Drive for Deirdre -  Peking to Paris Rally 2019

The Event

In June, 2019, Chris and John Beresford participated in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.Organized by the Endurance Rally Association every three years, the 2019 edition will be their seventh running of the event. Leaving Beijing on June 2, 2019, the route will go from China to Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan and then back into Russia. From St. Petersburg competitors then cross the sea to Finland before turning south to travel through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. From there they enter Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and finally Paris on July 7, 2019. The distance is estimated to be about 16,000km. Approximately 120 teams will participate in the 2019 Challenge, using cars dating from 1907 to 1976.

The Team
Brothers John and Chris Beresford have been automotive enthusiasts all their lives. Their first cars were 1950’s era VW Beetles. Both reside in the Greater Victoria area on Vancouver Island and are the sole all-Canadian entrants in the 2019 Challenge. While long road trips have always been a part of their lives, they have not done anything like this event before!

The Supported Charity: Drive for Deirdre
The team has selected the Arthritis Society as their designated charity. Deirdre, John's Wife, was diagnosed in the 1980s with rheumatoid arthritis and passed away in April, 2016 due to complications from the disease. While she was able, Deirdre served for many years as a volunteer for the Arthritis Society, being very active at the Victoria Arthritis Centre, as well as serving in other health- related charitable causes. The Arthritis Society’s mission statement is “To invest in cutting-edge research, proactive advocacy and innovative solutions that will deliver better health outcomes for people affected by arthritis.” Arthritis is Canada’s largest chronic health condition and there is no cure. The disease greatly affects the lives of over six million Canadians and nearly half of people over 65 have arthritis. Through the generous support of donors, sponsors and volunteers the Arthritis Society will achieve the vision to live in a world where people are free from the devastating effects that arthritis has on lives. All donations received through the “Drive for Deirdre” project will go directly to the Arthritis Society and the fund- raising appeal will continue until the completion of the event in 2019. Donations may be made to the Arthritis Society online by visiting: http://arthritis.ca/hostyourown/DriveForDeirdre

The Car
The car chosen for this event is a 1956 VW Beetle. The VW was purchased for John’s late wife Deirdre early in 2016, as an fun car for her drive around the Saanich Peninsula, where John and Deirdre lived. There was no thought then of using it as a rally car! The Beetle is being prepared to withstand the rigors of the Motor Challenge, while at the same time attempting to preserve its standard factory appearance as closely as possible. Preparation of the VW is being done by the team themselves in John’s workshop.

Follow Us Along the Way
We have created a Blog, accessible at :https://drivefordeirdre.blog  We will update the Blog whenever possible. Within the Blog, there will be a link to the tracking device in the VW, so you will be able to see where we are at any time during the rally. The link will become live when we are reunited with the car in Beijing. The Endurance Rally Association will also be providing daily updates throughout the event. Log on to: www.endurorally.com/events/the7th-peking-to-paris-motor-challenge/ When the rally begins there will be a link that will provide GPS locations of Car No. 42 along the rally route. Thank you to all who have provided us with advice and encouragement as we prepared for this ‘once in a lifetime’ event. Special thanks to those who are planning to greet us on our arrival in Paris. We will be in touch along the way!


John & Chris Beresford

Drive for Deirdre Car No. 42