Flying Scotsman Day 1

start

Flying  Scotsman Day 1 – We drove down to Brooklands on Thursday night for an early start on Friday morning. We had a quiet night with “The Bishops” who had entered their troublesome Vauxhall 30/98 to try and see if the problems they encountered on the Casablanca Rally had been resolved. Up early and off to Brooklands, the historic race track, met up with the RPS team, Christian explained how he had set up and retuned the car – all became clear the advance retard lever was now in play, previously it had sat inactive, he had now set up the carb and advance/retard together. Armed with this knowledge we went for a quick blast round the car park and got into trouble with the “Health & Safety Police”. The car sailed through scrutineering, we then went through registration and briefing, then slightly nervous we got into the car and got ready for the start. The start was the first “Test” to climb the test hill at Brooklands, a rather daunting looking incline that varies between 1 in 8 and 1 in 4. Benson performed perfectly and breezed up the hill, the only issue was fuel dribbling from the overflows because of the incline. We then drove gently round the famous banked circuit and onto the Mercedes Benz test track for the second Test – a single lap of the circuit with various obstacles and passage controls to control speed. Then out onto the open road and following the tulips in the Route Book, working our way North, crossing the Thames at Henley with a crowd of photographers then up towards Oxford. The car was running well and we were enjoying ourselves with the roof down until the rain came, in fact it wasn’t rain it was great big lumps of hail to start with that stang like hell when they hit our faces, then the rain followed and with a clunk both windscreen wipers gave up within a minute of each other – the blades dropping onto the bonnet. We fought our way with a rain covered screen to the Buckinghamshire Railway Museum, where we had to complete a Test on a mixture of tarmac and gravel – weaving in and out of cones with the back stepping out on the loose stuff. The afternoon was more scenic roads with little or no traffic heading gently North towards Grantham, a hairy moment with the brakes heading downhill behind a Vauxhall 14/40 – more on that in Day 2. Another clunk developped during the afternoon that seemed to be coming from the rear offside wheel. We arrived at the overnight hotel with a small welcoming committee, Julie’s sister and nephews cheered us in to the car park and “helped” Julie check in to the final time control of the day. At the end of Day 1 we had accrued 11.19 mins of penalties and were in 28th position (48 cars in total) – given this was our first ever rally and at times we did not really have a clue what we were doing we were quite happy with our performance. Early evening was spent taking off rear offside wheel to check hub/spokes in pouring rain – all appeared OK, so I retired to the bar.