No news from the boys this morning. Have tried to contact them via sat phone but no reception. The cars crossed into Mongolia yesterday and were immediately confronted with a large “sand pit”. Lots of cars have had difficulties with broken suspension, exhausts and engine mountings. On checking the results our boys are near the tail of the field, eleven (11) hours behind the leaders. When we can make contact we will report immediately.
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This video was published by The Age newspaper in Melbourne. It’s worth a look….
… and here is another video of interest:-
It seems that one car got their tracker to work, so you can follow their progress here.
Let’s hope the boys are close by.
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There are a total of nine Mercedes Benz in the Rally. Here they are……..
Yesterday was a big and exciting day!
We started the morning with a good breakfast and James went to the gym. We met up at 11:15 in the lobby of the hotel as we were in the last wave of drivers to collect our cars. Our car was obviously one of the first to be placed in the warehouse and so one of the last out!
At the last minute I realised that I would need the Monit Rally computer as we would be supplied Tulip diagrams for our trip from the warehouse to the hotel.
Having collected our five day Chinese licences and the paper number plate to be placed on the dashboard we made our way to the bus in the hotel car park. There were all the other competitors waiting, all as excited as us and taking photos. James and I were of course wearing our Neptune Racing Team t-shirts.
The bus made its way through the traffic (and pollution) to the storage facility near the airport, about 35 kilometres away. As we got close to our destination we were excited to start seeing other cars heading back to the hotel.
We disembarked and there she was! Our EH waiting patiently for us. We quickly checked the oil, water and other fluids and then Mike jumped in. Of course the car started straight away and Mike drove out of the warehouse to a quiet spot where we could do a little more checking and fit the Monit computer. With the Monit fitted we could check the fuel level accurately and there was about 15 litres.
James sat in the driver’s seat and Mike prepared to do the navigation and then we were off! Now we were really excited!! Out of the storage area, turn right and remember to stay on the right hand side of the road!! There was the fuel station just as the map said so in for a quick refill. Other rally cars were also filling up so there was plenty of banter between the crews. The gas station attendants couldn’t believe their eyes.
Then off to the hotel. We got some surprised looks from other drivers but plenty of smiles and waves which we returned. We flew a small Aussie flag from our rear window and this was instantly recognised.
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Here are some more photos from the boys in Peking. Everything is going well and the EH is running fine. Nearly ready to start……
Mike and James were today issued with their Chinese driver permits. The permits allow them to drive in China for 5 days only so let’s hope they make it to Mongolia in time.
Have been in contact with the boys (via our highly technical telecommunication link and they are in Peking (Beijing) having a briefing and getting ready to collect the car from storage.
Mike has been out doing some last minute shopping while James linked up his laptop in the hotel foyer to their wi-fi network and watched the Geelong Cats chalk up another big win.
The highlight so far was the briefing from the Beijing police who told the drivers that a red traffic light meant stop, a green one meant go and an amber one meant be careful. Other than that they were instructed to drive carefully in Beijing and avoid accidents.
Will update you all further after they collect the car.
Just got word via our communication link that the boys have arrived safely into Peking.
Tucked up in their hotel room. Not too warm but misty.