Today was a day of 425kms including two secret controls, on the way to one long gravel test of 35kms. The gravel test was timed at 30kph, a good average speed for the gravel conditions. Most of this test was on smooth gravel with bumpy ridges every now and again…well, it can’t all be smooth sailing – or driving even. The test was well received, and I can personally vouch that the road was a lovely drive, much of it completed in second and third gear. Our leader, car 2 Andrew Davies and Paul Dilley, experienced some difficulties in the test and this cost them some considerable marks. They were not alone in incurring penalties, as car 9, the Porche of Gerd Buehler and Armin Kneupfing also incurred a similar amount of penalties. Will this be sufficient to change the lead? Results pending.
As participants queued up to start on their due time, it was lovely to see many local people coming out of their houses to watch what all the fuss was about. This was not really surprising, as apart from the odd bus going by, there was usually not a lot of traffic going up or down this quiet country lane. Most of the inhabitants of the houses en route probably see only one or two cars and several mopeds driving past per day, so would naturally be surprised when a GB plated 4×4 drives past. This is nothing to their surprise when 30 minutes later a Porche, a Bentley and a Chrysler 75 zoom by. Not to mention two huge motorbikes parked up, as our marshals stand by, ready to give out times. The marshals, Dave and Tim were happy to let a chap scramble onto their bikes, who thought it hilarious to have his photo taken on such a huge bike, as his little 50cc was parked up nearby. We aim to please.
I did promise you results of the racetrack day, so not one to disappoint…we had 4 cars who managed to complete 2 laps in their exact time. What a skilled bunch we had. The four crews in question were:
Car 1. Harry Jurgens and Thomas Weichenberger
Car 5. Michael and Sean McInerney
Car 6. Peter Pollet and Alexander de Groot
Car 8. Hans Ulrich Wartenweiler and Jean Christophe Gyr.
The rest of the field earned penalties between 1 and 15 marks, with the exception of car 7, Paul Michael and John Wakeman who lost only 1 mark on the first lap, but due to a brake issue, possibly brought about by some spirited driving, gained the full penalty for the second lap, as they failed to actually do it! Such a shame as the clever money said they would do well on this test, having missed the first racetrack due to early mechanical difficulties with the TR4. Better luck next time boys. Our previous winners of a similar test on the salt flats, Doris Specogna, failed to deliver a second time around and picked up a total of 15 penalties. Clearly Doris does better on a condiment- based surface.
Is That Catherine, Giovanna and Melanie On The Winners Podium? Only Joking.
Motorbike Marshall’s Ready.
It was odd on the run back to our hotel to see the dichotomy of, some places trimming up in time for Christmas, whilst next door there is a fruit stall selling locally grown produce, such as pineapples and watermelon.
Getting Ready For Christmas
Meanwhile the Clerk of the Course experiences some weird fruit. We don’t think it has this affect on everyone, but that’s his smiley face and new hat combo. After trying a bit, along with several others, we can confirm that the fruit inside is sweet but fibrous. No surprise it has not caught on at Tesco, despite its several uses.
CoC Weird Fruit.