Rally of the Incas 2016
November 13 - December 9, 2016
DECEMBER 9, 2016
Paracas to Lima
The Day of Reckoning
There were perhaps few sore heads this morning. Last night's sweeps party being the main cause of this but tomorrow, we fear there will be a few more once the Gala Prize Giving dinner has concluded.
The routebook showed that we were in for a lovely fast run right up the coast today on the famous Pan Americana Sur highway and also that there were only two short tests which could possibly upset the applecart. Joost van Cauwenberge and Chuck Lyford therefore must have been feeling quietly confident as they took the start and chipped out of the carpark.
In the event nobody suffered any problems and some 258 km up the road the finish line outside the Lima Country Club was buzzing. Friends and family who’d travelled to Peru see the crews arrive after their amazing journey were waiting excitedly and, as the cars rolled over the finish line and under the arch the crowd grew exponentially. The cheers, laughter and congratulations rang out so loudly it caused a family of parakeets to move their roost to somewhere a little less rowdy.
Tankards full of well deserved cold beer were handed to all with the victors champagne and a laurel wreath being offered to Chuck and Pam Lyford in the Vintageant category and Joost van Cauwenberge and Christine Landtsheer in the Classics.
For Joost, this win was a sweet one but it was one that we've been expecting for a long time. The only other ERA trophy he's taken home so far however was the Spirit of the Rally Award from the 2015 Road to Mandalay which was given to him for the vast quantities of gin he dispensed every evening throughout event.
After a difficult London - Cape Town in 2012, a bravura performance on the road to Mandalay and a disappointing Peking to Paris run he's finally got the silverware he deserves. Along with his wife Christine, Joost took an early lead in his Porsche 911, held onto it in a cool calm and gentlemanly way and was understandably delighted with his win. This was the first time he’d visited South America and he said ‘the event has been great one both in terms of the route and the competition’.
Chuck and Pam Lyford on the other hand are no strangers to the podium in this neck of the woods having taken the win in the Vintage Cape Horn Rally in 2013 way down in snowy Ushuaia. Today, they and their monkey and their remarkable Chevy, Fang to his friends, did the double. Chuck said that he knew he'd do well here as soon as he packed his lucky chequered shirt, the one he won with last time. By way of a victory speech he then led the assembled throng in a rousing three cheers for the organisers.
The True Grit trophy was awarded to Ed and Janet Howle who have nursed their old Beetle, Stewball, through thick and thin - uphill and down dale for almost a month. They were popular winners.
Anton Gonnissen gave a moving and reflective speech about the special world that is the Rally World, one which supports and looks after its members whatever they're going through and one that we’re all privileged to belong to.
He was then asked to present the Spirit of the Rally award, to his wife Inge, for coming back to Rally World after the events of the Road to Mandalay, and for making us all so happy.
At the end of an emotional and an amusing evening, the ERA Rally Director, Fred Gallagher said that ‘the second foray into South America for the ERA had indeed been a great one. The landscapes we've driven through and the way that the Rally has unfolded had been amazing. The competition has been amazing and the competitors have been brilliant. Well done to Joost, Christine, Chuck and Pam and we very much look forward to seeing them again very soon. The next iteration of the Rally of the Incas, is already being planned for 2019’.
It certainly has been an epic rally and a quick interrogation of Montana, our little Gamin friend on the dashboard, reveals some impressive numbers to back this up. We achieved a maximum altitude of almost 4,600 m and plunged to a minimum altitude of - 53 m. We managed a total ascent of 66,311 m alongside a total descent of 62,940 m while temperatures ranged from 41°c right down to 5 °c.
The bar in the Lima Country Club was a pretty well stocked one this afternoon with ice filled Pisco liqueurs proving popular with thirsty crews. By tonight the shelves were looking a little lighter and we fully expect them to need a total resupply by tomorrow morning.