Just come around since Saturday night and the T.A.C. Roamerlite Novice Road Rally near Shropshire/Much Wenlock with Phil ‘The Tilt’ Jones (car 19, 205 GTi). Funny how the chest infection disappeared between 8:00pm and 05:00am but it came back with a vengeance since!
So here is how our night went:
No issues at environmental scrutineering (noise) car was nice and quiet. Sailed through main scrutineering so it was a case of getting signed on and waiting for the route. I was possibly overdosing on lemsip by this time so apologies if I was quieter than normal, mind you the nerves didn’t help!
MC1 was at William Brooks School, Much Wenlock, they then sent us to MC2 down the B4371 where we were given the route of around 90 / 100 miles to plot. I assume this was to stop any spectators obtaining the route. We got the route on the map in plenty of time and it was a short run out to Monkhopton for STC1. We asked for our due time and we were on our way, our first rally together for about 25 years. About a mile down the road and Phil saw a car off facing the wrong way with the wheel, bumper and exhaust left in the road, early night for someone.
Cracked on for a few miles through Sidbury getting used to the car and each other, dropped a bit of time which was to be expected. The lanes were fantastic, mixture of fast flowing, tight, muddy and a deepish ford just outside Cleobury Mortimer at PC9. After a slot left passed some spectators I asked Phil to pull over where I emptied the contents of my stomach and the chicken sandwich onto the lane, we were soon on our way again though and I felt a lot better.
After a few not as map grass triangles we thought the fire extinguisher had worked loose in the boot, it turned out the near side shock absorber had broken and was hanging down so Phil conserved the car. After FTC16 we handed in the first time card and we were 31st and had dropped 25 minutes and 51 seconds. Anyone who thinks plotting a route, calling the road and trying to keep to time is easy, give it a go. Big respect to the regular crews who do it week after week.
Looking at the results sheet I booked the car in early at STC4 and missed PCF together with a few controls later on towards the end where we cut route. We finally got to the finish venue, handed in the damage declaration and had a welcome breakfast before putting the car on the trailer for the 3 hour drive home.
Thanks to Phil for the ride and Dave Powell, Roger, Josh and his mate for coming up. it was a pleasure.