No snow, no sunshine just plenty of mud and rain as Kris Farrell & I started to GMF Factors 2013 Wyedean Rally.
We hope to have some in car video footage very soon.
Nothing would prepare us for exactly how slippy the stages were, and this was going to be one of the fastest Wyedean Rallies ever, lots of straights appearing in the notes: 800, and 550 chicance 450! Plus a stonking 13.5 miles stage to end the day in Speech House.
It was great to see so many people in Coleford High Street and the ceremonial start!
An easy start as we hadn’t sat in the car together for a while, felt good and confident until one of the many tightening hairpins powering out of the corner the back end came round and we ended up on the inside going up the bank. Luckily the spectators were quickly on hand to push us back onto the road approximately 20 seconds lost, no problems for the rest of the stage.
SS2 Serridge 1:
We had what can only be described as one of the ‘biggest’ moments of my life as we went round a R2/C on the tarmac section the back end stepped out, I looked up to see the car was nearly 90 degrees to where we should be going but Kris held n well!! Earlier in the stage we had an issue with the steering wheel not going back properly leading to some over corrections.
SS3 Trellech Common:
Short but VERY slippy, could not get in to this one car all over the place interesting tyre marks near the end of the stage. I believe in front of the TV cameras!
SS4 Chepstow Park Wood:
Very fast stage but on the long straight in the middle had an interesting moment after hitting a bump and drifting towards the undergrowth – again extremely slippy under the trees led to a few interesting moments but we got through – changes at service.
Removed about 2 tonnes of mud for all 4-wheels, put in deeper cuts of the Pirelli tyres to try and clear the mud. Managed a cup of tea and a doughnut, thanks to fellow South Hams Motor Club members servicing car 60 Russell Spry/Alan Frame in the V8 Mk1 Escort.
Wow, had so many moments! A half-spin by hitting a puddle and the front end being dragged into a small ditch. Then we tackled the ski-slope a steep downhill section that was just pure MUD, we literally slid down the hill hardly touching the throttle and definitely not the brakes!
The stage felt a bit messy due to the changing surfaces and lack of grip – but we had survived!
SS6 Serridge 2:
Big push in here, backing off slightly where we had the tarmac moment earlier. But defo the best stage of the day for us. It clicked both inside and outside car and tyres working well.
One of our fastest times of the day and a good confidence boost.
SS7 Speech House:
Another big moment in here. First usage and is was similar to the morning no grip especially under braking after some huge straights, lots of spectators. Nudged one of the straw bale chicanes but then had a big moment with a straight-on down an escape road after the brake pedal went to the floor!
Lost approximately 30 seconds as we reversed 30-yards to get back onto the road.
Slowed Kris up to make sure we made to the end especially the last mile where I had been off twice previously including in the snow with Julian Wilkes, there is a !!2R/C and we got close to clipping the post but made it to the end.
A fantastic start to the 2013 campaign plenty to work on to try and get more confidence in the car.
No we’re on the pace on some stages so need more consistency and those times will come.
Have reliability, now need to work on getting knowledge of the forests.
Stage Time Overall 1400 Class
SS1 7:59 91 18th 8th
SS2 6:50 45 5th 5th
SS3 3:17 89 12th 8th
SS4 7:36 58 5th 5th
SS5 7:29 48 7th 7th
SS6 6:05 29 3rd 3rd
SS7 16:18 34 7th 7th