NEW APPOINTMENT STRENGTHENS CORE RALLY THE GLOBE TEAM

  • Multiple classic rally winner Mark Appleton joins as Chief Operating Officer 
  • Luminary with experience of running top events all around the world
  • COVID-19 forces cancellation of next two events
  • Planning continues apace for when current travel restrictions are lifted 

One of the most respected names in the field of international endurance rallies has joined the Rally the Globe core team.

Further demonstrating the new organisation’s ambitions, Mark Appleton has been appointed Chief Operating Officer – a role for which the Berkshire-based 45-year-old has the perfect credentials.

As a competitor in such events, Appleton has an outstanding track record having navigated drivers to numerous victories. His notable successes include the Classic Marathon, Tulpen Rally (Tulip Rally) and the Rally of the Tests on no fewer than six occasions, most recently last November.

As well as a highly experienced participant, Appleton is also renowned as one of the leading organisers of such classic rallies. Over the past 20 years his expertise has been behind many epic events right around the world including Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and most recently in New Zealand.

In his new full-time role as Rally the Globe’s Chief Operating Officer, Appleton will oversee the day-to-day running of the not-for-profit club, ensuring the delivery of high-quality and competitive – yet always friendly – events as exemplified by the affiliation’s opening two driving adventures the Carrera Iberia and Southern Cross Safari. He will also perform Clerk of the Course duties on location.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to join such an exciting new organisation and one that I simply couldn’t miss,” he explained. “I’ve only heard great reports from those first two triumphs and I’m really looking forward to contributing to what I know is already a terrific team at Rally the Globe. We all know this is a challenging time with the COVID-19 virus forcing many postponements and cancellations but it is also an opportunity for us to hone our future plans for when we are all in happier place.”

Indeed, the current global pandemic and resultant travel restrictions have already seen the cancellation of Rally the Globe’s next two proposed assignments: this month’s Celtic Challenge and the opening leg of the planned Round the World trilogy which was to run from London to Casablanca starting in late May.

“It is with great regret that we have had to make these decisions after so much groundwork has already been laid but there are currently no other options,” acknowledged Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s well-regarded Rally Director.

“Looking ahead, though, we are thrilled that someone of Mark’s exceptional experience is joining us as Chief Operating Officer – I really can’t think of anyone I would rather have in that role. He already has the full respect and confidence of the Rally the Globe membership and completes, what I think it’s fair to say, is now a really impressive team.”

UPDATE: ROUND THE WORLD PART ONE (LONDON TO CASABLANCA)

It is with great regret that we have made the decision to officially cancel Round the World Part One, London to Casablanca, due to run in May this year.  Motorsport UK have extended their official guidance suspending all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption until at least the 30th June 2020 and we face travel restrictions in the UK, Spain and Morocco.  Therefore, we have no option but to cancel the rally.  

Round the World Part Two, Boston to Vancouver, and Round the World Part Three, Vladivostok to London, are currently under review and it may be that they are also unlikely to go ahead. We are discussing the implications of this with our insurers at present, and hope to announce a decision over the next few weeks.

COVID-19 is presenting us with challenges which are developing constantly. The entire Rally the Globe team is working towards presenting a top class calendar of events for your enjoyment as soon as the current travel restrictions have been eased.

We thank all of our Members, friends and partners for their continued support for Rally the Globe.

UPDATE: CELTIC CHALLENGE

It is with great regret that we have made the decision to officially cancel the Celtic Challenge rally in April.  

Motorsport UK have now issued official guidance suspending all organising permits and Certificates of Exemption until at least the 30th April 2020.  This decision comes on top of restrictions in the Republic of Ireland and also guidance on travel and gatherings in the UK.  

There are many events in the Rally the Globe calendar this year and the COVID-19 virus is presenting us with challenges which are changing by the day. The team are working continuously to ensure any decisions we need to make are fully informed by our governing bodies such as FIVA, FIA and Motorsport UK and that we continue to plan our future rally calendar in light of any adjustments that may be necessary.

We will be keeping all crews who have entered upcoming rallies informed as any further changes occur and we appreciate your patience and understanding in responding to any queries in what is a fast-changing situation.

Thank you for your support for Rally the Globe.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

We would like to address concerns regarding our upcoming rallies as a result of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Understandably we have received a number of enquiries from rally entrants asking about potential disruptions to our planned events, and we have been speaking with our insurers as well as monitoring the positions of motorsport governing bodies such as the FIA, FIVA and Motorsport UK to understand their current positions. The health of our participants, officials, staff and the general public is of course our greatest concern.

Rally the Globe is working closely with our insurers to understand the extent of our cancellation policies in these circumstances. Our event cancellation policy covers Communicable Disease, meaning that we would be covered should the relevant bodies advise a travel ban which affects a planned rally route. 

At the same time, we suggest that all entrants review their own travel insurance policies to ensure that they are adequately covered for any travel and/or car transportation related to a rally entry.

At this stage, all of our rallies will take place as planned. However, we will continue to monitor the advice from Motorsport UK, FIVA, the FIA, the UK Government and Governments in those countries where we have planned rallies. 

Our route planners are also currently investigating potential alternative routes to avoid any cities, areas or even entire countries which may be declared “off limits” to ensure that events can still be run for everyone’s enjoyment.

If you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us, but rest assured, we are monitoring the situation closely and will inform relevant individuals once further advice becomes available.

BENTLEY TAKES TOP HONOURS ON EPIC EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE

  • Husband and wife team win East African classic safari rally
  • Two thousand mile adventure won and lost over 21 competitive sections
  • Porsche 911 and Jaguar E-type crews crowned as class winners
  • Rally the Globe team delivers another ‘phenomenal’ benchmark driving event 
  • Follow-up events include Celtic Challenge and Round the World 

Rally the Globe’s spectacular Southern Cross Safari delivered not only an epic 2,000-mile (3,600km) driving adventure through East Africa but also a surprise, last-gasp winner. It was also a further endorsement of Rally the Globe’s reputation as the premier club in the successful delivery of such impressive competitive driving escapades reserved for revered cars from days gone by.     

After 19 days of highly challenging driving through the magnificent mountains, game reserves and private estates of Kenya and Tanzania, it was the 1927 Bentley 4 ½ Le Mans – crewed by British husband and wife team Keith and Norah Ashworth – that took overall Southern Cross Safari honours and with them also the spoils in the Class 1 Pre-War category.

Their victory came as something of a surprise as much of the event had been dominated by a phalanx of classic Porsches. At one stage close to the finish three of Ferdinand’s finest topped the leader-board. Moreover, the 2-litre 1965 911 shared by Gavin and Diana Henderson was still in front as the cars set out on the final day’s tricky speed and regularity tests set Taita Hills, once famously conquered by Michele Mouton’s Audi quattro. 

Navigation and timing skills were at a premium and, as the Henderson’s faltered, so the Ashworths prospered – the Bentley blasting its way to the top of the standings having started the final sections only in eighth place.

 “A Bentley’s power-to-weight-ratio is all power and lots of weight; knowing how to control these two forces is what makes the difference,” explained the winning driver who was understandably delighted with his landmark success and quick to pay tribute to his co-driver wife for her skilful support. “To take this win means such a lot, because it’s our first ever endurance rally win. And we did it because I’ve got the best navigator!” 

With the erstwhile leaders slipping back to finish fifth overall, Lars and Annette Rolner were the first Porsche home. Relishing life in their striking Martini coloured 1974 3.2-litre 911, the Danish duo finished second behind the Bentley and took the Classic Category honours.

Like Keith Ashworth, Lars was quick to credit the team-work of his co-driving wife. “I’m lucky to have a great navigator and I’m happy to be here on the podium and not in the divorce courts!” he joked. “There was much more rain than we’d expected, which in turn led to some terrible road conditions but we suffered no real problems. Kenya is beautiful country with great hospitality, and the smiles we’ve seen along the road will stay with us for a long time.”

Another standout  performance among the 911 entries came from Class 2 winners Stephen and Jenny Verrall while the surprisingly intrepid Jaguar E-type shared by Clint and Dawn Smith impressed everyone with victory in Class 4 and third place overall.

As ever, there also were some notable performances further down the field. Triumph pairings David and Jo Roberts and Alan and Tina Beardshaw overcame various technical issues en route to ensure two TRs were inside the final top ten while the period-liveried Lancia Fulvia Monte Carlo of Jean-Philippe and Iris Tripet stayed in contention after sourcing some much-needed, mid-rally spares from Nairobi. 

Another eye-catcher was local Kenyan rally star Rob Collinge – he was dressed in full US army clothing aboard his charismatic 1954 Willys while Denis Wilson’s Rover P5B and Michael McInerney’s Ford Mustang added a rich V8 soundtrack to the dramatic action. 

Despite the age of the participating cars the only significant non-finisher was the venerable 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 of Charles Stuart-Menteth and Michael Timmis. 

Having already survived a skirmish with an errant Tuk-Tuk before the start, it suffered an alternator failure before half distance which sadly turned out to be terminal when the spare alternator also turned out to be faulty. The crew, though, continued the adventure aboard a borrowed Toyota ensuring they missed out on neither the marvellous journey nor the accommodation including five star hotels and game lodges nor the remarkable camaraderie along the route.

As well as the class winners and the overall awards, several discretionary prizes were presented with two ‘Spirit of the Rally’ prizes going to Denis and Jill Wilson and Fiat 124 Spider duo Federica Mascetti and Enrico Paggi for their unfailing good humour and fun throughout.

By popular vote, the ‘Against All Odds’ accolade was taken by Dieter and Hildegard Baumhäckel for their efforts in keeping their 1961 Volvo PV544 on the road despite its ongoing suspension problems.

Although the well-above average levels of recent rainfall at times pushed crews and cars to their limits, it wasn’t all hard work as participants were treated to several hard-earned rest and repair days – and unforgettable game drives – in a number of the region’s most illustrious safari camps.

“The huge challenges presented by the abnormal amount of rain that’s fallen in East Africa really tested the whole Rally the Globe team and it’s a fantastic tribute to both the competitors and our brilliant assistance crews that all those participating reached the finishing line,” enthused Fred Gallagher, the club’s Rally Director. 

“When putting together the new Rally the Globe team, we selected the best in the business and that’s a policy which really pays off when the going gets tough. Indeed, the feedback from all those competing in Africa has been absolutely amazing and it was certainly an extraordinarily rewarding event.” 

Indeed, rare permissions were granted for entrants to drive through both Masai Mara and Serengeti National Reserves, the latter being 150 per cent bigger than Wales and brimming with lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos.  

“I don’t think this has ever been done before,” admitted Collinge who, as an experienced Kenyan rally driver, should know. “I have no idea quite how the organisers convinced the KWS [Kenya Wildlife Service] to let us drive through their gorgeous parks.”

“It was phenomenal,” agreed TR navigator Jo Roberts. “You feel really privileged to have driven through all these fabulous national parks in your own old vehicle.”

The Southern Cross Safari marked the start of a very busy portfolio of events for Rally the Globe. Next month comes the Celtic Challenge set in the British Isles, and quickly thereafter the start of the ultimate ‘Round the World’ circumnavigation, split into three stand-alone sections between May 2020 and June 2021 – London to Casablanca, Boston to Vancouver and Vladivostok to London. A few remaining places on those events are still available for those looking to take advantage of Rally the Globe’s inspiration, vision and expertise.

RALLY THE GLOBE REVS UP FOR EPIC EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE

  • Southern Cross Safari set in game reserves of Kenya and Tanzania
  • Two thousand miles featuring 21 competitive speed and regularity tests
  • Entrants include two-time classic Safari Rally winner 
  • Evocative field ranges from vintage Vauxhall to iconic Porsches
  • Follow-up events include Celtic Challenge and Round the World 

Fuelled by the huge success of its debut event – the sell-out Carrera Iberia – Rally the Globe is now primed for this month’s spectacular Southern Cross Safari (15 February – 5 March 2020).

Set in the mountains, game reserves and private estates of East Africa, the Southern Cross Safari features an epic 2,000-mile (3,600km) route and 19 days of exclusive and exhilarating driving adventure. 

While the abundance of African wildlife and sight of the snow-capped Kilimanjaro will captivate crews in their vintage and classic rally-prepared cars, the inclusion of more than 20 tough regularity sections and challenging speed tests – many set on private land – will be at the heart of the competitive action.  

Unlike the Carrera Iberia, which being a ‘Carrera’ style event, was staged entirely on asphalt roads, this time the majority of the competition is set on more rugged gravel roads.

Rally Headquarters is based in Watamu, with its white sandy beaches and nature reserves on the Indian Ocean. 

As well as being home to Official Scruntineering and pre-event Administrative Checks, Watamu will also host the final Gala Prizegiving Dinner. In-between, crews will stay at top-notch Safari Lodges and luxury hotels along an unforgettable route through no fewer than nine wildlife-rich National Parks in both Kenya and Tanzania. These include the Serengeti, Masai Mara and Ngorongoro Crater as well as the Ngong Hills, made famous by the movie Out of Africa.

With so much to offer and Rally the Globe’s now proven reputation, it is little that surprise the inaugural Southern Cross Safari has attracted a top-quality entry, with cars ranging from a 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 – rated by some to be superior to Bentleys of the same era – to a number of rally-proven classic Porsche 911s from the mid-seventies.

There are some notable crews among the entrants, too. Carrera Iberia winners Alan and Tina Beardshaw return – not, though, in their victorious Aston Martin DB5 but in a 1973 Triumph TR6 deemed to be more suitable for the gravel roads of Africa. Peking to Paris winners Graham and Marina Goodwin are also seeking further success in their 1929 Bentley 4 1⁄2 Le Mans.

However, when it comes to local knowledge, Rob Collinge is very much the man to beat. The renowned Kenyan is twice a winner of the East African Safari Rally, when the event ran for classic cars in 2003 and 2005. Those two wins came behind the wheel of a Datsun 240Z and 260Z – intriguingly, this time Collinge has selected a 1954 Willys Jeep. 

It’s great to see some of those who really enjoyed the Carrera Iberia back as well as some new faces,” enthused Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s vastly experienced and internationally respected Rally Director – himself a multiple winner of the Safari Rally back in its original FIA World Rally Championship era.

I’ve long had a huge passion for the amazing wonders of East Africa, and I’m thrilled that we have created a competitive adventure which really captures all the magic and challenges of the region,” continued Gallagher. “The scenery is stunning and the route features a huge variety of highlights encompassing everything from mountain passes with stunning views to grassy plains teeming with incredible wildlife. On our final recce, we saw all five of the ‘Big Five’ and we expect competitors to do the same.

Regular reports and results from the Southern Cross Safari will be available via the www.rallytheglobe.com website, with a great selection of rights-free photographs from the Rally available for media on request post-event.

The Southern Cross Safari marks the start of a very busy portfolio of events for the already acclaimed new Rally the Globe team. In April comes the Celtic Challenge set in the British Isles, and quickly thereafter the start of the ultimate ‘Round the World’ circumnavigation, split into three stand-alone sections between May 2020 and June 2021 – London to Casablanca, Boston to Vancouver and Vladivostok to London. A few remaining places on those events are still available for those looking to take advantage of Rally the Globe’s inspiration, vision and expertise.

CARRERA ATLANTICA: FROM THE NATION’S CAPITAL TO THE FLORIDA KEYS

  • Entries open for driving adventure from Washington DC to Key West
  • Visits to fantastic motor sport museums and historic car collections  
  • Speed tests at world-class motor sport venues including Daytona and Sebring
  • Spectacular traffic-free roads through the Appalachian Mountains
  • Luxurious accommodation including Ritz Carlton at Amelia Island
  • Entries open for all owners of pre-1976 vintage and classic cars 

The advent of 2020 marks the launch of Rally the Globe’s latest driving adventure, with entries for the ‘ground-breaking’ Carrera Atlantica opening in the New Year.

Featuring an incredible route which sets out from the heart of Washington DC and concludes in sun-blessed Key West, the all-new Carrera Atlantica (17 February – 6 March 2021) will treat participants in pre-1976 vintage and classic cars to a memorable 17-day escapade through the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida before reaching a spectacular finish at the most southerly tip of mainland America.

On arrival in Key West, prizes will be awarded to those crews performing best over a number of daily regularity and speed tests – the inclusion of an element of competition enriching the travel experience for many of those entering.

Building on the huge success of the recent Carrera Iberia set in Spain and Portugal, Carrera Atlantica is another of Rally the Globe’s ‘Carrera’ style events. As such, it offers participants an outstanding all-asphalt route as well as luxurious accommodation and thus is very different in character from the second leg of Rally the Globe’s seminal Round the World escapade which is also set in North America. The latter is an epic trans-continental passage that places the emphasis on endurance, with far longer days and the inclusion of many gravel road sections.

“Carrera Atlantica will be terrific,”

 

predicts Rally Director Fred Gallagher who has been working closely with former F1 commentator and now US racing guru Andrew Marriott to plan an unparalleled 3,000-mile (4,800km) route running from the many iconic buildings of the nation’s capital to Ernest Hemingway’s haunt with its captivating Caribbean sunsets.

“The concept is ground-breaking and the driving route quite unlike anything that has been offered before,” enthuses Gallagher. “We have opted for a slightly longer event to make the shipping worthwhile for those travelling from outside the States and, being entirely based on sealed roads, Carrera Atlantica is well-suited to all vintage and classic cars whether Jaguar XKs and TRs or Aston Martin DB4s and Ferrari GTOs.

“The start in Washington will obviously be very special, and thereafter the voyage splits into two very distinct halves. The first part of the route is set largely on some great twisty driving roads through the Appalachian Mountains with tests every day; the second half in Florida is much flatter. However, race tracks are plentiful and very welcoming, too.”

Indeed, appealing to all enthusiasts, Carrera Atlantica visits many of America’s most famous motor sport venues including Road Atlanta, home of the Petit Le Mans sportscar race, Charlotte right at the heart of NASCAR country and both Daytona Speedway and the fabled Daytona Beach where Sir Malcolm Campbell set no fewer than five land speed records in his Bluebird. There is also an overnight stop at Sebring Raceway where entrants will stay at the hallowed Seven Hotel, so named as it overlooks Turn 7 of the circuit.

Another of the stand-out Carrera Atlantica hotels is the famous Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island where participants will take part in their own dedicated car show at the site of one of the world’s greatest automotive concours events.

Other major highlights include dinner aboard the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, visits to museums and art galleries plus a well-earned rest day in Savannah, where evocative paddle-steamers splash past the selected harbourside Westin Hotel complex. The second rest day comes in Naples – here, the city’s Fifth Street will be closed exclusively for the display of Carrera cars.

While the launch of the alluring Carrera Atlantica is certain to command huge interest, Rally the Globe has four more phenomenal and far-reaching events on its eye-catching calendar before competing crews start arriving in Washington DC in February 2021. In just a few weeks’ time, the inaugural Southern Cross Safari opens in East Africa followed by April’s equally engaging Celtic Challenge based in the British Isles. Thereafter follow the opening two legs of the epic Round the World adventure: the first part from London to Casablanca, the second from Boston to Vancouver.

CELTIC CHALLENGE TO HONOUR TT RACER WHO LOST HIS LIFE AT DUNDROD

  • Famous fifties Frazer Nash ‘Kermit’ returns to scene of its fatal accident
  • Current owner to lay commemorative wreath paying tribute to Eric Winterbottom
  • Spectacular five-day driving adventure in the British Isles
  • Entries still open for owners of pre-1969 vintage and classic cars   

Many old cars have rich histories and plenty of stories to tell but few more poignant than the Frazer Nash entered into next spring’s Celtic Challenge – during the event it will be returning to the scene of its fatal racing accident dating back to the infamous RAC Tourist Trophy of 1951.

Rally the Globe’s demanding five-day Celtic Challenge (21-26 April) driving adventure starts in England and runs through Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland en route to a finish in Scotland. The challenging route includes a visit to the fearsome Dundrod street circuit, in County Antrim where the legendary TT was held between 1950 and 1955.

The combination of narrow lanes and high speeds produced some spectacular racing – and three famous Stirling Moss victories – but were not without danger, and Britain’s most celebrated sportscar race was switched to Goodwood on grounds of safety after three fatalities during the 1955 race.

Those were not Dundrod’s first casualties either – four years earlier popular Surrey publican Eric Winterbottom succumbed after crashing on the opening lap of the 1951 TT. Now, nearly 70 years on, the pale green Frazer Nash in which Winterbottom lost his life is returning to Dundrod – its current owner Noelle Dunkerley, together with co-driver and close friend Paul Flett, having joined those contesting the inaugural Celtic Challenge.

“It’s the first time I’ve entered one of these wonderful events and didn’t at first realise the significance of the route,” admitted Noelle who inherited the car from her father Alan Dunkerley. “The fact we are actually going to Dundrod will obviously make it quite emotional. We are planning to place a laurel wreath at Wheeler’s Corner in memory of Eric who had so much history with the car in the early fifties before he tragically lost his life far too early at just 42 years old.”

Now affectionately known as ‘Kermit’ – so named by Noelle’s daughter Claire on account of its distinctive green bodywork – the Frazer Nash has indeed quite a history to retell. Earlier in 1951, Winterbottom had raced it at Le Mans finishing a fine 14th overall and second in class. He clearly loved driving the car as he then set off, with suitcases on the rack, to the South of France for the Alpine Rally where a faultless performance earned a coveted Coupe des Alpes award for him and owner/co-driver George Duff.

After its Dundrod crash the car was rebuilt by Duff with whom Winterbottom had been sharing the driving duties at the fateful TT and continued to race at circuits such as Goodwood and Silverstone throughout the fifties and sixties. The car was then purchased by Frazer Nash enthusiast Alan Dunkerley in 1996 and passed onto his daughter Noelle on his death in 2007. 

“It was blue when my dad first got the car but he found the original colour underneath and had it restored to a similar pale green to the one it had in period,” explained Noelle. “More recently I’ve started doing some more homework on the car, and also into Eric Winterbottom. It turns out he was born in Flixton in the North West where I’m from. Later in life he must have headed south to run the Albert Hotel in Kingston, a well-known haunt for the hot-bed of enthusiastic racer drivers in the area. I’d love to find out more both about him and, of course, Kermit.”

As well as a visit to Dundrod, the 2020 Celtic Challenge also includes a visit to another of Northern Ireland’s fabled early RAC TT road courses – Ards, situated between Comber and Newtownards, where the illustrious race was staged nine times from 1928 to 1936. It attracted huge crowds numbering close to 500,000, all marvelling at the high-speed exploits of the era’s greatest drivers including double-winner Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Carraciola, Kaye Don and Freddie Dixon. 

Combining a number of competitive tests with some great driving roads and lashings of legendary Gaelic hospitality, the meticulously crafted five-day Celtic Challenge starts from the Carden Park spa hotel outside Chester. The opening sections are then set in the stunning scenery of north Wales including tests around the iconic Great Orme peninsula and at the popular Anglesey circuit. 

On top of visits to both Ards and Dundrod, the Irish excursion features an overnight halt in the historic Titanic Quarter of Belfast. For TV buffs, there’s also the chance to savour Game of Thrones landscapes and landmarks. 

Having re-crossed the Irish Sea to Scotland, participants visit Turnberry and a final morning tackling more competitive tests and experiencing the magnificent highways through the Southern Uplands, before a fitting finale in the celebrated golfing town of St Andrews. 

It promises to be a truly memorable driving adventure for all those entering – but even more so for Noelle Dunkerley and her extraordinarily significant 1951 Frazer Nash ‘Kermit’.  

Full day-by-day details of the Celtic Challenge are available on the www.rallytheglobe.com website. Entry is open to all abilities driving either vintage or post-vintage cars built before the end of 1969. 

Main image photo credit: Motorsport Images. Eric Winterbottom & John Marshall, A.F.N. Ltd, Frazer Nash LM Replica, battles with Pierre Levegh & René Marchand, Talbot Lago Monoplace Decalee at 1951 Le Mans.

RALLY LEGEND GERRY CROWN JOINS ROUND THE WORLD ADVENTURE

  • Remarkable 87-year-old Aussie enters circumnavigation trilogy
  • The secrets of success: good genes, a well-prepared car, a good co-driver and a slice of luck   
  • Incredible 80 days and 35,000kms of classic endurance driving  
  • Confirmed international entries include proven marathon rally winners

Marathon rallying legend Gerry Crown is gearing up for an even greater adventure. Having recently won the Peking to Paris for the third time at the ripe old age of 87, the remarkable Australian has now entered the ultimate circumnavigation challenge – Rally the Globe’s eponymous Round the World.

Back in his earlier days, Crown rallied Down Under with enough talent to attract factory support from Renault. But then quit the hot-seat to concentrate his efforts on running one of Australia’s most well-known toys and games companies – Crown & Andrews – which he co-founded. More recently, though, Gerry has reignited his motorsport ambitions and earned himself a global reputation as the undisputed king of gruelling endurance rallies.

Split into three separate legs, the life-defining Round the World sets out from the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, London on 23 May 2020 returning to the same spot on 19 June 2021 after 80 days and 35,000kms of epic endurance motoring through four continents in vintage and classic cars.

It is going to be an incredible trilogy and an epic competitive journey featuring more than 100 speed and navigational tests – all adding up to an incredible experience the extraordinary Crown is relishing.

“To have this opportunity to rally around the world in an event which has not been attempted for 20 years is too good to resist,”

enthused the ever-intrepid octogenarian who is co-driven by fellow-countryman Matt Bryson. Providing further assistance, Matt also prepares Crown’s victorious Aussie icon cars.

The pair’s most recent intercontinental victory came crewing a 1974 V8-engined Leyland P76 in the post-war category, the same sturdy beast in which Gerry and Matt also won the 2013 Peking to Paris. Three years previously to that success the duo scored their first victory, this time in the 1964 Holden EH in which Gerry and Matt’s father John had first contested the event back in 1997 and, indeed, won their class. Now Crown is contemplating employing his two uniquely-Australian cars on the forthcoming Round the World escapade.

“Both cars are well suited to the rough terrains that we can expect,” he predicted. “The P76 is more powerful but, maybe, we’ll use the Holden for the second leg across north America.”

It is the opening leg from London to Casablanca, however, which intrigues him most. “I have never been to Morocco, so I’m really looking forward to that section,” admitted Crown before adding that he expects the marathon third leg from Vladivostok back to London to be the toughest. “Driving in Russia is always hard work,” said the man who knows better than most having conquered more of these gruelling motoring marathons than anyone else on Earth.

Crown attributes his notable successes in such endurance events to a well prepared car (“Matt has built all three winning cars”), a good co-driver (“Matt is the best”) plus a healthy dose of deal of good luck. “Things will inevitably go wrong, it is just when and how you deal with them,” he divulged.

Now he is trusting good fortune, his own wealth of experience and assistance from trusty Matt for yet another headline-grabbing, age-defying performance on the Round the World triple-header… an outstanding treble he once again is hoping to win even as he nears his 90th birthday.

“Luckily I’m blessed with good genes – my father was 96 when he passed away and my Mother 99,” he said before switching his attentions to competition ahead. “While the main appeal is always the wonderful camaraderie of rallying with old friends, we will certainly be trying hard to win it, but there will be some stiff opposition.”

Indeed, underlining the exceptional quality of those setting out around the globe, those already entered include Graham and Marina Goodwin who won the pre-war class in the latest edition of the Peking to Paris in their twenties Bentley and another husband and wife team – Alan and Tina Beardshaw – who took top honours on Rally the Globe’s recent Carrera Iberia driving an Aston Martin DB5.

“We are thrilled that Gerry and Matt will be contesting all three legs of our Round the World adventure,” said Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s distinguished Rally Director. “It’s a real honour for us to have them on the entry list and with their amazing track record, they will certainly be among the favourites for victory… and what a terrific story that would be!”

Before the seminal Round the World leaves London next May, Rally the Globe’s next two events are the East African-based ‘Southern Cross Safari’ in February 2020, followed quickly by the Celtic Challenge in the British Isles in April. A few remaining places on those events are still available for those wishing to take advantage of Rally the Globe’s inspiration, vision and expertise – three stand-out excellences endorsed by the five star reviews awarded to the club’s highly-praised Carrera Iberia debut last month.

CARRERA IBERIA CURTAIN-RAISER RECEIVES RAVE FIVE STAR REVIEWS

• Rally the Globe sets new standards in the delivery of epic driving adventures 
• Aston Martin DB5 and rare Kurtis Comet make history by winning new venture’s debut event   
• Superlative ten-day competitive journey draws huge praise from sell-out entry  
• Plaudits agree: ‘The Rally the Globe team is the best in the business’

Rally the Globe’s debut event – last week’s Carrera Iberia – has been hailed as a massive, game-changing success by all those involved.

Established as a not-for-profit club by many of the sport’s top organisers and participants, the ambitious new group could not have hoped for a more positive introduction, nor for a more perfect launchpad for its forthcoming programme of peerless global competitive driving adventures.

Carrera Iberia attracted a sell-out entry of both vintage and classic cars with entrants unanimously agreeing that Rally the Globe has already set new standards, setting the bar by which future events will now be judged.

“I’ve done three rallies in six weeks all run by different companies and, without a shadow of doubt, this is head and shoulders above everything else,” enthused Stephen Hardwick who finished seventh overall in the Classic Category in his 1965 Ford Falcon.

“We’ve done lots of these events and this is as good as it gets,” concurred Jim Gately, the American claiming victory in the Vintage & Vintageant Category in his distinctive 1947 Kurtis Comet. “This really has been a fabulous rally: the route was the best we’ve ever done; the traffic free roads were a dream for classic cars and the hospitality throughout was second to none. It was just great to be part of it and we are definitely coming back for some more.”

Sharing similar thoughts, Ian Milne co-driver in an iconic 1974 Datsun 240Z added: “No other rally organisation will be able to hold a candle to Rally the Globe now. It is self-evident that the Rally the Globe team is the best in the business.” 

“It’s hard to believe this was Rally the Globe’s inaugural event,” echoed Bentley pilot Clint Smith.

Indeed, Rally Director Fred Gallagher confirms the rally has received widespread acclaim; an incredible achievement for a new team – albeit of proven experts – which has conceived and delivered a totally new event all within 16 months. “We could not have had a better start,” admitted a delighted Gallagher. “Putting together this rally in such a short space of time was very demanding, but the end result has been well worth it. Now we are looking forward to the future.”

Carrera Iberia was a magical ten-day journey taking participants on an exhilarating voyage from the historical port of Santander in northern Spain to Vilamoura on the southern coast of Portugal – an epic 3,470kms route, packed with outstanding attractions as well as nine tests and 19 regularity sections.

The carefully planned route featured nine days of memorable driving on deserted asphalt roads far away from the beaten track.  Crews drove through wine regions, rolling hills, dramatic canyons, twisting hillclimbs and atmospheric medieval citadels, while enjoying overnight stops at Paradors, Pousadas and five-star hotels.

In the Vintage & Vintageant section long distance rally winners Graham and Marina Goodwin jointly topped the early leaderboard with Gately and his navigator Tony Brooks after the opening day’s section between Santander and Rioja. It was a short-lived joint lead, though, for the Bentley pairing and the Goodwins eventually would have to be satisfied with third place in their Category.

From Day 2 onwards Gately’s distinctive Kurtis Comet was never headed although the Belgian duo Anton Gonnissen and Inge Willemen, in another of the Bentleys, kept the pressure on right to the end in the Category for earlier cars.

Meanwhile, the glorious Aston Martin DB5 of Alan and Tina Beardshaw never lost the lead in the Classics Category despite being under pressure for the entire rally from the Triumphs of Mike and Lorna Harrison in a TR3A and David and Jo Roberts in a TR4. David and Susan Danglard’s tremendous pace on the final day’s test saw the Americans grab a last gasp podium place in their blue Porsche 911.

At the finish Alan Beardshaw was ecstatic. “Having never won anything other than Tina’s hand in marriage, today is a very special day for me, we’re absolutely thrilled,” grinned the victorious Beardshaw. “I’m not sure it gets much better than this.”

As well as crowning the winners and welcoming all the finishers, Gallagher was quick to praise those who have played key roles in the creation of the already peerless Rally the Globe club.

“I must thank all those who have had faith in us: the founding members who shared our vision; the competitors who believed we would deliver a new level of driving and lifestyle experiences and our great team who nailed their colours to our mast and combined to produce such an utterly tremendous first event.”

Gallagher attributes much of the success to Rally the Globe’s unrivalled insight into what participants covet from such driving adventures, as well as meticulous attention to detail. “Whether it was the magical pre-start reception in Santander’s grand old Hotel Real, the Estoril Grand Prix track, the exclusive parking in Trujillo’s historic Plaza Mayor, the private ferry to the deserted Troia Peninsula,  or even the event-themed and monogrammed M&Ms given out at the start, it all added up to a very, very special dawn for Rally the Globe,” verified Gallagher. “Now we have raised the bar and established new standards, the challenge is to keep on delivering such sublime motoring experiences.” 

As Chairman and one of the founding members, Graham Goodwin has been highly involved in the setting up of Rally the Globe. He summed up Carrera Iberia by saying: “The team we have put together is fantastic and what they’ve delivered has been remarkable. We’re really looking forward to the future and it just goes to show that with the right planning, the right people and the proper team, you can achieve anything. I’m absolutely delighted and looking forward to many more such events.”
 
To that end, Rally the Globe has already announced a full-programme of both endurance and adventure style rallies filling the next four years – many of these are already in advanced stages of preparation.

Next up is the East African-based ‘Southern Cross Safari’ in February 2020, followed quickly by the Celtic Challenge in the British Isles next April and then the seminal ‘Round the World’ split into three individual sections between May 2020 and June 2021. A few remaining places on those events are still available for those to take advantage of Rally the Globe’s now proven inspiration, vision and expertise.

2019 CARRERA IBERIA: RESULTS

Vintage & Vintageant Category

1. Jim Gately (USA)/Tony Brooks (GBR) 1947 Kurtis Comet 0:02:13
2. Anton Gonnissen (BEL)/Inge Willemen (BEL) 1948 Bentley Speed 8 0:02:59
3. Graham Goodwin (GBR)/Marina Goodwin (GBR) 1927 Bentley Speed 0:03:41
4. Keith Ashworth (GBR)/Norah Ashworth (GBR) 1927 Bentley 4 1⁄2 Le Mans 0:03:55*
5. Bertie Van Houtte (FRA)/Charlotte Van Houtte (GBR) 1925 Bentley 3-4 1⁄2 0:05:45
6. Andrew Long (GBR)/Gina Long (GBR) 1937 Bentley Derby VDP 0:06:59*
7. Anthony Strelzow (CAN)/Lee-Ann Strelzow (CAN) 1936 Bentley Derby Coupe 0:15:38
8. Clint Smith (GBR)/Dawn Smith (GBR) 1929 Bentley Speed Six 4:35:18
9. Gavin Henderson (GBR)/Diana Henderson (GBR) 1922 Bentley 3-4 1⁄2 5:27:51

2019 CARRERA IBERIA: RESULTS

Classics Category

1. Alan Beardshaw (GBR)/Tina Beardshaw (GBR) 1965 Aston Martin DB5 0:01:07
2. Mike Harrison (GBR)/Lorna Harrison (GBR) 1959 Triumph TR3A 0:02:10
3. David Danglard (USA)/Susan Danglard (USA) 1973 Porsche 911 0:02:33
4. David Roberts (GBR)/Jo Roberts (GBR) 1963 Triumph TR4 0:02:54*
5. Mick de Haas (NLD)/Grace de Haas (NLD) 1966 Mercedes-Benz 280SL 0:03:20
6. Manuel Dubs (SWI)/Irene Dubs (SWI) 1965 Ford Mustang V8 Convertible 0:03:31
7. Stephen Hardwick (GBR)/Samantha Hardwick (GBR) 1965 Ford Falcon 0:03:39*
8. Andrew Laing (GBR)/Ian Milne (GBR) 1974 Datsun 240Z 0:06:33*
9. Clemens Lansing (GER)/Emilia Lansing (GER) 1971 Porsche 911 Targa 0:06:43
10. Christof Ley (GER)/ Len Treeter (CAN) 1958 Mercedes-Benz Ponton 220S 0:07:16
11. Sholto Gilbertson (GBR)/Casper Killick (GBR) 1964 Jaguar E-Type 0:07:21
12. Neil Oatley (GBR)/Peta Oatley (GBR) 1967 Lancia Fulvia 1.3S Rallye 0:09:29
13. Rogier Quekel (NLD)/Marjan te Velde (NLD) 1970 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 0:09:32
14. Jeremy Clayton (GBR)/Jenny Clayton (GBR) 1966 Ford Mustang 0:10:10
15. Anthony Verloop (NLD)/Sonja Verloop (NLD) 1973 MGB GT V8 0:10:11
16. Charles Stuart-Menteth (GBR)/Nicola Stuart-Menteth (GBR) 1962 MGA MK2 0:10:36
17. Otakar Chládek (CZE)/Jindřiška Žemličková (CZE) 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL 0:15:49
18. Roland Singer (AUT)/Bernhard Ziegler (AUT) 1966 Saab 96 V4 2:02:39

*Class winners (note top three overall ineligible for awards)