Having successfully thwarted all Wylton Dickson’s efforts over many years to run a challenge rally from Peking to Paris, JeanMarie Balestre failed at his first attempt to run such an event himself, but it now seems that something has got off the ground at last.
Dickson’s work to organise such an event began long before he promoted the LondonSydney Singapore Airlines Rally in 1977, but stumbling blocks were constantly put in his way by FISA and the FFSA. and his idea suffered postponement after postponement, eventually fading away altogether.
It has now been announced that the organisation behind the Tour de France. backed, among others, by Peugeot, Michelin and the newspapers L’Equipe and Le Parisien, will run the event in reverse on dates tentatively set for August, 1987
It is said that the 10,000 mile route will cover France, Italy, Jugoslavia. Bulgaria, Turkey. Syria. Jordan. Saudi Arabia. the United Arab Emirates, Oman. Pakistan and China, and will last some 25 days. The only sea crossing will be from Muscat to Karachi, and from a very rough map we see that the plans are to use the old Silk Route through the Western Himalayas from Pakistan into China. which Dickson had planned after the USSR had denied permission to pass through Soviet territory.