Friday, October 11, 2013

3rd place overall

Just a quick post to say I managed 3rd place overall in the first EMSF Desert Championship event.  Dave Mabbs won and a Buggy was 2nd, so actually I was 2nd in the 4x4 category.  But it was absolute hell, very rough and extremely hard work.  Broke one of the new straps fitted to limit the suspension travel, and damaged a rear shock.  And finished the race with one of the rear doors hanging open and banging around!

OK here's the long version. First we blew a trailer tyre on the way to the start, hardly an auspicious beginning. Then my trusty co-driver decided her gyppy tummy was going to get the better of her, and decided to dip out of navigating. So far, so bad.

I started 4th of the 4x4s, after the buggies had disappeared into the distance, a minute behind Mansour Al-Hili in car 83. Halfway through the first 20km lap, I overtook him - but some very loud, banging noises were emanating from my rear end. (of the car, all right? OF THE CAR!) I pitted at the end of the lap and Richard diagnised a loose jack, bolted it back into position and 50 seconds later I was on my way, without losing the place to Mansour. I passed various stationary buggies, got passed by a few buggies, passed 86 (who must have been on his first lap) and still I was plagued by 'noises off'.

Cut to lap 4, and suddenly Mansour came back past me, going like the clappers, so I decided I had to try and keep up with him - if I could keep within a minute of him, I'd maintain my one-place advantage. People kept waving wildly at me, which I though was very nice of them, so I waved back. On and on we chased, till finally I banged and crashed over the finish line, about 40 seconds behind him after 5 laps.

Only then did I discover that the rear door had been flanging about for half the race, the LH rear shock spring perch had broken off, leaving the coilover loose, the RH coilover had worked loose as well and the RH limit strap had broken. All of which pretty much explained the banging noise. And, of course, the waving...

Keeping that place I'd won from Mansour gave me third overall, which means a nice trophy. One of the buggies was 2nd and Dave Mabbs was first overall. So really I should be considered 2nd in the 4x4 category, but let's not quibble. All in all a good result, but there's work to do before the next event on 15th November.

Once again major thanks to Richard Bailey, spanner-man extraordinaire, for his tireless devotion to the cause of NewTrix Racing. And congratulations to him and his lovely wife Alix on the birth of baby Juliet last week!

1 comment:

Grumpy Goat said...

Unlike Mabbsy, you hadn't spent all morning familiarising yourself with the course by doing eight laps on a motorbike ;-)

So well done: award yourself an additional place for racing without prior recce.