The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2007
May 27 - June 30 2007
To St. Petersburg
The Long Haul
A massive day of no less than 730 kms from Moscow to St. Petersburg… but not quite as bad as it sounds.
This was by far the best surface we have driven since China and even the Veterans could clip along at a fair gallop… the Itala of the Ayre’s took it steady and knocked it off in 12 hours, others far less, and it was an untimed, “cruising” day.
We hear that having got going again, the Frost’s Chevrolet holed the piston that has only just been welded up, so it was onto the back of a truck again, but the crew remain optimistic that this problem can be sorted as today is a rest-day, but, the remaining rest-days for major repairs are now rather limited, only Gdansk sees the rally take a day off between here and Paris.
We have been joined by two missing crews, Digby Leighton-Squires and Neville Burrell are here in the Derby Bentley, having holed the sump in the crossing of Mongolia he had to return to Ulaan Bataar to find someone who could weld up aluminium, and the Robert’s Sunbeam Alpine – both have endured extraordinary adventures of their own in catching up with the event.
Several crews came up to St. Petersburg on the day off in Moscow, in order to spend more time here, and now we can see why… it’s a stunningly beautiful place, the centre and the long water front by the river remind you of Prague and there is certainly a lot to see… there is a wonderfully unspoilt, timeless air about this place and everyone is going to take full advantage of the rest-day.
After tomorrow's rest day we set out for Tallinn – a big sense of relief all round then as we now cross into Europe. The event changes gear somewhat, as we begin a string of Time Trials that provide the event with a sting in the tail.