The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997
September 6 - October 18, 1997
Bulletin 04 - Who wants a DB6 diff?
Tuesday/Wednesday 9/10 Sept. Yinchuau to Lanzhou 501 kms
"Still following the Yellow River, south into Ningxia Autonomous Region, a largely Muslim province, passing ruined mud-built sections of the Great Wall before Zhongwei, noted for its huge pagoda temple and giant sand dunes."
The rough roads continue to take their toll as the rally rolls through seldom-visited areas of Inner Mongolia, skirting the huge sand dunes of the Gobi Desert, en route to an overnight halt and a well-earned rest day in Lanzhou. "The countryside is stunning and the roads are almost empty," reports rally chief, Philip Young.
Philip also reports that car park of the Lanzhou Legend Hotel is like a breakers yard with many cars in bits - axles out and parts everywhere. As crews strive to save weight, the hotel skip is filling up with spare wheels, prop shafts, and differentials and other (hopefully) non essentials. The Chinese market for second-hand Aston Martin spares has in particular received a major boost as John Goldsmith sheds parts for his DB6 - a low-slung model known to drag its exhaust even when unladen.
Another small handful of cars have collected penalties, but 74 runners remain unpenalised after four days. The Stutz (No 6), which looked yesterday like retiring has come back to life and has made it thus far.
The Marmon of Klept/Keptz (No 11) broke a half shaft after getting stuck in deep mud and sand but is running again. The USA-entered 1952 2CV (No 41) of Richmond/Newman suffered broken suspension on deep ruts but recovered to remain on schedule.
Predictably, the German-crewed 1907 La France (No 2), with its rumbling 9.5-litre four-cylinder motor, is the favourite with the crowds but its minimal, jarring, suspension, lack of driver protection and general discomfort, are making life very hard for the crew. Despite all this, plus an engine problem, they motor on briskly and have accrued just seven minutes in penalties so far.
Competitors now enjoy a rest day before bracing themselves for a night under canvas on the roof-of-the-world section after Golmud. "The ground is frozen and it's blowing a gale," reports Philip Young, reaching for his favourite duffel coat!
The current results show 74 cars unpenalised in 1st place with a nominal 'penalty' of 4days 0hr 0min, representing one day's penalty for each day of the event elapsed so far.
There are also 8 cars running in the Touring Category.
|2||H Layher (La France)||4d 0hr 7m|
|73||K Koppel (Triumph TR6)||4d 0hr 8m|
|54||W Esch (Mercedes 300B)||4d 0hr 11m|
|99||R Taylor (Willys Jeep)||4d 0hr 14m|
|64||D Ratcliffe (Jaguar Mk V11)||4d 1hr 4m|
|6||D Cohen (Stutz)||4d 4hr 4m|
|11||C Kleptz (Marmon)||4d 4hr 24m|
|61||P Noble (Bentley)||4d 8hr 0m|
|15||D Saunders (Packard)||4d 9hr 0m|
|The following are officially retired:|
|16 (Day 1)||F Noz (Ford Model A)||Engine|
|33 (Day 1)||J Netto (Ford Model B)||Engine|
|1 (Day 2)||Lord Montagu (Vauxhall Prince Henry)||Overheating|