The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2010
September 10th - October 16th, 2010
SEPTEMBER 17TH, 2010
Tariat to Uliastay
The Struggle for Survival…
What’s the best way to end a terrible day? A row of square cubicles has been set up on a river bank, overlooking another vast open plain, and it’s here that you can snatch a hot shower. Burning logs under a large round drum heat the water and it comes out the shower head at just the right temperature. After a day of grinding over back-jarring pot-holes, deep ruts, and washaways, this has been the hardest day so far.
Max Stephenson in a Vauxhall, competing in the Pioneer Category, started his day with two broken front springs. These were fixed in the morning, Charles Bishop lending one, and the car was soon on its way. It’s been so punishing today even the La France has been in trouble – a cracked chassis and a holed radiator, but it made the camp site under its own steam.
Rachel Vestey and Susie Harvey in a Plymouth had made a good start, up to 15th in the Vintageants, but today were sticken with sheared shackle pin in their rear suspension, it was bodged up enough for them to limp on for a bit and they have yet to make camp as dinner was served… it sounds as if they are in for a long night.
Bill Bolsover in a Chevy had been up with the leaders but today hit mechanical maladies. David Rayner was performing brilliantly in the little BMW Coupe but suffered steering failure due to the rough roads this afternoon. Hugo Upton and Nigel Gambier in the Lagonda have changed the clutch thrust bearing, and there was sad news for Garry Staples Senior in the white VW Beetle who collected a 12 hour lateness penalty after mechanical problems, which dumps him right out of contention for the time being in the Classics Category – his son, however, had a great day, arriving at the final time control bang on his minute, and beaming that it had been a wonderful day, driving his VW Cabrio.
The two MG SAs from Australia took it steady today, the crews arriving totally exhausted but both cars sounded far healthier than most.
Marco Rollinger in a Bentley suffered gearbox failure, and was being towed in. Ralph Auchinshloss has had a torrid time with electrical bothers with his Rolls Royce, they came in last night with no lights. The pretty silver Tatra Coupe air-cooled V8 disappeared off the radar after a timing chain came loose, causing enough chaff to damage a big-end, but this was repaired in Ulaan Baatar and re-joined us this morning, having got to the camp at around 3.0am…. we hear however they have been in trouble again during the day.
Saddest sight of the day was the pretty little blue Renault 4CV, which was parked forlornly on a truck with the front nearside wheel missing, having suffered suspension failure again.
We have driven through some truly fantastic scenery, the sort of stuff you only see on a film set for epics such as Lord of the Rings, but for most of us, we have bigger things on our minds. Such as our quest for reaching the far side of the Moon.