27th May 1970 Mexico City

27th May 1970 50 years ago. Timeline: Mexico City – our goal

Daily Mirror London-Mexico WCR Tish and Bron’s adventures

We had to drive slowly into Mexico city amongst so much traffic – what a noisy sprawling place it was after all our adventures on the open roads of Latin America. It was early evening and we had missed the Aztec Stadium celebrations. We finally found our way to the Rally HQ in the Hotel Isabella-Sheraton and said our goodbyes to Victor who was going on to stay somewhere else with some of his team.

Tish and I were overjoyed that we had finally made it, in spite of our tribulations, and hugged each other and little Victor too. After all he was instrumental in getting us there! We were not to see him again (not sure Tish minded that). We checked into the hotel and finally slumped into our room. Sheer luxury a static bed! We had made it to Mexico – even if not still in the rally – and we were temporarily shattered! We were quite sad that we didn’t have Tina or Puff, but we had finally, finally done it!

In Mexico City that night there were huge celebrations for the eventual winners, our new good friends Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm. According to all thoughts before the rally, Hannu had been considered an unknown, sensationally fast but slightly short of self control. Would he last the distance? But the wily Gunnar read him the riot act after one slight mishap, and they finished first in one of the epic drives in motor sport history. They had completed this rally nearly 1 hour and 25 mins faster than anyone else – an extraordinary time. What a well deserved win, albeit Ford after careful planning had pretty well rebuilt their Escorts several times on the trip.

And fellow Maxi drivers, Rosemary Smith and her girls, a fantastic overall 10th place plus the Ladies Prize. The Red Arrows team’s overall 22nd had done a great job for the reputation of the very new Maxi – 2 out of 4 of the Maxis entered had finished! A high percentage for the marque.

Jean Denton and her team did brilliantly in the BL sister car, a Landcrab, getting 18th overall.. In fact 6 of the 12 women who entered the rally finished – 50%. More than could be said of the men!

John Sprinzel was heard to say that he had one regret – that they could not schedule any Prime at a target average of 100mph, albeit several teams had achieved more than that on Primes in Argentina and Uruguay! Tough indeed! And Stuart Turner is reputed to have said, “After this little lot, the London-Sydney Marathon becomes just another rally!”

Tish and I just looked at each other and grinned, like Cheshire cats. We were sooo happy that night.

(But not much more, folks. Thanks for your patience…..just 4 days now to get home again)

This post is a part of a series of posts in which Bron Burrell recalls her 1970 World Cup Rally. See all Brons posts in this series.

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