We couldn’t believe we had been voted for by the drivers to be part of “Magnificant Seven”, Drivers chossen by their fellow competitors to run as the last 7 cars of the prologue. Really proud to be the only Legends class car voted in. Thank you to everyone who nominated us!
As with most drivers as soon as the racing starts all you want to do is jump in the car and get out and do your thing, with being 6th from last to run we had alot of waiting to do! I think I paced up and down more mileage before the prologue than we covered driving the prologue.
The time came, we launched off the line with our VisionX Led light bars showing the path ahead and the deviations in terrain from sweeping corners, rythm sections and water splashes, Nick mostly blindly due to water splashes calling the turns from memory from our earlier reccy of the course. We were soon on the tarmac back straight and in to the wood section, sweeping up and down the bank before a tight hair pin back down. We needed a shunt to get the turn on the hair pin and I missed a reverse and ended up further up the bank, before finding reverse and getting back on it. We crossed the line with a time of 4:30 we placed 7 overall and highest place Legends class truck. To be honest I was a little dissapointed with the time due to the 10 seconds lost by a gear selection error. But we placed pretty much in a perfect position for us to get some clean air off the line on saturday morning – so far so good everything was going to plan.
We lined up next to James Ayre and the flag dropped we got a great start off the line and the car just hooked up great and the Prolinx Fox suspenison took the car where the wheels pointed and we had our first view of what was to come. With minute intervals from the start and the calibre of man and machine ahead of us we didnt expect to see many tail lights. However, before long we were soon in the dust of the cars in front and passing a few parked up cars and stuck cars in the obstacles we were physically running second overall? Yeah surprised us too! We were running at a steady pace in reality and just set to clicking of the kilometres and burning fuel while we could afford to. We soon were back at the start, crossing the knife edge at the start finishline in second place over all, before we knew we had crested the top of the edge, lets say a ‘little to hot’ and before I knew it (Nick had pretty much worked out what was going to happen before I did on this occassion) and we were lawn darting down the over side of the knife edge. NOT COOL! front wheels land first and there was only one way to ge tout of this and it was the loud pedal, lighting it up while endo’ing down the decent before settling back on all fours. I took note of the warning and then crossed the line with a 22:03 just 8 seconds behind Ultra4 Class Jim Marsden. Couldn’t believe it, that wasn’t in the plan?. Lap 2 didnt go so well for us, we got in to the first of the sweeping forest racks and we started reving out in 3rd and 4th. We pulled over atnd Nick noticed the cooler fan wasnt working and the terminals on the fan had pulled out!, maybe a result of the hard landing previously endured?. Getting the fan working and checking the gear box level we jumped back in to the car and by this time we had been passed by 5 or more teams. We knew we had a long race ahead but we also knew we only had 2 gears now 1st and 2nd. With alot of reassurance from Nick we got to work pushing as hard s we dare, knowing we are already in for a very long day and need to preserve the car even more now. we kept pushing and managed to close back up with the other cars in our class and get in to second. Half way through the day it was a good window for us to pit, we called it in on the radio and peeled in to our pit box. The guys set to work on the car, checking all of the major components, and refueling with 60litres of fuel. Paul from Prolinx was on hand to check the suspension tempreatures and condition and we were back in the car and back on course – 8 minute pit stop. The Wrex27 crew keep these wheels eating. Back out on course and pushing on as hard as we dare, we lost all electrics. The alternator had failed. We pulled of course and Nick jumped out the truck and started running back to the pits. I called it on the radio and the Wrex27 crew in the pit assembled the spares and jump leads to get the car going again. Nick went above and beyond to get the parts back, a massive team player and a strong never give up attitude. We fitted the new alternator but now need a jump start. Marcus and Lewis pulled in to give us that jump start, these guys are racing hard against us in our class and they took the time to get us going again. Great sportsmanship! Thanks Marcus and Lewis!. we were back on and now on a mission throwing down our quickest lap of the weekend 20:55 and the consecutive 21 min laps till the end. We finished the day Second in class and 30 minutes behind the leader of our class – This was not the plan. But knowing the issues we had through out the day, we had done to even get to the finish line. One thing we didn’t do was doubt our ability and we certainly didn’t give up. We took the problems as they happened and as a team overcame them.