Last Sunday, June 2, the seventh edition of the Peking to Paris rally begun. This year one car belonging to two driver members of the Scuderia del Portello – Philip and Laurette Macwhirter, who live in Victoria (Australia) – is taking part in the event. Driving an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super from 1970, prepared in 1993 and then again in 2000 by another driver member of the Scuderia for the London-Sydney Marathon, the Macwhirters have to cover almost 14,000 kilometers. The countries that the caravan will cross are 11, and the route is different from the one of the Peking to Paris 2016, in which two Giulia of the Scuderia del Portello took part, respectively driven by the President Marco Cajani, with Alessandro Morteo as a co-driver, and by the journalist Roberto Chiodi with his wife, the photographer Maria Rita Degli Esposti. Indeed, this edition will cross China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France. The crews will arrive in Paris on July 7th.
Philip and Laurette Macwhirter are no strangers to long distance and endurance rallies, having driven and rallied their 1969 Morgan Plus 8 to 35 different countries since 2002. The longest event in their Morgan was a drive from Edinburgh to China. Conversely to what is happening to all the Italian crews, who at the first stages of the rally went across serious troubles, the Macwhirters, whose race number is 79, arrived in Ulan Bator in 13th position, having before them only very high hand cars. Crossing Mongolia is the part of the rally which mainly worries all the participants; it is actually said that “the rally cannot be won in Mongolia, but it can certainly be lost there”.
The dream of the MacWhirters is to finish the rally and conquer a Gold medal, which is earned by completing every stage and test within the allotted time and not missing any time control from morning to night each day. They will add, when possible, regular posts to their blog – https://avantialfap2p.blogspot.com/ – dedicated to the Peking to Paris they are currently taking part in.
PHOTO 1: Philip and Laurette MacWhirter, driver members of the Scuderia del Portello living in Australia, on their Alfa Romeo Giulia Super from 1970. Photo by Gerard Brown.
PHOTO 2: Philip and Laurette MacWhirter, driver members of the Scuderia del Portello living in Australia, in Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia. Photo by Guo Yiming aka Trevor.
PHOTO 3: Philip and Laurette MacWhirter, driver members of the Scuderia del Portello living in Australia, in Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia. Photo by Guo Yiming aka Trevor.