Baja GB

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Absolutely shattered so just time for a tiny update before I hibernate till next year. (From now on I’m only getting out of bed for Bajas!)

Baja GB this weekend was a phenomenal experience. The stages were like nothing I’d ever done before.  Normally our stages are 32 km max, the usual rally stage is less than half that, but the stages this weekend were 50 and 60 km! 

We had one stage to do on the Friday, a 10 km prologue that would determine our seeding for the next day.  We started really well, with a few changes to the feel of the vehicle with the extra weight (two spare wheels and a whole lot of fuel!) making it seem a little wallowy but Henry adjusted accordingly and we were flying.   Part way through MuddyMoo had a couple of misfires, then after a 90 left and part way uphill she stopped on stage and wouldn’t restart.  We had to roll back down the hill, get clear of the stage, then Henry was straight out of the vehicle and sorted the problem (a plug lead came off) whilst I put out our OK board.  Henry quickly had the problem sorted, so grab the OK board back, jump back into the vehicle, get the belts back on and frustratingly Frazer Williams and Dave Thomas went past in the QT before we got re-started.  We lost about two minutes, which put us at the back of the field for the next stage, really gutting. 

Back to service where our special guest service crew David and Michael (thanks lots both of you, your turn next year!) investigated the smell of oil, dodgy steering and the loose jack handle somehow floating around the back of the vehicle!

The next day we started at the back of the pack but passed four or five cars on stage. We were really flying!  Then things went a little awry, we drove part of one stage (50kms!) with no brakes (pipe ripped out on stage by rough ground) and the next stage (60kms!) with only three brakes! It made braking and setting up for corners REALLY unpredictable, it was sort of Scandinavian flicks before each corner but you couldn’t tell which way it was going to end up after it stopped flicking!  Hilarious! (Well, looking back on it anyway)  Henry managed it fantastically, we only lost about ten minutes compared to the stages we did with working brakes.  On the navigational side, our intercom packed up so I had to shout instructions over the roar of the engine and wave my hands around to indicate severity of corners and bumpy ground!  The final day started early, wet and cold, all bleak and misty at Sweet Lamb but again fantastic fun on stage.  We started with just under two minutes to make up on Frazer Williams and Dave Thomas in their QT Special.  It was just possible, just possible that we could end the day second overall.  Then again, it was possible that we could push too hard and end up out of the event completely.  Anything could happen… 

So we rallied through the final stage, finished close but still 31 seconds behind Frazer and Dave (congratulations guys!), and absolutely thrilled with third national position!  We were presented awards in front of spectators and photographers, and it all felt rather special.  Now it’s back to normal life but with a huge grin and some amazing memories flying through my head. 

Thanks to all the organizers, officials, marshals and spectators for making it so much fun, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Webster the Muddy Moo Management Crew, to the wonderful Roland Marlow for all your help, and to my husband Richard for the competition, the support, and for not landing on our roof on stage 4!  Thank you to Allmakes for the sponsorship, and last but not least, thanks to Henry for driving so fantastically and letting me shout at him for three days!

I’m counting the minutes till next time…

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