From June 2 to July 7, 2019, Chris and John Beresford participated in the seventh running of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. This 15,000km car rally travelled through 12 countries, from China, through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, across Russia to Finland, the Baltic countries, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France.
The event takes place every three years. It is based on a 1907 challenge by a Parisian newspaper who sponsored the original race which attracted five entries, four of which made it to Paris.
The modern-day rally is open to cars built before 1976 and this year attracted 105 teams from all over the world. The Beresford brothers drove a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle and were the sole Canadian entry.
The route included every kind of road imaginable, and some sections, in the Gobi Desert, featured no roads at all, just tracks through the sand and rocks. Once in Russia and from then on, special speed tests were held on race tracks and on dirt and gravel roads, closed to public traffic. Much to their surprise, John and Chris finished 11th in their class and 30th overall, out of 94 finishers.
The rally was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the Beresford brothers. Amazing scenery, friendly people everywhere and remarkable camaraderie among the rally teams were just some of the highlights.
A daily blog of the event can be found here: https://drivefordeirdre.blog
The Supported Charity: Drive for Deirdre
The team chose the Arthritis Society as their designated charity. John’s late wife Deirdre Beresford was diagnosed in the 1980’s with rheumatoid arthritis and passed away in April 2016 due to complications from the disease. While she was able, Deirdre served for many years as a volunteer for the Arthritis Society, being very active at the Victoria Arthritis Centre, as well as serving in other health-related charitable causes.
All donations received through the “Drive for Deirdre” project will go directly to the Arthritis Society. We thank all who have supported the campaign to-date and we are delighted to report our goal of $50,000 has been surpassed and donations are still coming in. The campaign will continue until the end of 2019.
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