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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gerry Crown at Monument Valley

APV Congratulates Gerry Crown and Matthew Bryson in achieving 2nd place in the ERA 2012 Trans-America Classic Challenge 15th June 2012

After a grueling 8,500 miles (13,700 kms) from New York to Anchorage, Alaska, the Australian crew of Gerry Crown and Mathew Bryson finished 2nd in their 1974 Australian Leyland P76.

After being approached by John Bryson, the renowned Navigator that underpinned Mitsubishi’s early 1970s rallying onslaught, to sponsor their entry - APV supplied the Rally Harnesses, Tow Ropes and Snatch Straps for the event.

John Bryson, has a long tradition with Endurance Rallying having prepared a near identical car for the 1974 World Cup Rally for the Evan Green (Driver) and John Bryson (Navigator) entry.  This 1974 Leyland P76 showed the strengths of the Australian Automotive industry to produce a strong, reliable and light car that was capable of taking on such an event.  It was this car that set the inspiration for the Gerry Crown, Matthew Bryson entry into the 2012 Trans-America Classic Challenge to be run by the Endurance Rally association.

From New York to Idaho the P76 slowly moved up through the field and consolidated their position with the top three running cars: the Mercedes of Paul and Sandra Merryweather, the Jaguar of Richard Worts and Nicola Shackleton and the P76.  Racing neck and neck across western U.S.A saw exciting Rally stages and competition.  However, the Mercedes soon struck mechanical problems, and through the Rally Stages in Canada the top four cars, split by minutes on the stop watch – not much more than the time required to change a flat tyre or make a roadside repair, would be in first place Gerry and Matthew in the P76, Richard and Nicola in the Mk 2 Jaguar, Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown in the E-type Jaguar and in fourth place the very quick Roy Stephenson and Peter Robinson in the Datsun 240Z.  These four cars would now fight it out all the way to Alaska to make up the top four finishers for the event.    


Leaving the U.S.A. and arriving at Watson’s Lake, Gerry (above right) and Matthew were cautiously in high spirits having a ten-minute lead over the 2nd place Jaguar of Richard Worts.  However, such is the life in Endurance Rallying this lead was slowly overtaken in the final stages of the event through the vagaries of meeting the rigid requirements of the event timing, rather than the true performance of the cars.

Still the Leyland P76, under the expert driving and navigating of Gerry and Matthew showed the strength of a car that once won Wheels Car of the Year in 1973.  Harry Hickling, Managing Director of APV, went onto to say; “I wish to congratulate Gerry and Matthew on their fantastic result – there is plenty of things that can and do go wrong over a long distance endurance Rally, some 13,700 kms of hard driving in fact.  Clearly Gerry and Matthew put up a world-class drive and they should be proud to have put on the world stage that wonderful 1970’s Leyland P76.  I’m sure it would be well up to tackling, even today, another Sydney London marathon drive.”

Both Gerry Crown and Matthew Bryson passed on their thanks to APV for their support. Matthew saying: “I can highly recommend APV’s Rally harnesses and I have been recommending them to fellow competitors on the events – they are the best belts on the market for Endurance Rallying.” Gerry went onto say “I wish to thank Harry for his support, I love the belts and their ease of adjustment – it is a big thing to be able to swap driver and navigator positions in such events and APV’s belts are second to none.  APV should be congratulated on designing and developing such a product.”   

For a day-by-day description of Gerry and Matthew’s adventure see: www.transamp76.blogspot.com

To see more of John Bryson’s career highlights see: http://www.rallysportmag.com.au/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5834&Itemid=151

To view Endurance Rally Association event description see: http://www.endurorally.com/transam/index.html

Photos have been displayed courtesy of Gerard Brown Photography, see: http://www.gerardbrown.co.uk

Gerry and Matthew have previously competed in the 2007 and 2010 Peking to Paris Rallies, having won the 2010 event.  See: http://www.crownandandrews.com/aboutus/news.php