Reliving – A (muddy) Bath Festival

With the rally car now all prepped ready to go for the 2016 Bath Festival Road Rally, it got my thinking…

Since it was a couple of years since I last did the Bath Festival Road Rally, I thought I would re-visit our last visit to the Bath… Here goes a visit back to 2014…

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My first road rally for a few years and first time driving (Muriel) the Micra on a road rally.

Firstly a MASSIVE thank you to all the marshals and organisers for standing out in some horrific cold, windy and very wet weather – all just for us to have a play – many many thanks 🙂

All the usual pre event stuff was fine, scrutineering was a nice venue and slick work. Start/finish venue worked well, a decent dinner was nice. Lots of pre event work for Lizzie and maths for me working out OTL and due times. OTL times would be handy as it turned out…..

The first part of the event on the tests :-

Tests 1/3 – Great fun, a proper wake up call and lovely gravel.
Tests 2/4 – I was too cautious and a delay with a PC lost us some time.
Tests 5 – 7 – All great great fun, fast flowing tests, all well set out – felt like a shortened WRGB – proper rallying 🙂 Pleased to be just 5 secs (iirc) off Owen on the long 7 min test.

The two regularity sections all made sense, i suspect if you had done the event before you would have known what to do better from the off. But a good concept to give a different result.

Now on to the road rally…

The first few sections were great, coming in our minute and i was just finding the right pace to ensure getting in on our minute and not being too daft.

Then it all went wrong…. a short LWR on a very muddy section i stopped to read the PC board and that was it we were stuck, i tried all the reversing, lock to lock tricks but nothing. Lizzie got out to push (thanks) and then we finally got moving. After this it took a bit to get back on the map and then we struggled to find a PC board in a maze of junctions and crossroads all around a load of houses. We got it in the end, but combined with getting stuck we lost 10mins….
Combine this with the road rally section starting 9mins late (anyone know why ?) we were now getting close to OTL, which we would be edging closer to all night.

Just after this was the flooded section, luckily i let car 33 past as they were much quicker than us. They slowed down for the water, which allowed us to slow right down. There was already one car drowned out and poor Freddy out here too, it was VERY deep and with the air intake on the front the car i couldn’t afford for a bow wave to form. Creeping through we just made it. However then in moments when we stopped to see if Freddy was ok the car steamed up and we lost more time (a good few mins) waiting for the screen to clear enough for me to be able to see out. The carpets are still wet now!

The rest of the road rally section was all very fast paced and relentless with no breaks or rests. The not as map lwr’s all worked well, thanks to the large diagrams, i could glance over at them whilst driving just before the junction. Due to be being so close to OTL we couldn’t afford to drop any time even at NTC’s so thanks to those to moved over to allow us through. Also thanks to the Volvo who let us past towards the end of the second regularity.
We spent a lot of the last section of the night chasing / following the LHD 206 Cup Car which was great fun.

Playing the ‘what if’ game, that we can all play, if we hadn’t lost all the time with getting stuck and struggling to find that PC board we would have been knocking on the door of the top ten which would have been pleasing.

Thanks to Lizzie for a top job of telling me where to go, and for pushing us out of the mud. In the end we finished 27th out of 44 finishers and 53 starters.

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