The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 1997
September 6 - October 18, 1997
Bulletin 07 - Mud ahead
Monday 15 September Tuotuoheyan to Nagqu 433 kms
Continuing at around 15,000 ft a steady climb takes us up to the highest road in the world, the Tanggu La at nearly 17,000 ft from where we drop to Amdo at the junction of the main highway to western Tibet, and continue to Nagqu through abundant pasture with huge herds of sheep and yaks. Remote empty and windswept.
Communications have not been good from this last section towards Tibet and we await more detail. The trail blazers among the organisers have run into eroded, rutted, muddy roads that will give all competitors problems, even those who are now confident enough to feel that having come this far they can cope with everything the rally can throw at them.
Rally official, Mike Summerfield claim a world record for running the highest rally control ever staged - at Control Z - at 16,600 feet (5180 metres), The Roof of the World.
Philip Young has made it ahead of the rally, in his classic Peugeot 504 - but only just. A police four-wheel drive tow was required for some 20 miles of the route which the Peugeot could not penetrate. "It's drying out now," reports Philip, but it may yet still be too much for some of the following cars.
No pre-war cars now remain unpenalised. Walter Ruthlauf's Bugatti Type 40 (No 3) slid back to 47th place with a loss of more than an hour, but it is still well up as second-placed pre-war car, just behind the Dutch-entered Railton (No 14). The two USA-crewed 1950 Ford Coupes, (Nos 23/24) now head up the time sheets by virtue of their age, ahead of a gaggle of 23 more youthful 1960s cars.
The 1907 La France (No 2) has bowed to the inevitable and Herman Layher has called it a day after a terrible couple of sections. The ancient machine will be shipped back to Europe and Hermann is likely to drive some of the final stages.
Gerry Acher's 1932 Aston Martin International has now lost more than a day and we await confirmation of its possible retirement after problems with damage to all its wire wheels. Both Buicks continue to languish at the rear of the field, the latter one now with more than three days' worth of penalties.
The Jaguar MkV11 is reported to be back in the event, having lost a huge amount of time with a damaged distributor. The crew's initial depression lifted sufficiently for them to attempt a last ditch catch up run which involved recruiting an on-board Chinese guide. We await more news...
We have now decided to run the results, as received, in full, split as two graphics, rather than re-keying them and possibly introducing errors. For information issued at the time control at Nagqu, relating to the first 47 cars, please click here and for the remainder of the field, please click here. These results were issued at 22.57 local time in Nagqu on 14/09/97- (eight hours ahead of UK time).
These results are scanned from the satellite faxes as received, so we apologise for the quality. We have kept the file sizes as small as possible, but they are still quite big and they will take little while to come down: nevertheless, they do make interesting reading...
Results from TC AA Nagqu (part 1)
Results from TC AA Nagqu (part 2)