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Lima-Cape Horn 2022


22nd Oct-20th November 2022

Lima-Cape Horn 2022
Classic Winners: Filip Engelen/Ann Gillis (Porsche Targa 911)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent
Lima-Cape Horn 2022
Overall Winners: Herman Wielfaert/Katrien Tremerie (Bentley Speed 8)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

Organiser: HERO-ERA

Date: 22nd Oct-20th November 2022

Clerk of the Course: Chris Elkins

Deputy Clerk of the Course: George Mullins

Route: 11,500 Kms, 39 Regularities, 10 Tests

Countries: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina & Chile

Starters: 37

At the third time of asking, the Lima-Cape Horn finally got underway on 22nd October; the event having been delayed twice due to CoVid restrictions. A daunting 11,500 kilometre route over 30 days would take competitors south to the tip of South America and the Road to the End of the Earth.

Thirty-seven cars left the start in Lima. The first day covered a fairly relaxed 285 Kms, with one test being the only competition, before the overnight halt at Paracas. Daniele Poretti/Ronnie Svizzero (Ford Mustang) and David Danglard/Susan Danglard (Porsche 911) posted the same fastest time on the test and so shared the lead after Day One.

Day Two was a 400 Km climb into the Andes, with two regularities to contest. The altitude became the main challenge for a number of cars, as fuel systems struggled in the thin air. Particularly badly affected were Phillip Blunden/Lynda Blunden (Holden EH Special) and the Day One leaders, Poretti/Svizzero.

The overnight halt was in the city of Ayachuco, where the leaders were Bertie van Houtte/Charlotte van Houtee (Porsche 911), who had only dropped two seconds on the regularities.

The adventure became very real on Day Three when the travelling marshals, leaving early for their controls, found all roads out of town shut by road blocks. Locals, protesting at the regional government, had closed the roads. The rally was stuck at its hotel.

Lima-Cape Horn 2022
On The Salt Flats: Daniele Poretti/Ronnie Svizzero (Ford Mustang)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

After 36 hours, arrangements were made with the police for the rally to leave at 03:30 in the morning. After four hours slow progress the organisers and competitors met a further picket line and the main road impassable. Two tracks, which would bypass the blockade, were found. The first proved too rough; the second, rough and steep in places, could be traversed, although some of the cars required assistance from the event HiLuxes to complete the assent. Via this route, an escape was made.

To make up the time lost at Ayachuco, the competitive sections for Days Three and Four were cancelled and competitors made the long haul to Urubamba, which had always been planned as the location of the Day Five Non-Transit Day, allowing time for competitors to visit Machupicchu.

The climb up the track out of Ayachuco had caused some mechanical problems. The Fiat 2300S Coupe of Luigi Fontana/Michele Lumbroso had its clutch expire, while the dust had badly affected the Bentley 3½L of Mike Velasco/Maria Garcia Fernandez.

Fontana/Lumbroso got the clutch fixed at a local garage and re-joined the rally on Day Six, not having missed any competitive sections.

Chevrolet Fangio of Mark Oates/Catherine Fielding was suffering from the altitude and numerous carburettor jet changes were required before the car was running cleanly.

Competition resumed on Day Six with a 530 Km run to Puno, which included two regularities. Car 18, van Houtte/van Houtte extended their lead and were now eight seconds ahead of Filip Engelen/Ann Gillis (Porsche Targa 911). Dean Drako/Shiv Sikand (Peugeot 504) put in the best performance of the day, dropping two seconds, and were now in third.

Day Seven was a transit day, with the border crossing from Peru to Bolivia. The overnight halt was at Bolivia's capital, La Paz. As border staff were on strike, the small border post that should have been used was closed and the rally had to divert to a larger and much busier border control.

The run from La Paz to Sucre was almost 600 Km and took in the high roads of the Andes on Day Eight. There was one regularity, this one with two timing points. The best performance here was by Carl Helmetag/Peter Helmetag (Volvo 131), but it was Filip Engelen/Ann Gillis who held a narrow lead of seconds at the end of the day.

Classic cars weren't eligible for overall awards and it was therefore Herman Wielfaert/Katrien Tremerie (Bentley Speed 8) who held first place, having overtaken Raj Judge/Tim Guleri (Bentley 6½ Bobtail) that day.

Drako/Sikand, who had been in third place, suffered a broken diff on their Peugeot as they climbed out of La Paz. They were forced to cut route as they got the car fixed at Salta, where Sikand continued with a replacement driver, Ludovic Bois.

The first regularity on Day Nine had to be cancelled as the Advance Car found that the roads had been washed away. A slow speed regularity led crews to the magnificent Bolivian Salt Falts and then the overnight halt at Uyuni.

The fight for the lead continued with Engelen/Gillis pulling just one second away from van Houtte/van Houtte.

At the Start, highly experienced long distance rally contender Manuel Dubbs had been left without a navigator, after his intended partner was unable to make the event. At his own risk, Manuel decided to continue alone. Remarkably he was now in third place on the leader board and was easily the best of the Vintage Category. Unfortunately, he was excluded from official results as the regulations stipulated that a crew had to consist of two individuals.

The Volvo Amazon of Julia Kirkham/Brendan Flood failed on Day Nine and they were out. They re-joined later in a hire car.

The last day in Bolivia included two regularities, as the route dropped down out of the High Andes. The top positions on the leader board remained the same, but Judge/Guleri moved to the overall lead as Vintage Category rivals, Wielfaert/Tremerie, struggled to maintain the required pace.

The Day Eleven route was 500 Kms in length; it included a border crossing into Argentina, and finished at Salta, the venue for the second rest day. Engelen/Gillis dropped just one second on the day's only regularity and extended their lead by six seconds.

The Peugeot 504 Coupe of Brian palmer/Mark Townson suffered a head gasket failure and they missed a few days of competition before being able to re-join the fight.

Lima-Cape Horn 2022
Raj Judge/Tim Guleri (Bentley 6½ Bobtail)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

After a day's rest, Day Thirteen contained the second test of the event, plus two regularities. Once again, David Danglard/Susan Danglard were fastest on the test. Their time was matched by Engelen/Gillis, who then went on to pick up a total of six seconds on penalties on the regularities. This allowed them to extend their lead to 16 seconds.

Behind second placed van Houtte/van Houtte, there was a tight battle for third, with Manuel Dubs (Ford Coupe), Roy Stephenson/Peter Robinson (Datsun 240Z) and Jeff Urbina/Chris Pike (Porsche 911) being within four seconds of each other.

Raj Judge/Tim Guleri were still leading the Overall Classification at the end of Day 13, but at the start of the following day, the diff on their Bentley 6½ Bobtail failed. They trailered the car onward, fixed the it, and re-joined the rally on Day 21. Wielfaert/Tremerienow held a 40 minute lead in the Overall Classification.

Also in mechanical difficulties on Day 14 was the tenth placed Porsche 911 2.2S of Mattia Nocera/Ingino Angelini, which developed clutch problems after completing the first regularity of the day. Like Judge/Guleri, they re-joined on Day 21.

The top positions remained the same over Days 14 and 15, with the time differences changing only slightly.

Day 16 was a half day, finishing at Medoza, but it contained two tests, plus a regularity. They did little to disturb the top of the leader board; Engelen/Gillis pulled a second away from van Houtte/van Houtte. A test and regularity on Day 17 saw the Belgian extend their advantage by a further six seconds.

Further down the order, Tim Eades/Jim McLaren had been moving back up the table after problems earlier in the event, however clutch problems stopped their Ford Cabriolet 68. They survived and got to the Finish and claimed third place overall.

Lima-Cape Horn 2022
Spirit of the Rally: Manuel Dubs (Ford Coupe)
Photograph: HERO-ERA/Will Broadbent

Day 18 was a marathon 750 Kms, but contained just one test. This was of significance as Engelen/Gillis were adjudged to have failed to stop astride the finish line and had 10 seconds added to their total. Despite this they were still five seconds ahead of van Houtte/van Houtte, as the Franco-British pairing suffered engine problems on their Porsche 911.

Five hundred and fifty kilometres were covered on Day 19 as the event moved into Patagonia. The day finished in Bariloche, which was the scene of the Day 20 Rest Day.

In the next couple of days, the attrition of a lengthy event began to take its toll, with the Jaguar XKE of Boris Gruzman/Martin Baruns succumbing to clutch failure and the Porsche 911 of Bob Harrod/Dana Hradecka dumping a great deal of oil as the car's big end broke.

Day 22 was another border crossing day, this time into Chile, it proved to be a slow process, with manual process of form filling extending the passage of the rally well into the night. The late finish led to the first regularity of Day 23 being cancelled, this allowed the start time to be delayed by an hour.

By the end of Day 24 the rally was back in Argentina and Engelen/Gillis held a lead of 20 seconds. The big battle at that point was for third, Roy Stephenson/Peter Robinson (Datsun 240Z) and Jeff Urbina/Chris Pike (Porsche 911) were tied for the position.

There was then a two day rest break before competition recommenced on Day 27. The final stretch of the event saw the leading Porsche pull away from its pursuers, while Stephenson/Robinson broke free of Urbina/Pike and set off in pursuit of second placed van Houtte/van Houtte.

By the start of the final day, Engelen/Gillis were almost a minute ahead of van Houtte/van Houtte, the latter pair having lost time with a mistake on a regularity on Day 28. Stephenson/Robinson were now only seven seconds off the runner up spot.

The final test of the event proved to be crucial. Engelen/Gillis suffered a broken throttle cable and dropped time, but the faulty part was fixed by the sweeps and the Porsche pair completed the rally with a victory margin in the Classic Category of 57 seconds. A spin on the test consigned van Houtte/van Houtte to third place behind a charging Stephenson/Robinson.

First Overall in the Vintage Category and therefore the event winners were Herman Wielfaert/Katrien Tremerie (Bentley Speed 8), while Mark Oates/Catherine Fielding, on their very first rally, secured the runner up spot in Andy Scowcroft's Chevrolet Fangio Coupe.

Manuel Dubs soloed his way to the Finish at Ushuaia and ended in fifth place on the final finishers table. His superb efforts were rewarded with the Spirit of the Rally Award.