The sixth running of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge will begin on Sunday 12th June 2016 as 110 crews cross the start line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing with an 8,500-mile rally ahead of them. Competitors will cross eleven countries including Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Russia and Belarus before entering Europe to reach the finish line in the centre of Paris on Sunday 17th July.
More crews are taking part in the 2016 outing than ever before, with 50 cars dated pre-1942 in the Vintageant class and 60 in the Classic class dated pre-1977. The 2013 Classics winner, and the oldest competitor in the event, Gerry Crown from Australia will complete in the mighty 1974 Leyland P74. Gerry, aged 84, has competed in all five of the Endurance Rally Association’s revivals of this epic adventure.
In the Vintageant class, there is an abundance of pre-war American cars following wins by Chevrolet Fangio Coupes in both 2010 and 2013, when Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown raised the trophy. With no fewer than 40 coupes entered, all will have their eyes firmly on the top of the leaderboard.
Endurance Rally Association (ERA) Rally Director Fred Gallagher said, “The entry list features over 30 different automotive manufacturers and competitors representing 24 different countries. This is a truly global event that challenges both car and crew to the limit. Some of our competitors have faced the ‘P2P’ before and are self-confessed adrenaline junkies whereas the newcomers are a mix of people undertaking this mammoth journey in aid of charities or to cross a dream off their bucket lists.”
“We have husbands and wives, fathers and daughters, friends and colleagues taking part, who normally spend their days very differently. Occupations range from student to retired CEO, from Fish Farmer to Rocket Scientist. But none of that will matter once we cross the starting line. It’s all about the next 35 days and getting to Paris,” continued Gallagher.
For 2016, the ERA is staying faithful to the original route used in 1907, crossing the Gobi Desert and Mongolia before striking through Russia but instead of heading to Moscow, it now turns to Belarus and enters Europe through Poland taking in Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and France.
The overall winners will receive a magnum of Champagne and the prized trophy when they cross the finish line at Place Vendôme. More silverware will be presented at the Gala Prize-Giving Dinner to the various Class winners and those deserving of a coveted ‘special award’ such as Spirit of the Rally and True Grit.
There will also be a trophy awarded in the memory of ERA founder Philip Young. The highest placed finishing novice crew in the event will receive the Philip Young Cup, donated by long-time ERA supporter Peter Livanos.
The Peking to Paris Motor Challenge begins Sunday, June 12, 2016, at the Great Wall of China outside Beijing and concludes Sunday, July 17, 2016, at Place Vendôme in the centre of Paris, France. For more details including the full route itinerary, entry list and the latest updates, visit EnduroRally.com.
[Source: Endurance Rally Association; photo: Gerard Brown]