Chrysler and Datsun Duos Take Peking to Paris Honours

Teams from New Zealand and Australia were the winners of the 2016 running of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Bruce and Harry Washington from New Zealand won the overall prize for the Vintageants in their 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster, while Mark Pickering and Dave Boddy from Australia won the Classic category in their 1973 Datsun 240Z.

This was Bruce Washington’s third ‘P2P’, after not finishing the first time and securing fourth with son Ben in 2013. Harry, a complete novice, said: “Each country was like its own rally. Once you crossed the border, you never knew what you were going to get. I’m so proud of my dad…and I’d go back and do it all again tomorrow.”

As well as the winner’s trophy, Harry was also awarded the Philip Young Cup, presented to the best performing novice of the event.

Second place for the Vintageants went to the British team of Mike Thompson and Andrew Davies, also in a 1929 Chrysler 75 Roadster, with fellow Brits Nigel Lee and Richard Turner in the 1938 Ford 62 securing third.

Mark Pickering and Dave Boddy had fought hard to win their first ‘P2P’ with fierce competition in the Classic category from the Ford Escorts, Mustangs and other strong Datsun crews. 

Mark said: “It is an amazing feeling to have won such an iconic event, thank you to the Endurance Rally Association for another fantastic adventure, meeting up with old friends and making new friends, seeing places in the world that you would never see otherwise. The car is tired and so are Dave and I. We’re looking forward to a well-earned rest.”

By the time they reached the finish line, second place went to Ludovic Bois from France and Julia Colman from the UK in the 1969 Volvo Amazon, with Murray and Adam Jackson from Australia taking third place in their 1974 Mercedes 450 SLC.

The Jackson crew also won the European Cup for the Classics while Bill Cleyndert and Jacqui Norman in the 1925 Bentley Super Sports lifted the trophy for the Vintageants.

There were also special awards presented at the gala dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel to those who stood out during the rally. Hok Kiang Sia and his son Eric from Malaysia were presented with the True Grit award for battling to catch up with the rally after the engine bay of their 1933 Rolls Royce Phantom caught fire.

David and Jo Roberts from the UK won the Against All Odds award for keeping their 1954 Sunbeam Alpine on the road despite many mechanical issues that they managed to fix by themselves.

The Spirit of the Rally award was presented to Australia’s Max and Julie Stephenson in the 1923 Vauxhall OD 23/60, a crew that had not completed all the time trials and checkpoints but also found time to help others in need or trouble, and to explore the countries visited on the rally.

The sixth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, organised by the Endurance Rally Association, began on Sunday 12th June 2016 with 107 crews crossing the start line at the Great Wall of China in Beijing. Ninety-eight crews passed over the finish line.

Competitors journeyed through eleven countries including Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, Russia and Belarus before entering Europe to reach the finish line in the centre of Paris.

ERA Rally Director Fred Gallagher said: “Prince Borghese, the very first winner of the Peking to Paris, said it was driving the impossible, and I’m sure all of our crews would agree. But they arrived in Paris to a heroic welcome and should all be very proud of what they have achieved. The spirit amongst the whole rally has been fantastic with friendships forged that will last a lifetime. An amazing experience for all of us.”

The next Peking to Paris Motor Challenge will be in June 2019, with an exciting new proposed route that will take competitors into Kazakhstan and across to Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Greece. 

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