On August 31, 2012 I made a post about a rally book that I had just added to my library – “Border Crossing” by Rosie Thomas. This is not a new book about a recent event, my paperback copy was published in 2001 and is about the Peking to Paris Rally in 1997. However the book is a very good source of information about what to expect and how to prepare the car for any endurance type rally. It also provides personal insights to relationships between the driver and the navigator in such an endurance event. A rally team is made up of people and all people come with their own flaws and problems. An endurance rally is a significant test of both the cars and the crews.
I thought that the author, Rosie Thomas, was very frank in her self-assessment and discussion of problems that she encountered during the 1997 Peking to Paris Rally. The book is not written as a “how to” book, however, if you read the book carefully and think about the problems that they had and those problems that other entrants had, then a great deal of preparation advice is available between the lines of the book.
In addition to the preparation advice that can be developed from reading the book, I found the book to be a very good read. I found the book difficult to put down. It does not dwell on any particular aspect of the issues related to a rally of this nature. Ms Thomas is a writer who had never been involved in car rallying until undertaking this event. Further her teammate, Philip Bowen, is a skilled adventure guide who was accustomed to challenging conditions, but who was also a rally novice. In spite of this inexperience, they had a very impressive finish in the rally.
In summary, if you are considering competing in an endurance rally such as the Peking to Paris Rally or want to know what it is like competing in one of these rallies, then I suggest that this book be definitely on your reading list. I regret that it took so long for me to get a copy of this book.