Kidney Kar Rally: Day 4 + 5

Update! Day 5 – Rest Day!

Rest day? Didn’t really rest much! Took the kar to the local Subaru dealer to ask them to have a look at it for us, just a quick check underneath to hopefully answer some of the questions we had about creaking and cracking noises etc. The staff at Carlin & Gazzard were really helpful and a young guy named Chris came out and took the kar for a spin then popped it up on the hoist to have a look underneath. Did some ‘mechanic speak’ about D rubbers and rear controller arm bolts and sway bars! Anyway, he tightened up a few things and voila no more creaks and cracks!

Very grateful yet again to a local Subaru dealer who has assisted us without charge. So thank you Carlin & Gazzard, and in particular Chris!

All the laundry done and fuelled up and raring to go in the morning for a very long day before we hit St Arnaud tomorrow night. We have been told to expect lots of boggy mud! Yay!


Below is Kath’s run-down for Day 4! It looked like a great day for the Downies team and leads in to a well-earned rest day in Mt Gambier!

I may have already said this on a previous day, but today was our BEST day!

All the stages today were supposed to be relatively easy… We began with a Class 3 of 72 km, then a Class 2 of 109 km. we blitzed both of these without losing a single point, so our timing and Ken’s driving were spot on!

We had lunch in Hamilton which was quite rushed as we had a 40 km drive to get to the start of the next stage – a Class 1 for 112km. This was always going to be a quick stage with an average speed of about 85kmh. The sun was actually shining today for the first time with blue sky – it was very pretty driving through the forests.

This stage turned to disaster for many kars who got stuck in either or both of the very deep bogs that had formed after recent rains. In one instance there were apparently more than 20 kars being held up while kars tried to help each other out of this deep dark sloppy mud. Being early to set off, we were fortunate to miss the drama and sailed through the bogs without a problem. We ended up losing just 1 point for being a minute early for this stage.

During a short transport to the start of our next stage, we saw a large mob of emus running along the side of the road – I have never seen so many together before!

The final stage for the day was a Class 2 for 76 km. this was a very pleasant section, a little tense at times with a great deal of sand! A lot of it was through plantations and in some parts Ken thought the sand was just going to swallow the kar, but we made it through by following a few other kars and while the pace was full on, we could react to any issues they were having by taking a different option. As a consequence we came through 2 minutes early for a loss of only 2 points!

And so we arrived in Mt Gambier and set our watches back. We checked in to our motel and prepared ourselves for the “Hillbilly” theme night. What an interesting bunch of people these Rallytives are! (Some a little more “interesting” than others!). Also tonight was the drawing of the Ambo’s raffle which raised a great deal of money for the Kidney Kids. The Ambo’s raise a lot of money for the cause over the year and they award it to 3 rally kars to put towards their fundraising for next year.

So at the end of day 4, we find ourselves equal 5th for the day and equal 14th overall. Tomorrow is our rest day so we will be washing some mud off clothes and kars and trying to relax a little before we start again on Thursday morning.

-Kath

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