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Report: Peking to Paris, day 14

Published 11 June 2013

Rest Day in Novosibirsk

It's rest day in Siberia, and for most of the teams it's not going to be a relaxing experience, given the sheer amount of repairs that's required to keep the cars on the road.

Take car 64 for example, the Porsche of Stan Gold and Brant Parsons had to wait for parts to arrive at Ulaan Bataar – the suspension turret tops could not be welded as they were a composite plastic – but once going again, they drove non-stop, right across Mongolia, to reach the border. 'We camped in a lady’s Yurt near the border, who woke us up at 4.30 when it was light to get going again,' said Stan.

Could things be worse? Fellow Porsche 911 driver Phil Cuerel would say they can certainly be a lot worse…. he broke his crankshaft yesterday, causing major damage to the engine, but hopes somehow to get running again. All those who have played catch-up to get here have terrific adventures to tell.

The rest-day has been far from restful for most, although it has been a useful day for some of the chores such as catching up on the laundry – a free service at this hotel – and cleaning out buckets full of dust from the rally car.

The local motor-club, the Automobile Federation of Automobile Sport, have been the event organiser's guiding hand in Russia, and helped set-up the three time-trials yesterday with more to come. Today they organised a press conference – it was standing room only. Extra chairs were brought in as two TV teams jostled with over 40 reporters for a question-and-answer session. The interest generated by the cars, the people, the route and the organisation is overwhelming at times.

Tomorrow the teams head to Omsk – a long haul over indifferent roads, there is no timing or Time Trials. Getting there in a day is hard enough, as Prince Borghese will no doubt agree, if he is looking down, as he drove this way with his rivals hard on his heels back in 1907.

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