Intrepid though clearly they were my understanding is that even they could only get 2 in the car. Next Saturday no doubt they will be happy to relate the whole story.
Meanwhile here is an extract from the text :-
Even before we got to the actual start of the 2007 Classic Rally Association’s ‘Viking Marathon’, Norway, a lot seemed to have been going on.....
The 285mile trek north to Newcastle, via the mandatory M1 roadwork’s, contributed to an epic six and a half hour journey. Sadly, much of it spent stationary, cockpit at gas mark 6 and water temperature debating whether it was going to finally beat the radiator cap.
The immediate surroundings comprise a distinctly well travelled, Healey 3000. Standard Bearer for the once mighty, Armies of Abingdon, veteran of events, 20 plus Stage and over 40 Road.
It carries the usual mods, not a single one of them, beneficial to the environment.
It’s personality, not unlike a Fox Terrier we once had. Loud of bark, strong of limb, relentless in pursuit and prone to snapping back.
Not withstanding, we arrived at the pre-start hotel, crisis free, save for a weeping shock absorber refill cover and in advance of, exploiter of the Standard Triumph, guest navigator and International man of mystery, Andy Belcher.
A relaxed evening ensued, with scant attention paid to the non shock absorber. Instead, we enjoyed a convivial dinner with HRCR Beds, Bucks and Oxon organisers, Valerie and Graham Gilmore.
In the days to come however, the roads of Norway, would soon extract payment, for ignoring that shock absorber.
In the morning, as we approached the car, a familiar pool of amber liquid lay beneath. No casue for alarm. The old dog had simply marked its territory.
Scruitineering was a cheery formality in the North Eastern sunshine and we joined the 60 plus cars queuing for the ‘Queen of Scandinavia’, our escort for the North Sea leg, to Stavanger. The mood was relaxed and optimistic, except for a, decidedly scarlet, Colin Weekley esquire, who had bought MPH speed tables. Still, his assertion that there must be one crew who had both arrived with KM speed tables, proved insightful and the usual sea of tranquility descended over the Amazons, Scandinavian cockpit.
Waiting in line for the Queen
Many covetable old motors on this event, but one other thing was a shade worrying; 60% of the competitors were on shiny new Vredenstein Snow Trac tyres. Everyone who looked, seemed surprised we were only running Avon ZZ’s – when all the weather reports has shown snow on the route. Hmmm…
As we set off from a dusky Newcastle, three hours late, Belcher was locked below decks, as punishment for not plotting the route earlier. Andy runs a tight schedule, but this was pretty close. Never the less, around 6 hours later he emerged, with the route all but complete and we joined up with the Weekley’s, Gilmore’s, Secker’s and the Powell’s for and excellent seafood dominated feast in the Queen’s, Seven Seas restaurant.
In the morning it transpired that the old Queen was running on one, not four engines and would not be making up any time. As we approach the Norwegian coast the sea turns a little rougher and the heavens start to crack. Thor, is rubbing his hands.
Unperturbed and full of optimism, we arrive in Stavanger. Running to a revised schedule, we make our way, in the rain, to the rally start at the TS Vintage Tractor Museum. Rain equals no snow, so we were already, we’re on the up.
The Tractor Museum and their workshops were already proving to be an inspired choice, by the organizers, the Classic Rally Association. Competitor Alan Rogers, in his yellow 911 has run the bearings of his dynamo. However, there’s bloke here in the museum, who has restored a Porsche Tractor, who knows a bloke down the road, who has a bearing shop, who…
Time out for those of you that do not understand what Road Rallying is - please scroll down to Satuday, Leg 1 if you do.
You might think, quite justifiably, how come somebody who hasn’t won anything outright, feels he can advise on this often demanding discipline. Well I can’t I suppose, but by being a beginner for so long, maybe I can explain in a way you might relate to.
For many years, I found it very difficult to understand what we were supposed to be doing, when we were supposed to be doing it and how we going to do it.
So here’s The Rough Guide to Road Rallying.
There are two types of competitive car rallies. One is a Stage Rally where the event is comprised of several stages on closed roads, against the clock. The fastest crew wins and such an event is the WRC.
The other is a Road Rally, where the competition is about arriving at controls on time, mostly on public roads. Additionally, there will be a few special tests, in which the fastest car usually suffers the least penalty.
This event is a Road Rally and as such, can be an accessible form of motor sport for many people. If you do everything right, you won’t need a fast car. However, if you make a mistake and have to turn around for example, a car with a performance edge will make it easier to get back on track. Well that’s the official response anyhow!
A Road Rally event schedule is broken up into Legs or days. Day one is Leg 1 and so on.
The vital route, will either be by diagrams (arrows and distances called Tulips) or by a map upon which, the route has been marked.
For this event Andy had to plot the route from series of instructions. After plotting, there were a few (deliberate) gaps.
Later, when we reach these gaps, we will get further printed instructions. When we reach the end of these instructions, we will be back on the marked route.
During a typical Leg there will be Main Time controls (MTC), Time controls (TC), Transit sections, Regularity Starts (RS), Jogularities and Special tests (ST).
It is all about, being at these places exactly on time when necessary and knowing when you can be a little late or early. If you are late when you should not be, you will be time penalised. It is these time penalties, upon which. the rally results are based.
Get everywhere on time, go the right way, be fastest on the tests and you will win the rally.
Controls are manned by volunteers called marshals, who stamp or chip your rally card, to show you have been there and at what time.
Everybody has to arrive at the controls at a different times to avoid chaos, so the running schedule always shows the time for car zero. You have to work out your own time schedule, by adding on your car number to those of car zero.
The first thing to do is to set your stopwatch to the exact time of day, exactly in line with the organisers clock. You will see all the crews doing this at the start, as we are all trying to get this right to the second.
Main Time Controls. (MTC)
These are the ones everybody should get right. There is normally a MTC when you start the day, one when you come into lunch. There will also be one when you leave lunch and when you get to the end of the day. So for a typical leg there would be MTC’s 1,2,3 & 4.
If car zero leaves MTC 1 at 9.00 am and we are car 23, we know we must get our card stamped at 9.23 precisely, then get on our way. It is the competitor’s responsibility to get this right if you forget and get it stamped at 9.25 you will get an irrevocable 2-minute penalty that you needn’t have got. So you are already 2 minutes behind everyone else and you haven’t left the car park yet!
One further point: By adding 23 to all the MTC car zero times, we know when we must be at all 4 MTC’s. Generally, we must not miss any MTC’s and never be more that 30 minutes late. That means if you get lost, break down and lose time, you might have to cut some of the route, just to make the MTC on time. Competitors need to read the event regulations, so they know which items to bypass, with the least penalty.
Sometimes you can be early or late penalty-free at the final MTC’s, but the regulations will state this.
Edited by RTH, 02 August 2009 - 11:19.