I have to tell you about our last day of competition. After 50 test sections over 33 days, we finished on top of the ‘croix de coeur’ ( cross of hearts) in the Swiss Alps. What a place to finish! Tilly charged up the mountain on a very bad dirt track, with me looking (well, actually not looking) down the side of the mountain. I think Gunther wanted to make it a good last time, but we had to slow down to pass a 1936 Bentley Sport and the valuable seconds were lost. Not that it matters a jot on place 33.
But I think our crowning moment was really on the stage beforehand at Graubunden, a circuit with witches hats or those orange cones. There was a target time of 40 seconds which no one could manage. Unlike previous witches hat trials, we were given the circuit plan in the morning and therefore had plenty of time to study it. This was going to be dead easy. We watched several cars do the circuit and started off, joking with the marshal before taking off to a count down from 20 seconds.
“Where do I go?” Gunther yelled
“Um” my mind went blank, as we pulled to a halt, “I think we go…..”
A female marshal was sort of pointing behind us with a perplexed look on her face.
“Go there…I think” I began but we were surrounded by witches hats in all manner of lying down, standing up, pointing left and right. It was like being in the middle of a mine field afraid to move in case you got blown up.
Gunther began to back the car up but by now we were taking up way too much time. Finally he just cut across the grass towards the finishing line and we passed the marshal again who was shaking her head in disbelief.
The moral of the story is that when you take your wife on a rally, you may get your sandwiches made in the morning but the witches hat is better off on her head than on the road.
So I think we came 33 overall which considering our various flat top excursions is pretty okay. Besides which the experiences were by far worth more than a place that no one asks about after 5 minutes.