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Press Releases 2001-2002 2000-2001 On Event News On Event Results

Midnight Sun to Red Sea Rally

June 15th - Day 13

Kusadasi to Antalya (Turkey)
Today is one of those mind boggling days - 150 kms of amazing shaped volcanic rock formations, Roman ruins, tiny villages, roads devoid of traffic.

Typical Turkish road-side cafes where they will pull the trout out of their pool and cook it for you in ten minutes while you sit sipping a cool drink under the grapevine awning. Where else would you rather be ?

Into our hotel overlooking the Mediterranean with super sea views for dinner on the terrace.

The bad news is that you have to leave in the morning. 


'Ray Bellm came out fighting today making up for his earlier misfortunes and his slide down the leader board. He beat Joe McAndrew on the second stage of the day by a clear 30 seconds. Joe won the first stage to make it a draw for the day – England 1 – New Zealand 1.

But the real star of the day was Graham Lorimer is his giant killing 1600cc Toyota who finished just one second behind stage winner Bellm. “Two seconds away from a stage win in this little thing can’t be all bad can it,” said a beaming Lorimer.

Today was another marathon day of 600 kms chasing the coast line through tiny towns and ancient picturesque red roofed villages. Today’s pair of 20+ km stages were on gravel.' 

Steve Blunt had another fruitful day with two fourth places on the stages in his Peugeot 306. “It’s meant to be a front wheel drive but it feels as if it’s got rear wheel steering. I think we need to check the back suspension before dinner,” he said looking wistfully at the clear blue swimming pool at the HQ hotel.  top

Day's total 573 kms

June 16th - Day 14

Antalya to Adana (Turkey)
We follow the coast road along the Mediterranean and then up into the hills before returning to the coast and the turquoise sea with lots of opportunities for coffee stops and even lunch at one of the many waterside cafes - the fresh grilled fish is to die for.

The last 140 kms is a fast blast on the motorway into our overnight stop. 


Keith and Mary-Ann Callinan in their magnificent bellowing Australian V8 Monaro charged through today’s two tarmac stages to post two stunning stage wins. Keith, beaming with a wall-to-wall smile, said, “It was beaut day, we finally got the Monaro going properly after a list of troubles and they were my sort stages. The best rallying day I’ve ever had – great stages and some of the best roads and scenery.”

Callinan’s winning times over both narrow twisty stages were even more amazing, he passed two cars in the first stage and one in the second; little wonder the beaming wide smile.

Ray Bellm, who had been working his way back onto the leader board retired immediately after setting second fastest time on the second stage with his Porsche 911 engine “sounding like a tin bucket full of bolts.”  top

Day's total 590 kms

June 17th - Day 15

Adana (Tukey) to Damascus (Syria)
Some great mountain roads, a bit slow going in places early on but spectacular distant views.

A tarmac stage in the mountains before we drop down to the Syrian border. Our Syrian friends will lay on a formal welcome at the tiny frontier. Welcome to Arabia - it's different, not just the signs all in fretwork Arabic writing but the whole life style is just very relaxed and very polite.

Then a run to Damascus which is the worlds' oldest permanently inhabited city and a chance to take an evening tour of the city and it's souks and mosques.

Our hotel is 20 minutes out of Damascus because there's no way you'd want to try driving in the centre amongst the million yellow cabs each one which is piloted by a Syrian who goes like Schumacher on steroids.


For the second successive day Keith and Mary-Ann Callinan blitzed the opposition with a stunning time over the 22 km tarmac stage – the last in Turkey - to record their third stage victory.

Today’s stage was fast hilly tarmac, well suited to the bigger engined cars and from there it was a run to the Syrian frontier where a warm welcome awaited the competitors. The Minister of Tourism’s department had laid on a slick Fast Lane to process the cars through the normally time-consuming procedures.

A band and a troupe of traditional dancing girls greeted the competitors all of whom were presented with gifts of flowers and scarves. “Quite the most impressive welcome we’ve had so far,” said John De Stefano as he struggled with a local tv interview.

The big blip of the day was the American BMW of Paul Shaver. “Peter Hall overtook us and we tried to keep up. Not a real smart move. I went off backwards 50 feet down and bank and got towed out by an army truck with about 20 officials present all laughing and giving instructions. No damage apart from a broken mud flap and a shattered ego,” reported a chastened Shaver.

Hall’s problems were confined to the rope that was holding their alternator on burning through. The bolts had broken two days ago. What to do about a repair tonight? “Buy some more rope,” said a straight faced Peter Hall.

Steve Blunt’s Peugeot had developed a wonky steering rack that was making coffee grinder noises. “It was giving me heaps of erratic understeer and with 300 ft drops into Turkish nowheresville - I backed off a bit on that stage,” said Blunt. 


Total 666 Kms

*© Reports from TRANS WORLD EVENTS 2002. Check out the official website for more in depth news.*
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