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Report: Peking to Paris, day 19

Published 15 June 2013

Today was all about a blend of gravel tracks and main roads with several stops at road-side cafes for stamps from the time-keeping team, with a particularly welcome surprise…

The Renault 4 of the Japanese team, who have been playing catch-up all the way from Ulaanbataar after waiting for spares to repair the gearbox. The car with the eye-catching exhaust pipe over the roof is now rallying once more.

There were few incidents to report today, the first being car 27, the Chrysler Imperial - Monte Gingery and Phil Puttnam stopped on a gravel section with fuel issues, which turned out to be a dose of bad petrol – he had taken on fuel laced with water, but was soon motoring again with the help of a Mr Funnel water separator and a carb’ clean. The Bentley of car 8, Lars and Annette Rolner, were in deep trouble, and calling for a truck to take them to Samara after developing wheel-bearing problems. They have been as high as third-overall in the Vintageant Category, but collected penalties today.

Tony and Lee Strelzow in Car 26, the Derby Bentley drophead, once again was forced to stop with puncture-gremlins, three today, making the total now 11. Their regular jack is also busted and the car was raised on an exhaust jack. We noticed that the ribbing inside the tyre had left marks on an inner-tube – perhaps suggesting some friction going on here weakening a warm inner-tube. A frustrating time on a hot day, with other Bentleys having driven into Samara puncture-free, which is something of a puzzle.

Phil Cuerel, driver of the red Porsche 356, car 49, which broke its crankshaft is with the car in a workshop in town and is hoping that the spares that have arrived will enable the car to be repaired in time for our re-start out of here on Monday morning. 



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