The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2007
May 27 - June 30 2007
Under Starters Orders
Thursday: The 100th-anniversary Peking to Paris is now under starters orders- cars are out of the docks and here in Peking, with the entire rally in a downtown warehouse.
Tomorrow, drivers set out from the Shangri La hotel to drive their steeds into the hotel car park. Packing and final fine-tuning will then preocupy crews prior to making the pre-dawn run up to the Great Wall near Badeling for the ceremonial send-off at 8.30, when watch-company Blancpain drop the flag.
The air is sultry and damp following torrential rains in the last few days but crews are optimistic that the weather will turn in time for the start - the last thing anyone needs is for the Gobi Desert to turn to mud, the one thing that beset the original crews back in 1907.
The King of Malasia His Serene Highness Idris Sha (we all call him Matey Boy), turned up this afternoon and is now sleeping, essential preparation is you have to drive a four-litre Chevrolet Fangio Coupe, one of several such models in the Vintageant Category expected to put up a good performance.
Sponsor Blancpain are treating all crews to a dinner of Peking Duck tonight here in the Shangri La...we will all be experts on Chinese cooking before we depart on Sunday.
International news media are taking an interest in us all and we have just been interviewed by the Sunday Telegraph and ITN.