Two events in 19hrs, well it seemed like a good idea when I entered the events….
The plan was to do the Powerush 20/20 rally down on Romney Marsh and then head to Wethersfield to do the ECMC Autotest.
The Powerush 20/20 is like half a road rally. The event started at 9.30pm and finished about 1.30am. The event was based down on Romney Marsh, which features some amazing roads, in a remote area of Kent. It allowed us to really push on and enjoy the roads, and also get a little lost at times with the maze of roads and some tricky navigation. For this event I team up with Ian Phillips, who last navved for me 12 years ago so he was a little rusty on the maps, however he coped well with some taxing navigation and we got round well within OTL, and had a good drive on the epic roads of the marsh.
By the time results came out we finished up exactly where we were seeded 7th, and 5th experts. A good result, beating many other crews, many of whom were a lot more match fit than us.
It was then a 2 hour drive through the night to Wethersfield, I pulled up in a field near the venue to try and get some sleep in the rally car. However a cold rally car is not the best hotel in the world, so I managed some sleep but not much. So just over 2 hours later I headed into Wethersfield to sign on the ECMC Autotest.
During my limited sleep the weather had changed, and rain had come in. This made the surface at Wethersfield very slippery. The event was very popular with nearly 50 entries, so the organisers set up four tests, these were run three times in the morning and twice in the afternoon in reverse. With all runs counting the key to the day would be speed and consistency.
The first set of tests felt good, and when the results came in, I was leading the Autotest event and 3rd overall. This came as a surprise as I haven’t done many autotests this year and there was a number of seasoned competitors out there. At this point I thought my performance was down to the wet start to the day, where the more powerful cars where unable to use their advantage. However as the day progressed my lead on the event continued and by the end of the event I was FTD on the Autotest and second overall in the combined results of the Autosolo / Autotest / PCA, beaten only by a very well driven 2ltr Clio.
So perhaps the key to doing well on an autotest is to have no real sleep!