Friday, February 08, 2013

Driving Stage ZR14: Rallye Monte Carlo Historique 2013

Want to know what driving a full historic rally regularity stage is like...? Here's a dashcam view of most of the ZR14 stage (Utelle to La Tour sur Tinee). It's a straight run (no junctions) on the D32 -an improbably narrow, winding, goat trail of road, with an appalling surface and strewn with large rocks that have fallen from the mountainside. To make matters worse there's no guard rail and the drop off the side is one of those "your clothes will go out of fashion before you hit the bottom" deals. A few things to remember (i) the camera lens is very wide angle so in reality the road is much narrower than it appears in this clip ad (ii) we are not racing but driving as a time-speed-distance regularity; that is to say we are trying to maintain a precise average speed (in this case I believe it was 47.7 KPH) and (iii) the cars we overtake are running below the average speed (an indication of the stage's difficulty)and we have caught them up. As you can see, at least one car, a large Mercedes, has gone off into the rock wall and bizarrely we encounter a broken down camper van. The RMCH is definitely not a wine and cheese party. And don't you love the way the Mini just flies by those Porsches...!

The team would like to say a big "thank you" to Justin Jeffrey at Mini Spares UK for generous sponsorship as well as participating as a member of our service team.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Sound Byte

In case any of you gentle readers happened to to be curious about what it sounds like to be inside a Mini Cooper S prepared for historic rallying, try dropping a fork down your sink waste disposal unit, mic up to a decent sized PA system and turn on. The decibel meter on my iPad registered 90dB at 4000 rpm. I didn't try on a stage (no time) when the revs were pushing 8000rpm. The use of an intercom with good noise cancelling headphones is highly recommended. And before you ask, this short clip was taken on a transit road section between stages and we weren't speeding. Honestly!