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6th March 2017
Cheshire: plenty of Volvos
We had a good turnout of Volvos on Saturday for KDMC's ever popular Tour of Cheshire: PV544 x2,  Amazon x4, P1800S, and 144 x2 (a record turnout of the 140's?).

Scrutineering opened early on Friday night, so we were at HQ to sign on well before the "open time" of 1800, and spent the wait chatting to Ian & Jill Doble, during which I discovered that he'd had to test drive a 959 when it was launched. Presumably he spent the entire time looking for a bend to round; if Texas is anything to go by, without success!

Well, the Henchoz crew didn't do itself any favours on the Saturday - we really did struggle a bit, and never really got in control.
With the wonderful exception of Regularity E, which was the most delightful private land section (ie controls may, and are, located at intervals <2km). With TC's and PC's coming up every 30s, the crew has to work hard to maintain the average speed on the loose surface. It was a hoot, and we hit the TC's with seconds of ideal time for all but one: I had spotted the PC board, speeded up to get ahead of time before realising there was a TC 10m before it - so we were 10s early.

Regularities: we missed two TC's - we've never done that before, just shows how below par we were!

Second test of the day, I grabbed a touch of handbrake to prompt a nice slide, dabbed the throttle; dabbed it again; floored it and still no engine response! I rolled it back to a safe position and opened up the bonnet to find that the engine had moved far enough forward during the manoeuvre that the throttle spindle had disengaged from its bulkhead fulcrum. 10s later all was fixed.
One of the tests was frustratingly different to the test diagram, resulting in us sitting still looking for the correct cone and correct approach.
But then there was a huge test on slippery concrete, that was excellent fun.

A delighted Gareth Hockridge called me up today to let me know how much improvement we've made in our roadsprings for him, which was excellent news; plus he needs bigger carbs for his engine: HS8's perhaps?

The trip home was pleasant enough, with free flowing traffic. Now, I've spent a lot of time recently concentrating on needle choice and tuning of the SU's, and I reckoned the PV was nigh on perfect. So, I filled up to the 50litre mark in Cheshire with the hope that I should nicely scrape home without having to stop again: 210miles.
In fact I only used 25litres, which by my mental arithmetic is 40mpg - we haven't seen that economy on an engine since the French strike in 2001(?) when we took the Amazon to Avignon. Wow - absolutely superb.
And there's not a bit of exageration there, 25litres is marked on the tank, and that is what we have remaining today. The 210 miles was on our rally calibrated tripmeter, and confirmed by Waze.

Next I'm out on the Isle of Man in Peter's 911 (no legroom I'm told), before heading to Yorkshire to team up with Amy again for the North Yorkshire Classic.
She's in France climbing for the next event, so Emma steps into the driver's seat, and I return to the navigator's post on the Ilkley Jubilee Rally.
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