The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997
September 6 - October 18, 1997
Bulletin 01 - Landslide ahead...
Saturday September 6th, 1997
Amid huge crowds and exceptional media attention, the 94 cars of the second Peking to Paris Motor Challenge left Peking (Beijing) at 07.00hr local time today (September 6th, 22.00 GMT Friday) and made the official start at the Great Wall of China, 75km from the city centre. The engines of the departing cars blended with the clash of cymbals and the glorious sound of a 100 trumpets. Chinese dancing dragons mingled with the cars and drivers
Competitors are spending the night at Zhang Jiakou, having completed just 231km of the marathon journey.
At the drivers' briefing held just before the start in Peking, Rally Chief, Philip Young stunned the entrants by telling them he had been informed of a major landslide in the Himalayas. This had been caused by recent heavy rains and had blocked the one-and-only road out of Tibet which leads to Friendship Bridge.
"No re-route is possible," Philip told everyone but he also reported that the organisers had guaranteed hefty overtime rates to the road menders to put on night shifts to bulldoze a way through.
In 15 days time we hope they will have done the trick. It's amazing what a few sticks of dynamite and some overtime money can achieve.