27
DAYS

Rally of the Incas 2016

November 13 - December 9, 2016

NOVEMBER 12,  2016  - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Stepping up to the Plate

Way down in the South Atlantic, the last rally of the year for the ERA is about to begin. The 2016 Rally of the Incas is the second time we’ve visited these parts and we’re pleased to say that a stellar line up has decided to join the fun alongside us as we explore the best of Argentina, Chile and Peru.

Fifty intrepid crews therefore are now assembled in Buenos Aires, which is a beautiful and lively city on the southern bank of the River Plate. We’re also very glad to report that our reigning South American champions, Chuck and Pam Lyford are included in this number after their win on the 2013 Vintage Cape Horn Rally. They, their Chevy and as yet un-named and life-sized stuffed monkey, will no doubt give us plenty of sport and entertainment over the next month.

Alongside them are many old friends and a healthy dose of new ones all keen to sample what this continent and the Rally has to offer. They’ve also brought with them a truly marvellous mix of machinery which ranges from a 1925 Bentley Super Sports driven by Graham and Marina Goodwin right through to a 1973 Jensen Interceptor crewed by Serge Berthier and Jacqueline Thome ep Berthier.

The cars were collected from the warehouse yesterday with the invaluable help of Charlie from Cars Europe and Carlos, our man on the ground. Yesterday evening, Rally Director Fred Gallagher hosted a welcome drinks and dinner party on the roof terrace of the Hilton Hotel.  Today the all-important business of scrutineering and form filling was the order of the day and as a result, Andy Inskip and his band of sweeps, Jamie Turner, Tony Jones and Bob Harrod were found working away in the Stygian gloom of the underground carpark.

Eleonora Piccolo, the ERA Office manager, meanwhile set up shop in the light and airy atrium and ensured that everyone had the route books, the map book and was correctly accounted for and documented before passing them into the capable hands of Pete Stone and Dr Delle Grimsmo for matters GPS and medical, respectively.

For the most part, this administration was taken care of well before lunch after which, John Spiller, the Clerk of the Course kicked the sands of the desert out of his boots and delivered his ‘lecture’ on matters of timing and general procedure.

The Rally will be flagged away from Buenos Aires tomorrow morning at 9.01am and ahead of it lies some 10,000km of roads, gravel tracks, mountain passes, lava fields and coastal highways.

Argentina is a huge, beautiful and welcoming country and we’re all chomping at the bit to get stuck into it - not to mention the steaks at dinner.

Syd Stelvio

 

 

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