Well it was a good day relatively speaking…there were some major changes to the routes we were taking so it was a bit of late preparation for the navigators to change the directions in their road books. The first rally was changed from a Class 3 to a Class 2 as they had to re-route us around a particularly difficult part of the stage, again because of the risk of getting bogged, but 105km later we managed to come through unscathed and in perfect time! A welcome pause in Condobolin for a pit stop and we were onto the next stage – this one a 125km Class 3 – presented us with some challenges like fallen trees, deep gutters and rocky sections but we managed to nail it, albeit 2 minutes early.
A lovely lunch and fuel stop in Albert at the Rabbit Trap Hotel and we were off on what was to be our final stage for the day (the last planned stage was cancelled). This section had been again downgraded from a Class 2 to a Class 1 of 100km with some major changes to the route. We were humming along beautifully and then, 2kms from the end, when we had slowed down to prevent being too early, we hit a concrete causeway, which we hadn’t seen as the edge was camouflaged with water. It was a big hit and we knew we had done some damage, but we were determined to make it to Control 2km down the road. They heard us coming…
Anyway, we made it and then pulled over to check the damage. One tyre, beyond repair but worse, the alloy rim…you could see exactly where we had hit that causeway! Thanks once again to Dion from 0517 for his help changing the tyre on some pretty soft ground – this man manages to fit every piece of equipment you could possibly need on a rally into the boot of his Kar and is always there to help – we are most grateful. Fortunately, we had already organised in advance to pick up two new tyres in Dubbo, so now we will have to look for a rim as well! But the good news was we totally nailed the stage once again in perfect time!
There were certainly some challenges on Day 4 – driving down tracks that were so tight with trees on either side as well as saplings in the middle of the road that you couldn’t avoid as there was nowhere to go, some turns that were incredibly tight, lots of water, lots of mud and massively deep gutters – gotta love it! But we will freely admit, we are looking forward to our rest day tomorrow!
So 7th for the day and 16th overall – we don’t think we are doing too badly at all!