With only 2,800 miles (4,500 kms) covered and 15,000 miles (25,000 kms) left to go, the gruelling London to Sydney Marathon Car Rally has already claimed nineteen victims.
SV Joint British Australian entry Ford Escort car driven by Chris Bruce and Peter Carracher, arrives with dented bumper (2 shots)
SV PAN Australian car No. 62
CU Japanese car No. 48, Subaru 4WD, driven by Noriyuki Koseki
CU Drivers preparing to drive off again at early morning
CU PAN Current leader German Mercedes 280E, driven by Joachim Warmbold, drives off
CU Interview with Colin Malkin, driver of U.K. car lying second
CU PAN Malkin and Andrew Cowan drive off in Car 33 Mercedes 280E
CU Paddy Hopkirk drives off in No. 45 Citroen CX, joint U.K-Australian entry lying sixth position (2 shots)
CU PAN German car No. 27 Mercedes 280E, driver Herbert Kleint, driving off
MALKIN: "From as far as London down to Athens here, it's been fairly hard work, the stages have been very rough, and we've had to take it fairly steady so as to keep the car in good condition because there's a long way to go yet."
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
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Background: With only 2,800 miles (4,500 kms) covered and 15,000 miles (25,000 kms) left to go, the gruelling London to Sydney Marathon Car Rally has already claimed nineteen victims. Only fifty of the original sixty-nine starters were left when the cars drove out of Athens early on Friday morning (19 August). At that stage, German rally ace, Joachim Warmbold had taken a commanding lead.
SYNOPSIS: Athens sweltered under 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 C.) temperatures as the first cars arrived. Some like the joint British-Australian Ford Escort driven by Chris Bruce and Peter Carracher, were already showing signs of the inevitable accidents.
But most, like Australians Tom Goldsborough and Michael Coles remained unscathed, although one Australian crew, headed by Albert Sedaitis, ended up in hospital after a collision in Yugoslavia. They're reported not seriously hurt, but their race is over. The current leader, German driver Joachim Warmbold, in car thirty-seven, is six minutes ahead of Britain's Colin Malkin, who found the Europe section surprisingly tough:
With an experienced co-driver like Andrew Cowan, Malkin is one of the favourites to win this most testing marathon. But he'll have old stagers like Paddy Hopkirk in his Citroen to worry about. Hopkirk left Athens running sixth in the field. He came out of retirement to compete.
The race is still very much in its early days, and one wrong turn or misjudgment can put a clear leader out of the running. Nineteen have been forced to retire already.