Sunday morning saw me up at the ungodly hour of 5am and arriving at Colin's at 6.30. The reason for this madness? The Chelmsford Motor Club Targa rally. If you think of the Club Triumph auto solo but with each course four or five times longer and needing a navigator you are almost there!
When I started out from Wickford the snow was very light, but the time I was north of Colchester it had increased significantly.
By the time we got to the start location at Woodbridge, the snow was coming down again and an icy cold wind was battering us from the East coast. Four CT cars had entered with Colin Wake navigating for Mike Helm, but also Driving his own 2.5pi (In which I was navigating) and Mike Bishop and Darren Armitage in a Herald (Complete with Monte Carlo type roof rack and snow tyres!) and Clive and Lucy senior in a Toledo.
Mike and Colin were out first meaning I had a long wait in the cold while waiting for them to return. By the time we started the PI had decided that it was going to save a cylinder for later on and only run on five. As a result, we had a dismal first run and were well off the pace.
Colin then went out with Mike again only to return a short time later with a severe transmission problem on Mike's TR6. I haven't yet heard what the problem was, but the transmission had locked up and the car had to be winched up onto Mikes Trailer and transported home.
Colin's second run in the PI was completed on six cylinders this time, but time was lost due to spending most it going sideways, backwards, and trying to kill the photographer who thought he had found a safe place by standing on the grass!
We were also being watched by Mike and Darren who had managed to almost turn his rear wheel inside out by pushing the tyre off the rim while 'drifting'.
While at lunch further investigation of the Herald revealed that despite changing the wheel the whole hub and drum still looked decidedly wobbly! It turns out that Mike had bent a driveshaft during his attempt at knocking a drainage channel out of the way.
Two Triumphs down, two to go! After lunch we carried on with the tests and had a couple of good runs despite some navigational errors by me and more sideways driving from Colin. (I'm sure he's trying to blow that engine to bits on purpose!)
eventually, we had completed the seventeen tests and after hearing the results in which none of us featured (Front wheel drive hatchbacks seem to have the most success) it was time to go home.
Mikes broken Herald now occupied the trailer which meant that Darren had to follow us back to Colin's in the PI. (Mike had had to leave earlier)
After dropping Darren off at Witham to meet Mike at the Rivenhall hotel with Coffee and Scones supplied by Ivi (thanks, much appreciated) I eventually got home about 9pm. A very long, but brilliant day with the worst bit being the constant snow, bitter cold and icy wind! I hope the weather improves before we go to Holland this weekend. I dont fancy another frozen weekend!