We spent last week doing the final titivations on Mike's PV544, before handing it over to CARS for shipment to the USA in readiness for the TransAmerican event.
My little girl, Amy, is currently rock climbing for a couple of weeks in South Africa, leaving the dreamteam of Henchoz in a Volvo short of half the crew.
Luckily Simon stepped into the fray, and offered to drive his Porsche 924 on the opening round of the HRCR Championship: the North Yorkshire Classic, tolerating me as navigator.
Sunday commenced in bright sunshine and dry conditions, which were to continue throughout the day, with 3 slippery tests on the airfield; one of the jolts upset the steering rack (which is due for recon anyway) giving mighty heavy steering for the remainder of the event. This was followed by a fourth at Cold Harbour Farm - now there's a name to conjour with, at which point we surmised that we would be quicker by staying in traction, no booting the throttle to get the back end to step out.
First regualrity, first junction came up in 0.6miles, but I was away with the fairies, noticing 300m later and a quick return. Thankfully the BGT behind us let us pass to get back on time.
From the navigator's seat the day was incessant, and not quite stressful - certainly I never had time to chat idly throughout the event. Chatting to a couple of drivers, they felt that the regularities had some long stretches at low speeds with no junctions: ie boring. As a navigator I was either plotting the next regularity during these, or fathoming out the previous/next speed change - many of them were at physical features, requiring the nav to log the distance, calculate the ideal time, then set the clock running a minute late. Add to that a short run after the previous control, and the complexity of maintaining the correct speed becomes much more difficult to keep under control.
Lunchtime tests at the showground were excellent: fast, easy to call and drive, decent length.
The afternoon regularities, and the Golf running 2 cars ahead of us had a failure of confidence, returning up the single track road, the car ahead of us lost over 2', and we dropped a minute: just before the Skewsby control. However! Just after that came a couple of tricky speed changes, but I failed to action the "15mph for 0.5 miles", so that cost us far more penalties than the Golf. As it transpired there was an organiser error on that section, and it got scrubbed anyway.
Glimpses of the moors throughout the day, but largely we stayed on the Vale of York.
Onto the last tests, and one that involved describing mushroom silhouettes around bollards would have taken me about 4'-5' in the PV using reverse on at least 6 occasions. The 924 just steered neatly around it on full lock, and posted Simon's best test result of the day.
We came in 12th, 1st in class - I managed 8th on regularity performance. I am delighted, since I would have been happy with equalling our seeding of 17th.
Then the long drive home, with the A14 closed for 5 junctions, and home at midnight.
- The Volvos - rather fewer of them than in recent events...
- Amazon Jane/Nick Green 32nd overall 2nd in class
- P1800S Phil Wood/Iain Miller 42nd 9th
And back to work...
We have a delightful P1800E that was running poorly, and is now a delight - it's just a question of being methodical setting up the Bosch D-Jetronic; however, not many businesses are as meticulous as they need to be...
It's now getting a full suspension job: bushes, springs & gas shocks.
Our V70 now has its summer tyres back on, and the winter Kumhos are back in storage, but Emma reckons I might be a bit optimistic...