Thursday, 22 October 2015

Day 6 Sam Bird

Great day again - were up into the top 50 as there's only 49 out of 85 cars still in.

Today is a combination of long straights and fast downhills. Our car has had its timing all reset and is running well.
Both lead Camaros go out in historic C as well as our Nova so at service the 22 mechanics only have three cars.


Sam gets a name name of Sam bird when a bird explodes on the cage above his head and drops down into his lap 

Great reception at Zacatecas and in the evening the traditional donkey walk to the bullring

Bed at 22.30 up tomorrow at 5 ready for a 7.00 arch.

The last day!!!!

Our friend Pablo and Rob in their 2002 are back ready for the final 400 miles and the famous "Devils Spine"
The second 260Z blows its engine and works on it all night to change in the street outside the Emporioguest

Gooooo

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Day 5 mille Cumbres again and onto Quanajuato


Happy birthday Taz !!
CJ and Jake are back! They've repaired their blown transmission and appear at the arch. Jake is getting noticeably faster as his trust in CJ builds.

She's one of the lady copilotos. It seems that all the best ones are female? Angelica, Laura, Ute, Lauren and Cj - point proven.

Maybe something to do with with mans inability to multitask.
We ran on fumes today when the listed Pemex station was closed and crawled to another off-map.
Nearly three strikes and out for Sam!
 
Sun and dry corners made for an excellent day on mille cumbres again and in the afternnon sections.
Again it claims at least three victims with cars off the edge.

Into the l"Scheller Silver Mines" with a police escort - don't understand how anyone could get lost down there Lauren?

Big party again tonight as we meet up with Artuo - Sams mexican brother from another mother!?!?
Anyway after beers Sam passes out in the car and somehow we get it to service without getting lost! Maybe he needs beers for breakfast?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Day 4 Mille Cumbres !!!


The day we've all been waiting for. The legendary mountain road road with a thousand curves.
Built like a ski mogul field with incredible dancing cambers that throw you from one turn to the next.


Up at the top it's very close with five studebakers - slightly further back in the field it's just as frenetic with plenty of crashes and blown engines.

Run the three stages and in Sams words "haul ass"  I think he's talking about the burros?!



We rip through the field overtaking three cars and finish (no fuel issues).
The only two noticeable crashes on mille cumbres were one of the eight super fast Police Frderales cars that went off and the 002 BMW exhibition car that sweeps the stages prior to us !!

Full respect to the German mustang that have returned after their off on the mountain back in 2011
.
Ready to go again 

I see they've got sponsorship from Alberto pants ( that's underwear to Americans)
 I might get Sam over to them for some freebie handouts ( even if they're ladies g strings they must be better than his best offering.

A lie in tomorrow 9.00 start - yippe 
But the bells at the cathedral go off at 5,30!!!


Monday, 19 October 2015

Day 3 Mexico City to Tulaco

Up early to escape the huge metropolis' Rush hour traffic.

Poor cars were serviced in the rain outside the Hilton. So didn't need a wake up call as the V8s being warmed up at 5.30am did the job.,


Run really well through the morning including the crazy lunchtime stop
at Tehuacan where we became best friends with the Corona team.


But then have fuel issues on the final speed stage that give us a penalty.


The afternoon stages all run well despite our clutch's best efforts to hinder us.
We keep losing second and first gears - not good at starts!



After another technical hitch with fuel calcs we get to the arch and to bed after the results.

"Hashtag Renee" is back and today took first in class and the  Medcedes again took first in Sports Major.
At least we are runner up again.

Again mechanic work tirelessly through the nigh with special attention to the clutch 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Day 2 Oaxaca to Mexico City

The mechanics don't seem to ever sleep?
They were up till 1am adding an extra the fan and rewiring the alternator after the fire.
we've found another lucky sticker and 
picked up a virgin of guadalope statue.
Covering all angles on the luck front!!

Run all stages well . Sadly the rain slowed us in the morning but we're definately getting faster.


Our main rival in Sports class is the mercedes 300 gullwing that's travelled here with three backup vans to win.

In the morning he is about a minute ahead because we really can't race safely in the rain and lose over 40 seconds to them but when dry in the afternoon
we get start getting closer

Section 7 we run 12:12.9 v 12:27.6
Section 8 we run 5:10.4.  V 5:10.7
Section 9 we run 5:04.6.  V 5:04.5

The last two sections beating them by less than a second!



But our morning time in the rain has hampered our efforts.

The drive into Mexico City was as always incredible. Up over the vocanuc ring that surrounds 25m people on a 6 lane freeway. Helped  by catching the tail of the federal police who with full lights took us in the final 50 miles at speeds over 100 mph.
A huge gathering greeted us in the main square.

Our friend Taz is running well in Historic B in the Datsun and again takes 1st in class.

Hoping for sun tomorrow.....



Friday, 16 October 2015

Day 1 It can only get better ?

I'm 
Overnight Mats' mechanics patch up our burnt out side and hide our scars with yet another sticker. They re-space the distances on the exhausts and check everything else.

Good to go. 

Early alarm at 5.30am, breakfast, luggage to van by 6.00am and by 6.30 were off.
It pitch dark as we exit and we notice a thin line of oil infront of us on the road out of the hotel. Nasty! 

In the dark it feels like I've trodden in oil at the hotel carpark as my pedals which are usually so grippy with their sandpaper  finish against the race shoes.

Note to self: Will have to get out and clean up before we start. Five mins later it's way to slippy to even brake hard and we approach the police barriers to be let through into the starting arch area.
A quick three point turn and someone points out we are dropping water from the expansion tank . We come to a stop in line , turn off and then the engine catches fire !!!

We make the Fireman's day (and the local news) with a full on powder extinguish and reflect on the problem.
Our rear brake cylinder has leaked onto the pedal linkage ( hence the slippy feel)
And also onto the exhaust manifolds and boom!


Sam and I discuss it and think it was an carburettor flame that started it all but aren't sure if brake fluids are flammable.

Its on the floor and tastes oily? But feels waterly. Or are we muddling our mineral  steering fluids?

With only front brakes working we pass the arch and trailer to service to fit a new brake reservoir.
The trailer picks up a puncture on the way out but is fixed at the side of the road in true F1 style.

We do the afternoon sections gently and take the time penalty and surprise all with a podium award at the evening reception.

Tomorrows a new day:
It's all been going wrong since our lucky dashboard stickers were removed....
We have a cunning plan!!!



Day 0 baptism by fire


Cars all ready to go. Haul out to the two sections for qualification. The first as a warm up , the second for the actual time set.
Car runs fine but after the motorway drive we detect smoke coming out of the wheel arch where the exhausts have tried to catch fire to the fibreglass.
We have a brief schoolboy discussion on whether fibreglass can actual burn or if it just smoulders away peacefully.
We decide to inspect closer and the answer is that it glows red and burns with a toxic smell so we use both water bottles on it to put it out.
Run both sections and realise how rusty we are. Adrians 2nd gear uphill turns cause a twitchy rear end and Sams navigation errors include spotting most guapa chicas  in the crowds but sadly missing a few! We need to sharpen up.
Our friend "Hashtag Renee" in her 356 crashes out in the day and her car has to be sent ahead for a front end rebuild.



The gullwing that's favourite in our class was "being driven like a woman" according to a visiting NZ spectator - so we should be fine.
But we discover in the result sheets later that night that he was actually 20 seconds faster over the 4 min section than us.

Which makes us feel that we must be driving like my 103 year old granny!!

Tomorrow can only improve.