LeJog 2014 – Day 2 Chester to Carlisle

Well I was feeling tired after 7 hours sleep but in the foyer of the hotel stories were starting to emerge that it had been a tough but classic night in Wales on the TC section with a few tails of woe and one or two crew missing after getting stuck in fields or breaking down or plain and simply getting lost!

But there was no time for sentiment as we headed to the first at Lyme Truck stop but this time we had been giving some plotting to do so I settled in and said to David: “Let me know when you get to junction 9 of the M6.” But despite the warning we still got it wrong and lost that vital road position which was so important. On wards we went up to Preston and a quick ‘Hello’ to a few familiar faces – including Mr Pedley – at Salmesbury aerodrome and then our first regularity of the day.

Some good nice open roads up the Ribble Valley with appropriate speed nothing too difficult apart from when I decided to make up an imaginary route instruction that saw us enter a farmyard and we lost a minute but managed to get all the check points and under 10 seconds on most of them. Even had a chine to wave at Mr Large and Briggs situated on a hairpin on the open moorland stretch at Hornthornwaite. “It was right nice.”

Coffee at Austwick before more beautiful scenery sections as we wound our way east to Helwith Bridge, and Arncliffe spotting our first snow flurry hit down the Littondale valley before heading on to lunch at Leyburn and a chance to catch-up with family and friends such as Andy Pullan’s mum and dad – oh sweet…

Catterick Army ranges www.tonylarge.net

Catterick Army ranges http://www.tonylarge.net

Now, onto to the real stuff Cattarick Army ranges for 2 regularities on the military ranges gravel roads. I’d been here 2-years ago on the rally of the tests and knew that accuracy and a decent pace was needed to get round, what didn’t help was a slightly out trip that by the end was reading more than half a mile to the distances on the sheet.

We managed to get revenge on the Beetle as we overtook him but not surprisingly we didn’t want to get in the way of Gold medal contenders Tomas De Vargas Machuca and Leigh Powley in their Porsche and so decided to do a bit of shopping to make sure they didn’t make the same mistakes as us!

It was getting colder and colder and you could see that the snow was settling with more PC’s to collect in pubs with warm fires and lovely beer – but we had to put all that behind us and maintain a decent pace to my favourite pub which I have never been in till now Tan Hill! Just made in in daylight before the gloom really started to set in.

 

But we had the special Stanhope Ford a traditional type of test to go through the ford which sometimes can be a raging torrent and then switch the engine off and back on before ending stop astride the line.

It’s one of those must do rallying moments, you had seen the videos and read the reports, now it was time – but to be honest it was pretty tame this year and we got through with a time just of the limit some some penalty points to add – but we were safe at least 2 cars got stuck and had to wait for recovery.

Tiredness was once again setting in on the go for nearly 10 hours and numb bum was returning a few simple regularities with clock issues due to the number of cars arriving at controls at the same or nearly the same time meant marshals had to be on their toes – some were some needed guidance!

A long regularity took us to the outskirts of Carlisle but the orange Porsche that had been with us for most of the journey wasn’t there? It would later transpire that a broken shock absorber had started to part company explain the shower of sparks over some of the bumps a spectacular site in the darkness – They would get it fixed but it would drop Tomas and leigh out of Gold medal contention for the moment.

One final short test before we could start looking forward to some food and with a long day ahead of us is was time for some shut eye.

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