Wyedean Rally 2011
… to meet Barden…
I got up at 5:20, was out the door with the dog by 6:15, and met Alex at the Shell garage in Monmouth at 8:25. Alex had certainly done his homework, and we headed straight to Speech House to park up and find a tasty corner on SS3 where the first car was due to run at 9:51. On our way to what on the map looked like the best bet, we stumbled upon a chicane which, as a navigator (and indeed I imagine as a driver), would have shocked me. Foolishly I didn’t take a wide angle shot of the situation, but here’s an attempt:
So you arrive from the right of the photo in the distance, and the notes will tell you that you face a right-then-left chicane.
The track curves about 70 degrees right, then curves left again which is the track you see in the foreground. However, that’s roped off to the tree, as you can see, and the correct line is, as demonstrated by car 327 here, to continue right and then do a 90 left around the tree. However, let me assure you that at competitive pace that red and white tape from the tree isn’t really obvious at all, and it looks like you’re supposed to pass to the left of the tree. Which happened repeatedly, as demonstrated here:
Sometime people would get it right. Sometimes people would plough under the rope, then turn right around the tree, get confused, and then get stuck. Sometimes people would realise too late that they needed to turn right more, and oversteer into the tree. That happened twice. As a spectator, this was fantastic; I’m sure the competitors weren’t quite as happy about it. Still, we saw some of our old favourites:
And then the really pacey cars were out:
There was one rather interesting point where some deer crossed the track, but fortunately they got out of the way before the next car arrived.
In the afternoon we moved to SS6, and found a more traditional corner, hoping for some tasty sideways action. We weren’t disappointed!
There were even a couple of E30s out to play – sorry about the blurry photo Robin!
Finally, right at the end of the day, I got to do what I love best – car rescuing:
This chap had managed to get the car to turn 90 degrees right okay, but simply slid off the edge of the track where he got wedged on his belly panel. A team of around 10 spectators got him going again, although he lost nearly 10 minutes in the process.
On the way back we encountered this sad sight – I hope they get it re-shelled okay.
Overall, another great day out. Thanks to Alex for his hospitality again – I’m already looking forward to next year!