Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sunday 18th June. East Anglian Rally.

As with the Hughes rally a few weeks previous, scrutineering for this rally took place on the previous evening as well as the day of the event, Sunday morning.
So after going to look at another Mk1 saloon on Saturday afternoon, I then made my way to Elsenham to face scrutineering. 
Unfortunately, this didn't go as well as it did on the Hughes Rally and after finding and fitting some static seat belts as opposed to inertia reel seat belts I finally received a pass stamp on the Sunday morning.
The weather for the day was excessively hot as predicted and I had taken the precaution of fitting my louvered bonnet in order to expel the under bonnet heat. 

We left Elsenham at our required start time and completed regularity sections through Great Notley and Cressing before heading to our first set of tests at Wethersfield Airfield. Some of the courses for the tests were quite long and poor Gertie was getting a proper thrashing. We didn't do too bad and put in some acceptable times for such a heavy car. 
After leaving Wethersfield Airfield, we then had to contend with regularity sections through Justice's Hill and Castle Headingham before stopping for Lunch. Whilst at the lunch break we discovered that we were running in second place in our class behind a very well prepared stage rally Mk1 Cortina GT. (Painted in the obligatory Lotus Cortina colours)
The day was still blisteringly hot and a number of the cars were suffering from over heating problems. (So had one of the crews who had retired solely due to the heat!)  We had even taken to running with all four windows open and the electric fans on continuous while doing the tests. 
With food and lots of cold drinks consumed we headed through Sible Heading and back to Wethersfield Airfield for more tests. 
The day just seemed to be getting hotter as it went on and again the twin electric fans were switched to permanent. The car got pushed a bit harder in an attempt to improve on our second place, but too much right foot was resulting in a fair bit of sideways action which looks good, but isn't the quickest method. Great fun though. 
After battering Gertie around Wethersfield again, we then did more regularity sections through Finchingfield, Cole End, Carver Barracks and Sucksted Green before finishing back at Elsenham. 
After the planned dinner (and more cold drinks) we learned that we hadn't improved our performance enough and had to settle for 2nd in class and 17th overall. Still a good result considering some of the other cars and crews we were up against. A brilliant day, but incredibly hot weather. I have to say though, I was impressed with Gertie who, despite getting a good thrashing in such fierce heat, the temperature gauge never ventured past the 3/4 mark all day. 


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