Off around the world

Wednesday, 16th April, 2014

Driver Pat Cole with his son and navigator Brad during their stopover in Broken Hill. They and their crew are part of the Sydney to London Classic Marathon Rally. Driver Pat Cole with his son and navigator Brad during their stopover in Broken Hill. They and their crew are part of the Sydney to London Classic Marathon Rally.

By Emily Roberts

Locals awoke to the sounds of revving motors and classic cars driving out of the city yesterday on their way to London.

The car rally started in Sydney and arrived in Broken Hill on Monday for an overnight stop.

The London to Sydney rally was first run 10 years ago but this time it was twisted around so the rally is going in the opposite direction.

The Sydney to London Classic Marathon Rally - also dubbed “The Big One” - kicked off on April 12 and the Australia leg will finish in Perth on April 22.

Competitors who are heading onto London will then be airlifted out of Perth to Turkey.

After Turkey, the rally runs through Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy and France before crossing to England and heading to London for the finish on May 11.

The race is a special stage gravel and asphalt rally for pre-1981 Classic Cars with certain modifications allowed for the long distances. Most days there will be up to six special stages.

The Challenge Event is for any suitable passenger car, including 4x4 recreational vehicles, licenced for use on the public highway, with a crew of up to four people.

Entrants in both the Challenge and Competition Events can choose to do the whole route or opt for either the Australian or European legs only.

According to a media spokesman, the rally was first held in 1968.

“This is the first time it has started in Sydney,” he said.

“There are 20 cars that have entered in the rally.

“In the last 45 years, six of these rallies have run.”

The spokesman said it was a very big rally and quite popular.

A crew member of the Pat Cole Racing team, Ray Myers, said the trip had been “pretty good”.

The car they are racing is a Mercedes 280SL.

“A couple of stages have been cancelled due to wash outs and rain-affected tracks,” Mr Myers said.

“But there are people from Turkey, Germany, Britain, Australia - all over the world.”

Mr Myers said the rally stopped overnight in the city and was now going to Renmark.

Mr Myers’ driver Pat Cole has driven in many rallies before.

“The car has been to 57 different countries,”  Mr Cole said.

“We did the London-Sydney rally and Panama-Alaska, as well as many others.

“We will be stopping at Perth for this rally. Time couldn’t permit us to go on the whole rally.”

As of yesterday morning, Mr Cole was coming first in the John Giddings Memorial Trophy (Australian leg only).

For more information or to see the results visit www.transworldhistoricrallying.com.