[KKR2015] Day 1 of the Rally

A section of the track (image supplied).

A section of the track (image supplied).

We were feeling quite confident today after the end of our first day. We started with a 75k ‘transport’ which is basically intended to get you to the start of the first rally stage. And what a first stage it was! A class 3 which means an average speed of about 70kph for just under 70k. We thought we completed this stage maybe a minute too fast… Then a short transport to the beginning of a very harrowing stage – a class 3 again but 88k and some unbelievable holes, gutters, rough creek crossings, humps, dips, rocks and sand, not to mention the cattle, horses and yes a dingo! At one point in this stage there was actually air under all four wheels as we hit an unexpected hump and literally took off! Some Kars behind us got caught in the sand and had to be pulled out by other Kars. At the end of this stage, which we thought we had been a couple of minutes slow on, we had lunch at Ross River. We then headed back out on another 54k transport to face the last stage of the day – a class 1 (85kph average) for 158k. Once again, we thought we had done ok finishing within a minute of the expected average time. We then head back to the hotel where we have to report to Admin with our time cards, so they know everyone is safe.

Navigator instructions!

Navigator instructions!

As we had a couple of hours to spare before dinner, I busied myself with laundry and repacking ready to check out in the morning. Ken went to attend to a couple of windscreen chips we had acquired during the course of the day, refuel the Kar ready for tomorrow etc. On his return he discovered we had a tyre that was very low. We pumped it up only to find it flat again after dinner. No time to get it repaired before we head out in the morning so a couple of young Rallytives changed it tonight for us. We still have one good spare up our sleeve, but will try to get it seen to in Coober Pedy in a couple of days – hopefully we will manage until then!

Dinner was outside by the pool this evening but it was very chilly so it finished early for which we were grateful given how tired we are after the first day. But the delays by so many Kars over the course of the day in sand etc meant that the average times for the day were significantly different from what we had expected, so we ended up being scored 2 mins early, 8 mins early, 4 mins early across the three stages and ranked 24th for the day – not quite as we would have hoped but there are still plenty of days to go!

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