LONDON-SYDNEY MARATHON 1993


TWE pioneered the first of the modern marathon events with their 25th anniversary re-run of the original epic 1968 event. TWE's Nick Brittan had been a competitor in the Ford team in '68 along with the late Roger Clark.

He persuaded 21 of the original '68 competitors to take part in the '93 event including '68 winner Andrew Cowan and Roger Clark. An incredible 106 pre-1970 cars took the start on an journey that took them 16,000 kms through 16 countries in 30 days.

"It was much more competitive than the original event," said Brittan. In 1968 there were no special stages - just incredibly tough road sections with tight time schedules which meant we had to break speed limits to keep up."

"Today that is not acceptable so we introduced 44 special stages each one timed to the second. It was more demanding for the competitors and much tougher on the cars doing it the 'modern' way."

Competitors came from 17 countries to take part in TWE's '93 event - it drew a more international field than the original '68 event.

Stars of the event were Clark and Cowan who attracted tremendous media attention all along the route, Cowan drove his '68 Hillman Hunter loaned to him by the Scottish Automobile Club museum but suffered mechanical problems and finished 67th. Clark finished 4th after suffering early time penalties.

Modern politics prevented the event from following all of the original route, places like Iran and Afghanistan were off limits. But through Europe and Turkey much of the old route was followed and in Australia huge sections of legendary '68 route were followed. On two outback sheep stations property owners who ran controls in '68 were there to do it again 25 years later.

On the 1968 event cars were transported from India to Perth by the SS Chusan, a luxury P&O passenger cargo liner. Such ships no longer exist so Brittan used the giant Russian Antonov cargo planes. TWE pioneered the use of the monsters of the sky and worked with the Antonov Corporation's design studio deep in the Urals in Russia to design a special racking system which enables each plane to carry 52 cars.

It was daunting experience recalls Brittan, " To get there I flew to Moscow and then spent 18 hours on a train in the depths of winter."

Of the 106 starters there were 86 classified as finishers although others struggled to the finish unclassified. All agreed that it was the longest toughest and most competitive event they ever done and one of the great adventure drives.

British ITV followed the event and produced a one hour documentary which was shown to great acclaim during peak viewing time. The '93 London-Sydney Marathon was TWE's first marathon event. It was a huge success establishing TWE as the experts in the field of International Marathon events and it was to be the forerunner of a run of similar epic long distance events to be run by TWE.

Top Ten finishers on the event were :

Pos Crew Nat. Car Total Penalty
1 Francis Tuthill / Anthony Showell GB/GB Porsche 911 13:36:11
2 Ian Vaughan / Barry Lake Aus/Aus Ford Falcon GT 13:50:31
3 Mike Kirkland / Crispen Sassoon Kenya/GB Peugeot 504 13:58:10
4 Roger Clark / Tony Moy GB/GB Ford Escort 13:58:42
5 Graham Lorimer / Gary Smith GB/NZ Ford Escort Mk1 13:59:32
6 Colin Short / Nick Starkey GB/GB Ford Escort Mk1 14:10:45
7 David Horsey / Michael Kearns Kenya/GB Peugeot 504 14:11:28
8 Bruce Hodgson / Ronald Lawton Aus/Aus Ford Falcon XT 14:14:23
9 Dean Rainsford / Ben Rainsford Aus/Aus Ford Mustang 14:18:10
10 Steve Ashton / Rosemary Nixon Aus/Aus Datsun P510 14:21:35

For the whole exciting story of the event, results and day-by day bulletins plus each competitor's own story, read the LONDON-SYDNEY MARATHON 93 - THE BOOK. Copies available from the Rally Office. See our Books and Videos page.