Happily all participants arrived safely after flying in from all corners of the world, as did their beautiful vintage and classic cars. All vehicles cleared customs with superlative ease following some bureaucratic difficulties during the initial shipping process.
At the briefing meal several of the local officials joined us to help welcome us all to Buenos Aires. Significant amongst them were Mariano, our customs agent and his officials who saw us safely and expediently through the port.
Today, all participants, support crew and vehicles are deep into their preparations for tonight’s midnight start at Avenida Libertador – opposite the prestigious Automobile Club of Argentina – following our departure dinner at La Croque Madame.
So far, those involved, have fallen into three distinct groups: people organising their cars, people sifting their paperwork and those having coffee and relaxing by the pool.
The first group can be found in the parking garage of the sumptuous Faena Hotel, where there is a hive of frantic activity. Here you can find Toby and Iain (our mechanics), giving help and advice to any participants who need it and sticking on the multitude of rally decals and stickers which adorn all the cars.
The motorcycle Marshalls (all six of them) have been busy checking and upgrading their mightily impressive BMW 1200cc bikes. Our participants do not shy away from getting their hands dirty either; everywhere owners and their navigators are checking and rechecking their cars and generally ensuring there is a place for everything and everything is in its place – Harry Jurgens and Thomas Weichenberger (Car 1) Yes! We mean you!
Then we have people and paperwork. Into this group fall the navigators and support personnel. A 9am meeting between the Clerk of the Course (CoC) and the motorbike Marshalls, takes place over a civilised breakfast as the last of the plans are discussed.
The final group, are the ladies and gentlemen who are enjoying the beauty of Buenos Aires and the lovely hotel. Set in an old warehouse in the ex-naval district, the Faena has everything to offer the discerning ‘ralliest’, from a luxurious spa and massage, to a fully equipped gym and even a piano bar. Take your pick!
Whoo hoo! Midnight here we come!