Well it was another long journey down to the event 1234.5 miles round trip to be exact, but well worth it.
We left Mull on the 7am boat Friday morning and arrived at our accommodation at 11pm that night. Collecting Emily along the way in Glasgow, we then collected the most important member of the team… Our Mini from Mini Sport in Padiham! We also had to take a diversion in Wales, this added over an hour to the journey! It was a Long day!
We got up a little tired, cleaned the car and headed to Scrutineering to get the car safety checked and sign the necessary paper work, we met up with lots of fellow competitors and officials, who were so encouraging, and just like when we competed on Epynt we could hear people saying HERE COME THE GIRLS! Scrutineering passed with flying colours! We even had a female scrutineer, which was great to see yet more females in Motor Sport!
Louise and Emily ready to battle the challenging stages at Caerwent.
Sunday morning 5am, event day… We were both nervous, but really excited that another competition day had arrived.
What an atmosphere! People wishing us good luck left, right and centre! It is something special to be amongst such great people and such a fantastic display of Mini’s.
Unfortunately are service crew were not able to attend, due to prior commitments with Mini Sport, however we did have the support of Mini Sport’s Rob Eastwood and fellow competitor, Jim Brindle (who went on to win the day!), along with his young mechanic James – what a star he was!
The event and the venue were fantastic, very well organised and the stages were just brilliant! 6 stages of between 10 and 11 miles long, with more square bends than I’ve ever seen! The road surface was good, but every road had curb stones to edge them and we had been warned they didn’t move!
1st Stage and we couldn’t believe it we were 2nd in our class, Stage 2, 3 and 4 we were 1st in class, Stage 5 and we dropped to 2nd again by 14seconds to Richard Ford, 6thand final stage, we tried hard! But we were caught by Richard Ford towards the end of the stage, and he went on to finish a well-deserved 1st in the Open Class and we were more than happy with receiving 2nd place!
The weather on the day was extremely hot to say the least, and inside the car was unbelievably hot – Good if you want to lose a few pounds! Fellow competitors had many problems, mainly due to the heat, brakes overheating and tyres, and a few crashed out! Due to those curbs that didn’t move and solid walls that didn’t forgive. But our little car performed extremely well once again!
The car did not falter all day, we got to the end in one piece, and we had fun! Gaining a little more experience and learning lessons to take forward to the next round of the Mini Sport Mini Cup which is Solway Coast Rally on Sunday 6th August.
The Mini will also be in attendance Royal Deeside Festival of Speed Sunday 20th August.
Thank you so much for your support and we as a team are very positive that with your support we have made a great start in our quest to make a difference to other people’s lives and not just our own!
You can donate to Marie Curie via our Just Giving page here.
Louise and Emily – Mini Girls Rally Team.
Blog courtesy of Louise Thomas.