It's good to be able to report something other than a DNF,
we had a very eventful rally especially on the first day &
weather appeared as if it was shaping up to be a challenge
to all competitors and their respective crews, I know Jeanne
was not looking forward to the coming doubtful weather and
all of the various possibilities that could arise. However
we departed on wets for the first stage at Hangman Hill, had
a short wait at the stage start to contemplate how much rain
we needed to keep our wets from feeling abused on the dry
sections of the stage.
We completed SS1 without incident and set the quickest time,
and went on to the French village to Four Hill stage were
our first challenges appeared, albeit less of an issue than
at that point in 2003. We had a puncture somewhere around
the Rock Plantation and kept going as quickly as possible
to the finish, happy that we were still going.
Arrived at service and changed all four tyres to slicks
for Pickering's and went into the stage ,started and were
now way ahead of last years effort, after leaving the triangle
mid way through this stage negotiating a very quick "nearly"
flat right, we left the road briefly sideways through the
"black ground" on the left side of the road, and
got back on 40 or 50 meters on maybe 20 meters in front of
a large utility pole that unlike some spectators who were
much further away did not flinch.
Near the finish of the stage in the rough section there
was a lot of standing water that slowed us again from that
point to the finish with a misfire maybe running on two cylinders
to the finish. This was a similar water induced problem that
occurred at the river crossing in Jamaica, so we continued
knowing it would soon clear up.
Three stages and only two so far with extra excitement,
we were now doing much better than the previous year the following
stages were less eventful. All of these details were slowing
us down and allowing the FORD focus of R Mayers & Maximus
to build a cushion, way too much comfort being extended, however
there was little we could do at this point because there were
some issues with our anti-lag not giving the bang for the
buck out the corners. All credit to Dave and the crew at main
service for trying repeatedly to rectify this minor electronic
glitch that was slowing us for most of Saturday after the
lunch halt and right through to the last night stage. The
crew and Dave grabbed this problem by the scruff of the neck
in McEnearney's, removed the inlet manifold and throttle body
fixed the problem for the start of day two and gave me a car
without any problems to chase the Ford focus with.
At the restart we were told that Roger and Max were not
restarting as a result of engine problems. We felt for there
team at this point having been there on a number of occasions
ourselves, and knowing that feeling of disappointment. Now
the nerves started to be a consideration, because up until
this point we had only one objective, catch and pass the focus
not come second, but here we were now defending a lead for
another possible 14 stages by driving
conservatively... OK I will try for two stages see how it
feels, and if it is uncomfortable I am coming back with the
So for the balance of Sunday we enjoyed a reduced number
of scuffles with the Surfer and the Stallion until we were
interrupted by rumology in de afternoon, but all in all I
enjoyed what was a very well run rally.
Kudos to Mark, Jeanne,Dave and the whole McEnearney effort
that supported us and all of our guests, I guess Charles must
be happy that we did drag him away from his partying during
the week end.
Once again thanks to the organizers, marshalls, sponsors,
the Police Force, Light & Power and spectators. We had
a near perfect event for the world to see and I am sure that
millions in UK and Europe will get to see Barbados and this
RALLY in a very positive light through the eyes of visiting
press that filmed it to take back with them.