YANKS TAKE THE CROWN IN THE INAUGURAL
RALLY CAPE HORN
The Endurance Rally Association’s inaugural Rally Cape Horn reached its climax on December 4th as the cars past the finish line in Ushuaia, Argentina, with all-American duo of Pamela and Chuck Lyford in their Vintageant 1938 Chevrolet Fangio Coupe taking first place. The British team of Clinton Smith and Trevor Finn finished a close second in their 1938 Chevy Coupe, with Olaf Pothoven and Monica Pothoven-Fels of the Netherlands taking the final place on the podium in their 1935 Bentley Derby.
The classic class, meanwhile, was won by the British team of Paul and Sandra Merryweather in their 1974 Mercedes 450 SL with Alastair Caldwell and Laurel Smith taking silver in their 1968 280 SL. Third place went to Belgians Christian Dumolin and Regine Dumolin-Petillion in the 1966 Ford Mustang GT 289.
Over the rally’s twenty days length, the teams encountered thunder storms, rain, sleet, sunshine and snow. There was drama right from day one with Alistair Caldwell just one of the casualties who worked with rally’s technicians late into the night to rectify a Head gasket issue on his 1968 Mercedes 280SL.
Following in the footsteps of Che Guevara, the rally took in stunning views of the Andes before beginning the climb up to Cordoba, with condors watching from high above.
On day five, enroute to Santiago, Chile, disaster struck for David and Sadie Williams the then leaders of the Vintageant category. They were found laid up, missing one rear wheel, bearing shattered and half shaft separated but fellow competitors came to their aid to get them back in the race.
With gravel replacing tarmac, the harsh conditions took their toll on the cars leading to several more incidents, with engine mounts and punctures being typical of the problems encountered. The distances were starting to have an impact on the cars.
The rally crossed back into Chile, with the cars and drivers taking to the water on the penultimate day with a two and half-hour voyage across the Southern Ocean. After the crossing, the rally followed the coast and made their final border crossing, back into Argentina for the final, 20th day.
The competitors faced full blizzard conditions as they made their way towards the finish line, with freezing temperatures to match. Snow ploughs allowed the rally to continue and once in Ushuaia the awards ceremony could commence with the winners warmly congratulated. Away from the serious silverware, competitors were also awarded with prizes for 'best in rally bodywork modification' the 'silliest hat' and 'cleanest interior' highlighting the lighter side of Endurance Rallying.
An outstanding event with truly stunning scenery, the 2013 Rally Cape Horn will long be remembered by everyone who competed.
The Endurance Rally Association has a track-record of over 60 major international events behind them including the Flying Scotsman Rally and the Peking to Paris Motoring Challenge. The next event is the Flying Scotsman Rally, held in April 2014, which has over 100 competitors from all over the world. For more information call +44 (0) 1235 831221 or visit www.endurorally.com.