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London to Sydney Marathon

5th June - 4th July 2004

Day 17 - Mysore to Cochin (India)


Jimmy McRae lead the survivors of the Indian leg into Cochin after a pair of tarmac stages watched by spectators on the balconies of the Maharajas' palace.

The contest between him and Joe McAndrew carried on at full monte pace, both of them fully extended as they flicked and pitched through the turns and dips for a sweaty 15 minutes of full-on racing.

Joe took the first stage by a five second margin from Jimmy and repeated his stage win on the second one with a three second margin.

So Jimmy McRae has the kudos of going into Australia as the rally leader. "It' will be a whole different event once we get there," said Jimmy. "Longer tougher gravel stages that may well suit the bigger V8s so the Aussies tell me. They reckon that our little light modern cars won't cope with the outback. It's going to be fun, I'm looking forward to it."

Richard Martin-Hurst is in a handy 8th place in his V8 Capri Perana, a car well suited the rugged outback terrain. Fellow Brit Anthony Ward in his Mk1 Escort sits quietly in 6th place no doubt quietly wondering just how long the hard charging modern GpN cars in front of him maintain their breakneck pace.

Before the cars can be loaded onto the giant Russian Antonovs they must be inspected by two Australian quarantine officers and passed as 'zero tolerance' clean. The next two days will be spent with high pressure hoses, vacuum cleaners and polishing rags making sure they do comply.

Then it's an airlift into Darwin for both the cars and the driver who are then faced with a 1400km drive down to Alice Springs. "Good serious marathon men's stuff this," said American Paul Shaver.

The rally restarts at Ayers Rock on the morning of June 27th. There will be no more news stories or results until that evening.more...


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