Triumph TR250 wins ERA’s Trans-America Challenge

TR250 takes title after three unlikely rivals battled it out for ultimate victory on the Endurance Rally Association’s 9360km epic trial

A Triumph TR250 run by Yorkshire-based David and Jo Roberts has won the venerable Trans-America Challenge. The diminutive British car took on 34 other teams during the 22-day, 9360km challenge from Charleston, North Carolina to Seattle, Washington.

The Roberts’ are decorated rally heroes whom have competed in a stunning array of endurance events over the past decade, from the Peking to Paris to the Classic Safari. They’ve also enjoyed every Trans-America Challenge since the event’s inauguration. They have crossed the finish line of each event with pride, but marginally missed out on the winner’s spotlight – until now.

During his Trans-America Challenge victory speech, David Roberts reflected on his wisdom acquired over the past decade, and thanked his wife for her team spirit over the prior three weeks in particular. In addition, he made sure to honour a line-up of Porsches and Datsuns that failed to make the starting grid, as well as recounted the number of discretionary awards the couple picked up along their incredible adventure across the United States.

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Rally director Fred Gallagher said: ‘Our crews have embraced all weathers and terrains over the past three weeks as we have journeyed through around a dozen states and enjoyed fabulous tests and competition throughout.’

Who else made the podium?

Following in the Roberts’ footsteps were a couple of equally unlikely contenders, including Mike and Lorna Harrison’s 1963 Volvo PV544, which finished second overall. Mike Harrison commented on the stunning variety of scenery on offer along the route, and said the pair cherished every moment of the competition.

Third place was taken by Jim Gately and Tony Brooks in their 1937 Cadillac convertible – a car that also secured the Vintageant class win. Gately and Brooks’ placement on the podium was particularly exceptional, considering the field of newer cars in the competition.

Who took the discretionary awards?

The Spirit of the Rally award was won by the two fundraising crews from Drive 4 Stage IV, who are raising money for breast cancer awareness. Pam King, a member of the crew, had to withdraw during the rally as a result of her ongoing battle with cancer, and she sadly passed away as their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air rolled over the finish line in Seattle.

Meanwhile, Mick and Grace De Haas, whose fuel-pump difficulties left them temporarily stranded in Santa Fe, won the Against All Odds award. They re-joined the battle in Aspen once their 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230SL was back to fighting fit.

The ERA continues to expand its repertoire of events, with its first-ever Himalayan Challenge taking place this September, as well as its established Alpine Trial. To find out more, visit the Endurance Rally Association website here.

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