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Rally round: The epic long-distance car races to join this year

Rally round: The epic long-distance car races to join this year

7 of 7 7/7

Peking to Paris Motor Challenge

Where/when: Peking to Paris/2 June to 7 July
Who goes: Phileas Fogg-style adventure-seekers
What to drive: Cars made before 1976 – a 1907 7.4-litre Itala would fit the bill
Endurance/difficulty: 5/5
Great if... you’ve got more than a month free for a grand exploit

This is an epic adventure straight out of an H Rider Haggard novel. Despite its infrequent running, the Peking to Paris has cemented legendary status as the grande dame of road rallies, owing to its sheer scale and difficulty. The first race originated from a challenge laid down by a Parisian newspaper in 1907 to test the newfangled automobile and was won by Prince Scipione Borghese and his chauffeur Ettore Guizzardi. The 16,000-kilometre-plus journey takes more than a month, taking in the Mongolian steppes, Gobi Desert and the Swiss Alps before arriving in the French capital. You will amass a pile of Instagram images along the way, yet this is no picnic. The winner gets a bottle of champagne... and endless bragging rights.

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