Car preparation is often the lynchpin between success and failure in any motorsport, but this weekend a reliable machine will be crucial, such is the pace at which the event will come at the competitors. “Busy” is how veteran driver Paul Crosby described it, “it’s a tough one, there is a lot crammed into a short space of time”. There is, as well, with plenty of tests and regularities that come at a wicked tempo and will keep even the most experienced on their toes.
Of course, nobody was being particularly boastful about their chances, woe betide anyone who taunts fate and turns her hand against them. That is not to say the competitors will not be pushing for a result, as they absolutely will, although some are being typically British about their prospects, such as Edward Vandyk in the gorgeous Alpine A110, surely one of the heartthrob cars of the event. “That’s about all we’ve got goig for us” he said, “we are definitely going to finish last”. Still, what does that matter if you look fabulous doing it.
Sat next to Edward in the maps seat is Henry Vandyk, one of a number of teenage competitors here this weekend, including Oli Waldock and Bob Rutherford Scholarship finalist Daisy Walker, who is navigating for Peter Higton. Daisy said she was “looking forward to the event after a great experience on the Bob Rutherford finals” and is hoping for a “good result”. However, any of our youngster’s finish, it is brilliant to see them out and involved, they are the future of the sport after all.
How they and everyone else will fare is of course the perpetual unknown, anything could happen. Ahead are three challenging legs in this, the third edition of the Per Ardua ad Infinitum. This time tomorrow Leg One will be done and dusted and Leg Two about to begin, by which time everyone’s prospects may be a little clearer.