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Peking-Paris: 100 classics duel

2013-05-17 13:31

Billed as "the greatest motoring adventure", the fifth Peking-to-Paris Rally will see 100 classic cars journeying from China on May 28 2013 to reach the finish line in Paris on June 29.

The event will include cars from various eras and manufacturers and 26 countries in a 33-day trek covering 12 070km.

FIRST RACE IN 1907

Crews will drive the original route of Prince Borghese, winner of the first race held in 1907, over the vast wilderness of northern Mongolia, where there are often no roads or tracks at all, relying on their wits and navigation ability. In 1907 only five cars took part.

The race is the longest and toughest rally a classic car can compete in, crossing mountains and deserts and fording wide and fast-flowing rivers.

The oldest car taking part in the 2013 trek is a 1913 Ford Model T; a 1917 LaFrance has the biggest engine at a whopping 14.5 litres; the smallest-engined car is a 1250cc MG TD and youngest entered is a 1300cc 1982 Renault 4.

The route will cross Mongolia's Gobi Desert and traverse Russia for the longest stage in one day - a gruelling 668km from Novosibirsk to Omsk.

PRE-WORLD WAR CARS

With such a tough route, much of it on poor roads or tracks, pre-Second World War cars with their greater ground clearance should perform well.

In the pre-1942 classes (covering 1920-1931 and 1932-1941), Bentleys remain a popular choice, with eight entries; there are also three Rolls-Royces.

American cars are also a popular choice; 19 are competing in the pre-1942 classes.

Some competitors have opted for rear-engined cars: three Porsche 991's, two Porsche 356's, a VW Beetle and a rare 1958 Renault Fregate.

The 2013 Peking to Paris race route:
Peking – Great Wall of China
Mongolia – Gobi Desert, Ulan Batar and Telmen Lake
Russia – Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen and Samara
Ukraine – Kiev and Lviv
Slovakia – Kosice and Bratislava
Austria – Schladming
Switzerland – Gstaad
France – Troyes and Paris