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30 Jun 2015

California dreaming as Lovett Porsche wins Trans-America Challenge 2015

It was ‘California dreaming’ for honorary Porsche Club Peter and Zoe Lovett who were crowned overall winners of the 2015 Trans-America Challenge.

It was ‘California dreaming’ for honorary Porsche Club Peter and Zoe Lovett when they crossed the San Francisco finish line as overall winners of the Endurance Rally Association’s Trans-America Challenge, their second long distance rally win this year.  

Competing in their 1973 Porsche 911T for the 22-day rally across Canada and America, the Lovett’s also won the inaugural Road to Mandalay Rally back in February behind the wheel of another Porsche.

The pair had been hot on the wheels of the longtime leaders Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown in the 1977 Triumph Stag, constantly in the top three since the off. When the Stag had mechanical problems on day 17, the Lovett’s took the top spot and finished with an overall total of 0:09:07.

In second place was Paul and Sandra Merryweather in the 1974 Mercedes 450 SL on 0:10:05, with Philip and Yvonne Haslam in the 1954 Jaguar XK120 DHC right behind them in third place with 0:10:11.

ERA Rally Director Fred Gallagher said: “This has been another superb event with a fantastic mix of cars, crews and driving skills. Our Clerk of the Course Kim Bannister planned a brilliant route which offered iconic scenery, competitive tests and challenging terrain – everything you could hope for in an event such as this.”

Around 40 vintage and classic cars arrived at the San Francisco finish line of the Endurance Rally Association’s second Trans-America Challenge, having crossed 15 states and travelled 9,500 kilometres by its end.

The route has used testing roads and enjoyed spectacular views as it has used America’s roads less travelled, while still finding time to visit iconic locations such as the Battle of Little Bighorn site and Mount Rushmore.

The cars involved range from a 1927 Bentley 4½-litre to a 1977 Triumph Stag, and the crews include the world’s oldest rally navigator – 97-year-old Dorothy Caldwell.

The Trans-America Challenge is the Endurance Rally Association’s third rally of 2015, with two more to follow. The Alpine Trial for pre-war cars takes place early September, while the Sahara Challenge is revived for October as a shakedown for next year’s Peking to Paris. The next Trans-America Challenge will take place in 2018 with an exciting new route.

To find out more about the ERA’s events, visit

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