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Midnight Sun to Red Sea Rally

12th June 2004

Day 10 - Veliko to Istanbul (Turkey)


More Regularities in the mountains before dropping down onto the plains and crossing the border into Turkey and a 200 km blast down the motorway into the exciting and romantic ancient city of Istanbul.

To avoid the terrifying, stressful city traffic we've chosen a super hotel an easy loop off the motorway and on the sea beside a marina just a 20 minute cab ride from the city centre. 

The exotic city of Istanbul welcomed the Midnight Sun to Red Sea competitors in today after 12 days and 4,800 kilometres of gruelling competition. With the mosques and minarets making their distinctive outline in the overcast skies, the cars pulled into the day’s final time control with the promise of a well needed day of rest and repairs tomorrow.

But there was no time for complacency in the highland hamlets of Bulgaria this morning, as competitors battled it out over 2 stages and 29 kilometres of closed roads. In the first slippery and narrow hillclimb, Ray Bellm pipped Smokin’ Joe McAndrew for stage honours by 6 seconds.

“It was extremely greasy on the road - we were sliding around like a puck on an ice rink” said Bellm of the hillclimb.

However McAndrew and co-driver Murray Cole exacted their revenge on the flatter second stage, beating the Bellm / Lanzante Porsche by just 3 seconds. more...

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