The Trans-America Challenge 2012
7th May - 8th June 2012
Fairbanks to Anchorage
JUNE 7TH, 2012
The end of the road. Thank you and good night.
In the land of the midnight sun it's hard to say that another day dawned when the previous day didn't seem to end. Anyway, it got a bit brighter around 5.00am so we figured that it was time to get up and after breakfast we all pulled out of the Wedgewood Lodge for the 350 miles drive south to Anchorage.
It's the last day of Trans America today, there are no time trials so we're touring down route 3, through the Denali wilderness with the obligatory snowy peaks and silver shining rivers as our travelling companions. Somewhere in that huge mass of snow and rock was Mt McKinley, the highest point of North America. We'd hope get a closer look at it from the terrace at the lunch halt but it was still pretty much hidden by cloud.
Unbelievably we drove across the Tenana River into a town called Nenana where a boat called the Yanana was parked up on the shore. Into the cafe for a quick banana milkshake. Lunch itself was a very agreeable affair in the McKinley View Lodge with soup and rolls and fresh coffee and fruit pies bringing up the rear.
We arrived in Anchorage with the usual mixed emotions. The sense of relief and pride at having made it so far is tinged with the sadness of leaving behind the friends we've made along the road and the reassuring Rally bubble. Class winners, medal winners, the special award winners ...... you're all winners.
Everyone has been truly bowled over by the sheer variety of scenery and the way the route plan weaved one remote road into another that often proved even more remote. There were many highlights - from the Blue Ridge, to Yellowstone, to the Grand Canyon, but everyone has been in full agreement that the driving under big skies down totally empty roads has been a resounding success.
The evening saw the Gala Prize giving dinner where the silverware was handed out. After a month on the road, the two lads in the E-Type, Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown were stunned to find that they could not find a single second to open up a clear margin and had to settle for a dead-heat second overall with the most experienced rally driver on the event - Gerry Crown. His big Australian Leyland being one of the more unusual cars on Trans America. The Leyland and the Eagle-prepared E-type both finished behind the winning Jaguar Mk2 of Richard Worts and Nicola Shackleton and is the first time there has been a Jaguar 1st and 2nd result on any Endurance Rally Association event. For Richard, who used to rally Triumph Dolomites and Triumph TRV8s, it’s his first "big win" and he was understandably delighted modestly ascribing the victory to a dose of good luck when he managed to find somewhere to weld up his rear axle in Eureka Springs.
Terry Ward and Geoff Nicholls in the blue Mercedes V8 saloon won the True Grit trophy after dropping two days to fix a clutch and then playing catch up - and Spirit of the Rally was a special award that went to Dorothy Caldwell aged 94, who ran the clocks and the maps from the co-driver’s seat in the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud that allowed her son Alastair to stroke it home to 6th place, and the highest position for a Rolls Royce on an international timed event since a works Silver Ghost won the Austrian Alpine Rally in 1913, according to our resident rally historian, Syd Stelvio, who no doubt recalls that triumph well. "This has been a wonderful event, with a terrific atmosphere, and I’m planning to come back and do it again in five years’ time," said Dorothy at the prize giving.
So that's all folks. Thanks for reading and maybe we can do it all over again sometime soon. Finally if you've been one of our Facebook Friends or have Twittered news of the event thanks very much.
Final Overall Results
|New York to Anchorage|
|32||Richard Worts / Nicola Shackleton||Jaguar MkII||0||0:03:21||1||1/c3||G|
|37||Phil Garratt / Kieron Brown||Jaguar E-Type||0||0:03:59||2=||2=/c3||G|
|39||Gerry Crown / Matt Bryson||Leyland P76||0||0:03:59||2=||2=/c3||G|
|23||Roy Stephenson / Peter Robinson||Datsun 240Z||0||0:04:06||4||1/c2||G|
|9||Nicholas Pryor / Lesley Stockwell||Volvo PV544||0||0:04:46||5||2/c2||G|
|33||Alastair Caldwell / Dorothy Caldwell||Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III||0||0:05:59||6||4/c3||G|
|2||Martin Hunt / Olivia Hunt||Bentley Le Mans||0||0:06:05||7||1/c1||G|
|35||Paul Kane / Mary Ellen Kane||Ford Mustang GT350||0||0:06:27||8||5/c3||G|
|21||David Roberts / Jo Roberts||Triumph TR250||0||0:07:20||9||3/c2||G|
|20||Werner Esch / Patrick Fischbach||Mercedes 280S||0||0:07:33||10||4/c2||G|
|14||Keith Ashworth / Norah Ashworth||Mercedes 230 Fintail||0||0:08:25||11||5/c2||G|
|25||Hans-Erik Rhodius / Sabine Letzer||Ford Escort Mexico Mk1||0||0:12:08||12||6/c2||G|
|24||Stephen Hyde / Janet Lyne||Porsche 911||00||0:13:43||13||7/c2||G|
|30||30 Phillip Haslam / Yvonne Haslam||Jaguar XK120DHC||0||0:14:07||14||6/c3||G|
|5||Bruce Washington / Judy Washington||Dodge Coupe D5||0||0:15:12||15||2/c1||G|
|22||Jose Romao de Sousa / Maria Romao De Sousa||Volvo 142||0||0:21:01||16||8/c2||S|
|6||Tom Gatsonides / Rosalie Gatsonides-Langenberg||Alvis Tourer VDP||0||0:24:21||17||3/c1||S|
|15||Ian Brawn / Jan Smith||Porsche 911||0||0:35:48||18||9/c2||B|
|16||Michael Eatough / Morgan Roberts||Mercedes 230S Fintail||0||0:38:24||19||10/c2||B|
|18||David Inns / Pamela Wallis||Volvo 144S||0||1:14:59||20||11/c2||S|
|3||Bert Kersten / Huibert van Vroenhoven||Bentley Speed Six||0||1:22:04||21||4/c1||B|
|36||Hans Middelberg / Jurgen Grolman||Ford Mustang Convertible||0||2:56:12||22||7/c3||B|
|40||Terry Ward / Geoff Nicholls||Mercedes 450 SEL||0||12:09:40||23||8/c3||B|
|26||Peter Lovett / Zoe Lovett||Porsche 3.0RS||0||16:20:16||24||12/c2||~|
|31||John Raker / Melinda Raker||Jaguar XK150||12||32:53:06||25||9/c3||~|
|34||Michael McInerney / Eunice McInerney||Ford Mustang Convertible||12||53:35:49||26||10/c3||~|
|43||Ed Howle / Janet Howle||VW Beetle||0||54:52:18||27||13/c2||~|
|Vancouver to Anchorage|
|52||David Rayner / Sarah Rayner||Ford Capri||0||0:01:35||1||1/c7||S|
|49||Brant Parsons / John Parsons||Porsche 911||0||0:06:32||2||2/c7||S|
|47||Jan Voboril / Meredith Voboril||Lancia Theta||0||0:37:45||3||1/c6||S|
|54||Klaus Von Deylen / Maja Von Deylen||NSU RO80||0||2:44:52||4||3/c7||B|
|53||Frank Gump / Betse Gump||Volvo PV544||0||16:45:00||5||4/c7||~|
|51||Richard Taylor / David Pierce||Saab 96||12||49:52:00||6||5/c7||~|