RALLY - 1995
At the end of the London-Sydney event in '93 dozens of competitors turned to Brittan saying, "That was great - where do we go next "
It wasn't a difficult question to answer having just celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1968 London-Sydney for the 25th anniversary of the 1970 London-Mexico was only two years away. At the Awards Dinner in Sydney Brittan announced that London-Mexico as the next event. Nine competitors signed up that evening.
Brittan spent eight months surveying and planning the route through South and Central America and found much of the original route from the '70 event.
The winner of the 1970 event had been Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm in a Ford Escort. Through his connections at Ford Brittan was able to persuade the company to bring Mikkola and Palm out of retirement and rebuild a Mk 1 Escort to the same specifications as the original inning car which sat in the Ford museum.
Brittan recalls, " Jac Nasser was Chairman of Ford Europe at the time and I said to him that I felt Hannu and Gunnar could make history by winning the event again - 25 years after theit first victory. I told him that if that happened he'd have a book pair of cars in his museum and the distinction of winning the same event twice twenty five apart."
Brittan's prediction was to come true. There were 59 starters for the event that took 30 days to cross 15 countries including an awesome day across the top of the Andes from Bolivia into Peru. Mikkola and Palm were the class of the field finishing a comfortable 12 minutes of former Australian champion Ross Dunkerton in a Datsun 240Z.
In the Ford museum today there sit a pair of almost identical cars - winners in 1970 and again in 1995.
Again TWE used the specially racked Antonovs to lift competitors from 16 countries from Lisbon in Portugal to Sao Paulo in Brazil.
"The organisational degree of difficulty was greater," says Brittan. "There was a war going on between Peru and Ecuador but through the British Embassies in both countries we were able to negotiate a six hour cease fire and for the vent to pass through the frontiers. That was pretty impressive. The ship carrying the cars and crews from Cartegena in Colombia to Panama was suddenly put out of service and banned by government from running the route because of the threat of carrying a cattle disease. Again we able to prevail on the Panamanian government via the Embassy and special permission was given for the boat to run with us on board. in Mexico the event was held up for three hours on a bridge in a political demonstration."
Again the event was run with 42 special stages, all timed to the second. And again it was recognised by competitors, governing bodies in all the 15 countries as a huge success. Again ITV produced another one hour documentary titled Down Mexico Way which was seen around the world.
It was tough event with just 45 of the 59 starters classified at the finish in Acapulco.
Top Ten finishers on the event were :
||Hannu Mikkola / Gunnar Palm
||Ross Dunkerton / Harry Mansson
||Dean Rainsford / Ben Rainsford
||Janos Balazs / Andras Jojart
||Tony Fall /Roy Dixon
||John Leppard / Nick Starkey
||Bruce Hodgson / Paddy McClintock
||G. Singh-Milkhu / I Singh-Milkhu
||Terry Daly / Bob Brill
||Ernst Harrach / Franz Mikes
For the whole exciting story of the event, results and day-by day bulletins plus each competitor's own story, read the LONDON-MEXICO RALLY 95 - THE BOOK. Copies available from the Rally Office. See our Books and Videos page.