Rally Team Takes Smart Car 4,000 Miles To Athens

Smart City-Coupe Pulse

 

A rally team is preparing a smart car for the adventure of a lifetime – driving a smart car 4,000 miles from London to Athens on the World Cup Rally.

The rally begins on Saturday 5 October, and will take Emma Saxby and Miles Moorhouse through 12 countries in 12 days. The route includes Croatia, Bosnia and Albania where teams have been warned to look out for stray bulls and carts and roads torn up by tank tracks.

Emma Saxby, who decided to take the smart car over more traditional cars for the extra challenge, said: "You usually expect to see smart cars driving along city streets, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to put the smart through its paces on some of the worst roads in Europe."

Emma added: "I am confident that despite its small size, the smart will easily cope with the long trip and poor road conditions. We are up against larger and more powerful cars but the smart is fast, agile and safe, so it was logical to choose the coupe."

The rally car is a right-hand drive smart city-coupe pulse and features a lightweight SUPREX three cylinder 599 cc turbo engine with a power output of 61 bhp (45 kW). All the rally cars have to be showroom standard except for safety modifications like roll cages and safety harnesses.

70 cars will set off from Blenheim Palace on Saturday 5 October and will travel through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania, arriving in Athens on 15 October. On the way each team will have to rely on their own navigation and mechanical skills as well as competing on timed trials and hill climbs.

Emma and Miles both work for smart, and prepared the car in their spare time at the smart service centre in Brentford.

Published 3 October 2002 Melanie Carter

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