The Cape-to-Cape expedition took on a new dimension with the Istanbul stage. Four Kerax and two Sherpas left the North Cape. In the Turkish capital, a further two Kerax and four Sherpas join them. Thus, it was at the intersection between Europe and Asia that the two convoys joined up to start up the eastern leg of the trip. The Istanbul juncture was also an important moment commercially.
Although immobilised in Istanbul for four days, the Cape-to-Cape expedition is just as engaged as ever.
It was a real orchestral manoeuvre to synchronise the two convoys arriving 24 hours apart. But why two convoys? So that the two Kerax transporting the camping material and the four Sherpas for journalists accompanying the visit could join up with the first unit of the expedition (which left North Cape). Once together at one of the Renault Trucks distributors of the Istanbul conurbation, the vehicles went through their final checks and preparations: engine oil change for more suitable lubricants for high desert temperatures, fitting of systems for tyre inflation and deflation whilst driving on the Kerax, filter cartridge changes (oil, air, diesel) and various fine-tunings (tightening up of removable box clamps, replacement of long-view searchlights). This pause was also an opportunity to reorganise the insides of the vehicles and store everything that will be needed for the coming camps.
For the organisers, Istanbul was also an important stage in terms of communications. During this commercial stop-over, the vehicles a dynamic presentation was made on the vehicles to the press and to customers. The Renault Kerax and Sherpas were able to show their pulling qualities on a site about 20km from Istanbul. Rain had muddied the ground, making the presentation even more interesting. Valérie, one of the expedition drivers who was having her first off-road experience in the mud, showed great control for the occasion.
From this Friday, the convoy will be heading towards the centre of Turkey where weather conditions may well hold one or two surprises.