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Midnight Sun to Red Sea Rally

14th June 2002

Day 12 - Istanbul to Kusadasi (Turkey)

STREET PARTIES - AND THE GpNs CHARGING HARD

Our good friend Iskender Aruoba who looked after us so well on the London-Sydney Marathon, has done it again. Two new days of superb route.

We start the day with an 8 km drive alongside the 3,000 year walls of the original Byzantine city and onto a 55 minute jet ferry ride which very smartly saves us 170 kms by road and takes us onto the Asian side of this fascinating country.

We're into that wonderfully remote and forgotten part of Turkey the tourist never sees with distant views to mountains and tiny villages untouched for 300 years.

Regularities in the mountains on gravel before dropping down through the biblical town of Ephesus and to our resort hotel on the sea front.

After a well earned rest day Rally leader Joe McAndrew lead a convoy of cars through the early morning light onto a ferry which would take them for a one hour ride across the Sea of Marmara into Asia Minor and Eastern Turkey.

As one of the worlds’ most famous skylines – minarets and the huge dome of the famous Blue mosque - faded into the background competitors sipped strong black Turkish coffee and braced themselves for two demanding gravel stages and a day of mountainous driving before dropping down to the spectacular Mediterranean coast.

Predictably Smokin’ Joe was fastest over the first stage, a rugged 15 kms of non too smooth gravel, and he was followed by Graham Lorimer in his 1600 cc Toyota and Steve Blunt in his Peugeot 306. Three GpNs ahead of the powerful V8 of Martin-Hurst and Ingleby.

A broken drive shaft on the first stage had Nick Starkey on his back and under the car but there was no instant fix. So he and Jim Hurman limped it back to the friendly Opel dealer in Bursa who pulled one off the shelf and fitted it and had them back on the road in quick smart time.

“One of the advantages of GpN is "off the shelf" parts, but we’re getting a bit bored with proving that point,” said Hurman. 
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