2007

DAY
22

Moscow

At Last...

A straight-forward run has taken us on good roads the 400 kms into Moscow. We are at a large hotel on the outskirts of the city. 

There is a tremendous spirit within the ranks at this point – those still in fine fettle are feeling a sense of relief, as well as optimism, that they have become survivors of what is the first Historic Rally to cross the full width of Russia, apart from Mongolia which now seems an age away.

Barry Frost is running again, he has been trucking for the past few days as a result of a valve dropping into a cylinder and smashing a hole into the top of the cylinder head of his Chevrolet…tonight in the bar he explained that he found a Russian workshop who looked at all the broken pieces, and damage done, and then carefully welded the hole in the top of the piston, and found a Fiat valve which was adapted to fit and the engine is now running again. Stories like this abound – railway engineers, and truck workshops, have been responsible for numerous running repairs (and usually insist on no payment), even one competitor had the helping hand of two policemen who sorted out burnt points in the ignition.

Denis Wilson in the Rolls Royce 20 tourer summed up the feelings of many in his report to us: “There is a palpable sense of relief as we entered Moscow… the cold potholed and awesome drive up through vast Siberia has given way to fertile plained with improved roads and warmer air. Many locals gathered to say ‘well done’ and waved from the pavements and we felt we had rather deserved it."

Tomorrow is day off, an opportunity to tour round a city we have not seen before, relax and recall the horrors we have all endured, and re-charge our batteries for the 700kms drive up to St. Petersburg… a road which Prince Borghese knocked off in one hit when conditions were more like we saw in Mongolia.

The break here has given the administration-team a chance to review results and take on board queries and questions, and the latest positiionings are posted up on this site, taking into account that on the last day in Mongolia, Time-Trials were cancelled in order for all the officials to concentrate on sweeping-duties, hauling cars out of Mongolia and if Time-Trials can’t have the full cover of our ambulances and mobile-workshops, there is little choice but to cancel the competition… however, road timing for the day – the timed-schedule into the final rest-camp – remains as originally planned, and that in itself had a bearing on the leaderboard, given the hardship of the navigation over a course with virtually no roads.

It all seems such a long time ago…

 

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