Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Peking to Paris 2013 Update #9

The finish for the Peking to Paris adventure is closing in on our team of Stanley Gold and Brant Parsons in their '65 Porsche 911. Here's the latest report from Stanley.

6/26/2013 "The morning started, even before breakfast, with a run up the famous hill climb at Planai. The Stage was 8-km straight up a steep gravel road. After the run, breakfast was served in a rustic ski chalet with spectacular views of the valley and adjoining mountains."
"Then we were off on a half dozen mountain runs (20-30 miles straight up and then 20-30 miles straight down). Many of the heavy American cars elected to pass on these exercises as they are treacherous on brakes, transmissions and engines. They missed very beautiful views and homes that dot all of these roads. We even had some strange noises coming from our brakes and Brant is in the garage looking at the problem now."
"It is almost July here in Austria and Switzerland and there is still plenty of snow on the hillsides and passes."
Swiss countryside entering from late June. Image © Stanley Gold
"The attitude of the crews has changed in the last couple of days. Paris is close and everybody is straining to keep there cars together to reach Paris. The drivers/navigators have become a serious lot. A few crews are still fighting for a podium finish, but for most of us reaching Paris is the prize."

 6/25/2013 "Today was exhilarating. We spent the entire day in the Austrian Mountains, twice climbing above 5,800 feet. The scenery was beautiful and hard to translate into words. The multiple shades of green only broken by a mountain castle or church lurking above the tree tops."

"The Austrians are more Teutonic than the Germans. Everything is orderly, clean and efficient. The stacks of firewood for the winter are perfect, with each piece of wood exactly the same length and circumference as every other piece. Each mountain cottage is freshly painted and the gardens are well maintained. Window boxes have matching flowers."

"Even the cattle that roam the meadows look better than anything we've seen so far on this trip."

                                                  More cows in the road. Image © Stanley Gold    
 "The day started out with a Special Stage at Speedworld, a small race track outside Bratislava and finished with an 8-km hill climb, ending at 5,800 feet. With this last hill climb we were up into the clouds with rain and fog...a bit dangerous. We did relatively well on both events."

"The real fun was on little-used farming roads far off the beaten path. People live year round in these isolated communities. I cannot imagine how tough life must be in the winter with snow everywhere for 6-7 months every year. Talking about snow, we got high enough today where there was still snow by the roadside, even though we are approaching July."

"Car continues to run well. Brant has taken off all the air filters we installed for the dust of Mongolia. Here in the thin air of the Austrian mountains the car runs best with no filters; the air is clear and free of dust and dirt."
6/24/2013 “Today was a real rally day; five separate Special Speed Stages. The first two were rough mountain roads averaging about 8-10 km each. We did well and one judge remarked that we had excellent time (Brant driving). Third stage was through an agricultural field and we could see only the road ahead. Last stage was on, around and through the infield of a race track (8km in total); a bit of fun over lots of different surfaces."

"The day started in bright sunshine, but ended in a driving rain storm. It was a long day. We got away from the starting gate at 8:30am and arrived at the hotel about 7pm."

"The car continues to perform well. She has developed a leak so when it rains we get pretty wet on the floor boards. Need to keep important papers up off the floor."
Here are some shots of the other Porsches running with our guys on the adventure.

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