The day was a hot one, with temperatures of 42 degrees and the hard roads and tough climate was starting to take its toll on the cars. The Porsche 911 of Lars and Annette Rolner, usually so good in the rocks and the sand, was suffering clutch issues that forced the pair to skip the final competition section of the day. They were not alone, in total 11 crews abandoned the afternoon’s route in favour of getting their queasy cars to the hotel for some maintenance and the car park of our evening halt was a flurry of activity whilst the sun remained in the sky.
Those that did skip missed out on another pair of enjoyable regularities, the first of which began on dirt again, although this time a little smoother and on a surface that would reward those that could match their speed to the corrugations of the dirt surface below. Both Dreelan brothers were clearly enjoying themselves, as they slithered around the corners in their pre-war machines with aplomb. They would both have strong days, matching each other with 16 seconds on the day, after some excellent work from not just the drivers but both navigators as well, with Bob Pybus in the Lagonda being one of just a handful who managed to score zeros on today’s competition sections.
One pair that didn’t have quite such a good day at the races were Marco Fila and Stephanie Gout-Fila, who lost fistfuls of time in their 911 after some ill advice cost them their day. The story goes they were diverted away from the regularity by another road user, who may or may not have been a competitor, thus missing it completely, which was a shame as they recorded excellent showings on the other two regs of the day. Still, as our resident ‘Bond’ couple they no doubt looked fabulous even whilst making such a costly mistake.
It was a day of problems for those in Porsches, and Steve and Kerry Hucklesby were not exempt in their bright green 911 as the engine bay cover kept coming loose and firing itself into the air at will, taking the famous 911 spoiler deployment to new heights. Filip Engelen and Ann Gillis had perhaps the most spectacular Porsche predicament though, when Filip took Ann’s instruction of turn right literally and managed to beach their 911 on the last regularity of the day. Luckily for them Alain Lejeune and Herve Collette sacrificed their regularity to come to their aid, and helped dig the beached machine free, allowing Filip and Ann to complete the regularity and minimize the damage. They weren’t the only two to get stuck in the sand on this last competitive section, with many coming to grief in the tricky sand by the only timing point on what was a short, sharp reg. Needless to say, the red Hilux of marshals Nick Pullan and Henry Carr was kept very busy retrieving stricken machines, including the Aussie pair of Tony Sutton and David Emmerton in the gorgeous little Lancia Fulvia.