Close Finish As Porsche Team Wins Inaugural Road To Mandalay Rally
The winner of the Classics division of the inaugural Road to Mandalay Rally was decided on the final day with just one second difference, giving first place to the 1965 Porsche 911 of the UK’s Peter and Zoe Lovett.
Peter and Zoe finished the 24-day rally, organised by the Endurance Rally Association, with an overall total of 1:11:20, getting revenge on Peking to Paris 2013 winners Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson from Australia, who were the ones who had to settle for second place this time in the 1974 Leyland P76 with a total of 1:11:21.
Third place went to Brits Grant Tromans and Simon Russell in the 1973 Datsun 240Z with an overall time of 1:13:04.
In the Vintageants division, the three-way battle between the Chevrolets ended with Americans Bill Shields and Scott Herbstman taking the top spot with an overall total of 1:19:47 in their 1938 Coupe.
Peking to Paris winners Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown from the UK came second in the 1937 Fangio Coupe on 1:20:32, while fellow Americans Daniel Day and Ronald Doyle in the ’37 Coupe came third on 1:25:24.
There were class wins for the big 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible of yanks John Rich III and son John, the 1928 Bentley 4 ½ Le Mans of Denmark’s Lars and Annette Rolner, and the ‘69 Volvo Amazon of Frenchman Ludovic Bois and Julia Colman from the UK.
Special awards were also awarded at the Gala dinner in Bagan at the end of the rally. The True Grit award was presented to Belgium’s Erwin Beerens and Gert Mertens in the 1928 Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost, while the Against All Odds award went to Heather and Jo Worth from New Zealand in the troubled 1968 Volvo Amazon that despite its constant technical difficulties still managed to cross the finish line.
The Spirit of the Rally award was given to Joost Van Cauwenberge and Christine De Landtsheer from Belgium in the 2011 Toyota Landcruiser, who joined the rally despite not being eligible to compete as a tourer. However they supported the teams throughout – even housing a Gin and Tonic bar in the rear of his vehicle at the finishing point each day, hence the ‘spirit’ award.
The Road to Mandalay attracted 70 entries from 18 different countries for the timed rally of 10,000kms from Singapore, crossing Malaysia and Thailand, and then entering Burma in an historic border crossing to finish in Mandalay.
With cars being shipped home just 48-hours after the end of the rally, there’s no rest for the ERA team as they now have to prepare for the UK’s biggest rally for Pre-War cars – the Flying Scotsman Rally.
Article by – Endurance Rally Association (ERA)
Images – Gerard Brown