Monday 18 July 2016, Paris
finally over and we have survived. Was there ever any
doubt? It’s actually quiet stressful travelling at the back of the
field, worrying if something is going to impact and cost time
penalties. Our 40 minute lead could have disappeared easily, with road
works or a missed exit on a motorway or (shudder, shudder), a mechanical
But none of that happened.
We were the first Classic car to the finish, and for a couple of old cynics, we were both a little moved seeing our wives after the longest period we have been separated in 40 plus years. Mary and I were married in '74, Mark and Anne in '76.
eyes were soon after filled with champagne as I enjoyed the moment and
spread it everywhere. Probably a shame to waste that expensive
champagne but I enjoyed it.
Last night was a very long presentation in the ballroom of the Paris Intercontinental.
A very elaborate over-the-top setting where we were all expected to wear dinner suits.
We were lucky to have Mary and Anne already in Paris who
were able to hire suits for us.
morning, Mark and I took the car to a cargo depot out near the
airport where we ran it out of petrol and disconnected the
battery, ready to be rolled into a container for the trip home.
So, a fabulous experience with the best possible result.
I need to congratulate Mark on a splendid drive. I want to
congratulate all competitors who finished, with special mention of
the prominence of Australians in high placings. The Jacksons in 3rd,
David Gainer/Peter St George in 4th,
Gerry Crown / Matt Bryson in 6th.
Our Belgian friends Eric and Renee came in 5th.
The ERA Sweeps and Mechanics need special mention, along with
fellow competitors who helped along the way and without their
help, we would not have made it.
And finally, a big thanks to Anne and Mary who allowed us to be
part of the adventure.
The last word should go to Mark:
Due to time restraints, I wasn't able to express the following
last night at the presentation dinner…
I wish to thank Anne, my wife of 40 years who allows me the time
and money to rush off all over the world on these adventures.
Whilst she does worry about me, she has always been supportive of
me chasing these dreams.
To my long time friend Dave for his patience, commitment and for keeping me grounded. Also Dave's wife Mary for lending him to me again and many thanks for all the behind the scenes work you do for us.
Our fellow competitors, especially :-
In closing, I would like to remember Philip Young. Those of us who knew him would probably have had a robust conversation with him at some time :-) but he gave so many of us the chance of a lifetime