Just Over A Week To Go In The Peking To Paris Rally

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1973 Leyland P76, Peking to Paris Rally

1973 Leyland P76, Peking to Paris Rally

With just over a week to go in the Peking to Paris Rally, its still all to play for the in Classics Division with the top five crews all in with a shout of ending up on the rostrum. However the Vintageants’ competition seems to be a ‘fait accompli’ with the current leader holding a 40-minute lead on first place. But with four countries and over 3,280 kilometres still to travel, the race isn’t over yet.

The Australian octogenarian Gerry Crown and his teammate Matt Bryson are currently in the lead in the 1973 Leyland P76 with the British duo of Peter Lovett and Tim Smith in second place in their 1965 Porsche 911. After mechanical issues that nearly saw the end of the road for the ex-1974 World Cup Rally winning Citroen DS23, Robbie Sherrard and Peter Washington have managed to cling on to third place.

The Leyland has an overall total of 164h 06m 02s with the Porsche around 23 minutes behind with a total of 164h 29m 13s. The Citroen is just eight minutes adrift on 164h 38m 49s, with the fourth place 1970 VW Beetle of American’s John and Brett Layzell and fifth place 1968 Datsun P510 of Paul and Mariella Kirkham chomping to get into overtaking distance.

In the Vintageants group, the British team of Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown has a comfortable lead as their red 1937 Chevy Fangio Coupe has a total of 179h 11m 44s. New Zealanders Bruce and Ben Washington sit in second place with their 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster, with a gap of around 40 minutes, while former leading Brits Mike Reeves and Michelle Jana Chan in the 1940 Ford Coupe, are in third place.

With just over a week left until the teams see the chequered flag in Paris, there’s no time for the drivers to take their foot off the accelerator though as the final days see them travel through Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and into France. There are still plenty of challenges ahead including several mountain climbs, as Time Trials, closed down specially for the Rally in both Austria and Switzerland, and circuit tests before then, all of which could have an impact on the car and crew as well as the end result.

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