Winter Trial 2017 report #2

Today has been less hectic but colder than yesterday, down to -18C at one point in the freezing mist!

Spectacular scenery and a great drive this morning and a more complicated afternoon with ice covered roads and an errant competitor blocking the road and costing us 5 minutes in penalties.

Tomorrow will be longer with a night navigation section before arriving at our hotel.

The office.

External temperature gauge.

Hotel Pupp. Very smart!

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Winter Trial 2017

After a long day travelling via Gatwick to Zurich and 600km in the Volvo to Holland we arrived at the splendid Chateau St Gerlach for paperwork, scruitineering and a reunion with old friends.

The weather forecast for the moment is very cold but dry…lets see if Euro weather predictions are as accurate as the Met Office…..

Time card issued, route amendments done, first days regularities plotted and ready to go.

Nice pen, it’s a Parker.

GaugePilot joins Team Retrospeed 

Icy start.

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ROTT day 2

A long and difficult day that never stopped. 10 tests and 7 regularities.

I had no time to take pictures but it was ladies day.

The Whyte sisters made the effort to look the part:


Probably the highlight for many competitors was the excellent refreshments supplied by the Women’s Institutes at Porlock and just prior the the epic hour long regularity of the evening.


Traditional food for this most traditional of rallies.

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RAC Rally of the tests. Prologue

The alarm went at 05.30 to start the journey to Bournemouth. Meeting Michael on the way we arrived by 09.30 in his beautiful a Fiat 2300 coupe. A Grand Touring car in the true sense. Comfortable powerful and smooth.


The formality of scruitnerring over I had to spend a couple of hours plotting the additional route information.

With apprehension, the evening started at 19.00 with a test around the Winter Gardens and onto a tricky regularity. The test was OK with only a minor error requiring a quick reverse to solve.

The reg was good and GaugePilot with its new ‘Twintime’ software did us proud until we ‘wrong slotted’ at a junction costing us a minute in penalties.

A second test on a Kart circuit went well and we posted quite a fast time considering the size of the car.

Overall a decent couple of hours rallying and looking forward to the event proper tomorrow.

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P-P days 9&10

Yesterdays trip from Lausanne to Reims was straightforward but long. Driving 7 hours cross countty arriving at 3pm to be ready to greet the competitors at the last time control. We only stopped for one coffee at a small roadside auberge where an old man was preparing Girrole mushrooms for the ‘plat de jour’


We then manned the control for 5 hours stood in the heat and parking the cars in the town centre overnight before dashing off to the penultimate event dinner. Hence no report from yesterday.


Day 10. The finish.

Off early (again) to visit the old racing circuit at Reims. Now apparently restored but it didn’t look much different from when I visited it many years ago. The grass had been cut and the litter picked up… Interesting though.


On arrival in Place Vendome in Paris we erected the Finish ramp and waited expectantly for the cars. Huge crowds arrived with friends and family’s from around the world looking forward to welcoming their loved ones. 


Eventually he first cares came into view and the place erupted with cheers and spraying champagne! We marshalled the cars to the ramp most of the afternoon and then when it was all done managed to find be a glass or two for ourselves. 


Prize giving dinner tonight and home tomorrow afternoon.

The last two weeks have been a fantastic adventure, making new friends and catching up with some old ones. The film and photographs shown at the dinner showed how challenging the whole event was. 

In a word ‘Epic’.

I wish I’d been in Peking for the start….

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P-P day 8

First out of the hotel again and 3 hours to our control at the summit of the Furka Pass. Just short of 2500 meters it was the highest point of the rally and the coldest. It snowed last night and continued when we arrived.


Andrew bravely volunteered to chip the cards dressed in the cold weather clothing and I wrote out the sheets in the car that also provided a makeshift windbreak. After 3 hours all the cars had passed and we packed up and continued along the rally route. Within 5 minutes we were out of the clouds and into sunshine, typical…

What an amazing road!

We had seen a racked railway and warning signs along our route and at the bottom of the valley we were lucky to cross the line just as a steam train was leaving. Naturally, we had to stop and take pictures.

Another hour or so we stopped at a time control for pizza and quickly on to Lausanne on lake Geneva to enjoy a beer in the sun.

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P-P day 7

A 15hr day in northern Italy.

Our control was test 2 finish and 2.5 hrs from the start. Arriving at 9.00 and setup by 09.30. Disaster struck! On of the chairs blew down the ravine we were parked by. After we rejected the rescue, Toni, our Italian local marshal, volunteered to save it. With the aid of a towing hawser hooked to my towbar he quickly returned it to the road side. Pictures below;

It’s in the middle, honestly!Thanks Toni!
The cars arrived thick and fast and in good spirits. I managed to get some pictures of them too…


A quick panini lunch in Riva del Garda and off again over twisty passes to St Moritz with a great dinner followed by a downgrade to our own hotel. 

Sign of the day;

Slippery if you have a 1920s motorcycle;

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