The chance came up to do one of 7Oaks MC’s Scatter rallies, this was run by Chin. We arrived at the start and it was pleasing to see that the clues we would be looking for were all of the same format, country names on engraved little plaques made by Chin (he runs a trophy company!). This really helps you feel more secure you have got the correct answer when you find the clue.
The event ran to the usual format, I was driving on this event and Suze was navving. We got the clues plotted quickly and then it was out into the lanes. There are plenty of good roads in the 7Oaks region, so we had great fun heading around finding as many points as we could. It is always tough to gauge how well you are doing, especially with only a few crews out so you don’t get to see how the others are doing.
So it was back to the finish, and we found out we had come first overall which was pleasing and made the long drive home (got home at 1.30am!) all worth it 🙂
A couple of days later it was time to head of the Wiltshire and the start of the Bath Festival Targa Rally. I was set to navigate for Mark Peterson, a regular Targa rally winner on the Eastern tarmac event, but a realative newcomer to gravel which makes up most of this event. The format was non competititve road sections linking up real quality tests round the Longleat area. The tests varied from a run around an old airfield to quality forest tests which felt like a real challenge.
This was my first time navving for Mark and my first time navving on this type of event, and in the forests, many firsts then!
We got started all ok and after a few tests got settled down into a routine of how we both work and how we like to operate. It was clear to see how Mark was fast on events with a very smooth and controlled approach to driving.
The first fuel halt came after just three tests but it was a welcome break for the car, us and a chance for something to eat.
Then it was off (now in the dark) to the real meat of the event lots of forest tests. The tests were all very clearly laid out, made clever and limited use of code boards, with lots of marshals in the right places to control speed and cars, and yet plenty of space to still press on and carry speed where appropriate. I worked off the test maps, with the details carried over from the tulip road book, this worked well though it did make Test 5 very much a real test as this was a very long test with laps within laps, multiple code boards, PCs, stop goes, and finding the correct route it was hard work!
Results weren’t available until the end of the event, and we had no real sense of how well (or not) we were doing but I felt we had a good pace and as ever the key would be to going the correct way and finishing. We achieved all of that and by the end of the event we finished up 11th overall and 8th in class. Given the quality and size of the entry and the number of firsts for us as a crew that was very pleasing.