The Countdown Rally is not my favourite event. I am not sure if I dislike the 061 Altratech Rally more or less than the Countdown. As far as I am concerned I doubt that I will be doing either of them in 2014. I have better things to do than stay up all night boiling my brain and paying for the privilege. Having said all that – I believe I said the same thing last year, the year before and the year before that and somehow still found myself navigating for my fourth different driver in four years and yet again getting stressed out on an event I do not enjoy.
Matt Kiziuk originally asked me to sit in with him in the BRM. I told him that it wasn’t for me and why but he nagged away and eventually I gave in.
A week and a half before the event he popped round for a chat and told me that he had pulled the entry because there was too much work required on the car and not enough time to do it in. Feeling relieved I resigned myself to going and marshalling only to get a phone call the next day from Pete Jagger “ See you have not got a ride. Fancy a run”. Next thing I hear myself agreeing to give it a go. Thats the problem with so many events ‘Oop North’ that have not run this year – you’ll do anything rather than sit at home!
Final Instructions arrive. We are seeded at No.15. Due to two late entries we find that when we get to Noise and Scrutineering we are running at 17.
I have a mare of a start and cock up too many times to mention, but we keep going. After Petrol I seem to find things are starting to come together and we have a good run to the finish. (6 crews out of 20 retired at Petrol)
Have not a clue where we went – somewhere between Carlisle, Brampton, Haltwistle and Kershope forest. 5 pages of NAMs with 8 NAMs on each page and to really screw me up – not in the right order. Somewhere along the route we pass Paul Gray and Sam Spencer broken down in the mini and another crew off the road and through a wall. Tony Harrison & Paul Taylor retired with gearbox problems. Alex Willan & Ali Procter won (oh to be able to decipher the clues as well as Ali Procter, Cath Woodman or Bob Hargreaves)
At long last I have now managed to finish (last – but a finish) the Countdown – 1st time in 4 attempts – could be back next year !!!!!!!. (But doubt it)
Maurice Ellison – Nav, Car 17 – Peugeot 205 Rallye