The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2007
May 27 - June 30 2007
The Baltic Coast
Going down to the wire…
An exciting day through rolling Polish countryside has brought us to Gdansk on the northern coast – we are at a seaside hotel overlooking the Baltic, after a hot day in bright sunshine.
Three long Time Trials all on dirt have changed the results today. In the Vintageant Category, David and Sadie Williams cruised round in their Chevy, dropping time in the process, not looking flurried or hurried – thanks to their commanding lead they now adopt the Fangio saying of “winning is best done at the slowest speed that does the job.” The Belgian rival Chevy is second Vintageant, with a day’s total of 7hrs 35m 9s. Paul Carter sealed his third place with a day’s total of 7hrs 35m 40s. Paul Merryweather was 16 seconds behind for the day and on his tail all day.
Best performance with a day’s total of 7hrs 34m 48s in the Vintageant Category was again the Alvis of Horst Friedrichs, this time betters just about all in the Classics Category apart from the Jaguar Mk 2.
Gerold Leumann and Hans Rudolf Portman in their Bentley 6.5 tourer clinch the Vintage Sports Car Trophy for the pre-’31 class if they now make it to Paris.
There was a needle contest going on in the Classics Category – anyone who has driven a 2.5 litre Riley RM with its ash-frame body knows what a handful this car can be on corners so for the Wilkinson’s to get into fourth spot was a terrific effort but today, they lost their hold by a flying Studabaker… Andy Vann and Tom Hayes moved up and took fourth by just one second.
The lead of Pit Linder was secured with a time today of 7hrs 37mins 59 seconds, Richard Worts in the Jaguar has regained second place with 7hrs 34mins 24, and was quickest car today…Garry Staples and the gallant drive in the VW has secured him third.
There are three gold medals in the Pioneer Category, the fourth was lost the other day by the La France crew of Ralf Weiss landed in a ditch and lost time when the heavy machine needed help with a tow. The Knox, running with a split cylinder block on three pistons since China, is still going, along with the two Italas.
The string of Time Trials since we left Russia to this spot has provided us with what many regard as the best week’s historic rallying seen in years – the sections through the Baltic States have been a revelation.
We now have a few days of road sections but still a time schedule to adhere to before we get to Reims and then roll into Paris. Tomorrow is a day off, the final rest day of the event, and the last chance for fettling before the finish.