Leg 5 Malemort to Turini

The last day began with some challenging regularities between Malemort and Castellane. Mostly we did pretty well with a few seconds here and there. A brief encounter with some sheep and Then on to Aiglun via the balcony road before the final blast from La Bollene up to the Col de Turini.

You can’t call yourself a rally driver until you’ve done this stage. It’s fast. It demands absolute concentration with a rock face one side and a sheer drop the other. 20 plus hairpins that are just wide enough to mean you can keep the power on through it.

Andrew called it perfectly giving me pace noted calls for each twist and turn. It makes a huge difference.

Four timing points before the final blast up the hill to slide to a halt astride the finish at 5,000 ft. I’ve done this 4 times previously and this was by some way my fastest time.

Then it was some lunch while we awaited the results. We finished 11th overall in a very good quality field. We got 2nd in class and also picked up a team prize!

All in all very satisfying. Big thanks to Andrew who called every turn – except one! He is definitely forgiven. It was a really excellent performance.

Another terrific and very competitive event fully deserving of its rating as one of the toughest on the calendar.

Leg 4 Valence to Malemort

Enjoyable days rallying today.

Two regularities which caught some top crews out but we got round. Highlight was the lunch halt at Chateauneuf du Pape. Excellent.

More sneaky navigation kept Andrew on his toes but he got us round without a real hitch.

Tonight it’s Malemort. Tomorrow we have four regularities before the fabled blat up the Turini. This is the must do stage for all of us. A great way to finish. Those of us that have done it before still relish the prospect. Those who haven’t are in for a special treat. Fingers crossed we now make it round in one piece and cross the line in the top of the Turini in one piece!The problem with rallying all day for us older gents!!!!

Leg 3 Aix-les-Bains to Valence

Well that was a proper day of Winter rallying. Loads of regularity sections some snow and ice and with seconds dropped all over the place. Mostly because the times were tricky to make. Lunch TC was at Lans ice race track. Two tests on this. The first was a bit sideways and the second ended with me running out of talent at a hairpin and placing the car into a snow bank! Not my finest hour!

Supper halt saw a blown hose and lots of steam but fixed by the service crew and then it was night Time Control section in the Ardèche. Wow! Frantically fast but times almost impossible for us. Combination of my driving ability and the car being older technology than the cars around us. Frankly the Porsches make mincemeat of these sections. Still we ticked all the boxes so well done Andrew for getting us round today with barely a hitch.

Update

Not surprisingly we have slipped back overnight from 7th at supper to 10th by the end of the day. It was always going to be tough for us last night.

Leg 2 Beaune to Aix-l’es-Bains

A really good days competition. Early regularities as we dropped down towards the Jura gave us some excellent results with minimal penalties. By lunch we had pulled up to 6th overall.

The afternoon was more challenging but we cooed well and the only negative was getting baulked by a Rover that got stuck on a snowy hill. We couldn’t get past and by the time we did we had incurred a 32 second penalty which was galling to say the least. The final regularities were very tricky and Andrew excelled by finding a nifty right hairpin down to a control that was missed by several crews. Overall we finished the day 6th overall and effectively 1st in class. Tomorrow is a long day with the night section round Valence which will surely sort the out the field.

Leg 1

Long day today for the Concentration Run down to Beaune. Nice weather with just 3 regularities after lunch to give us a bit of sport. We did ok. Just seconds penalties here and there. The first one was an irritating mucked up speed change. The second a car wrong slotting at a tight hairpin in front of us. C’est la vie. Now at Beaune for the night. Competition proper starts tomorrow. Time Comtrol at Chablis