It’s been a week ago now when we went to Rallyday, Castle Combe, UK. In a bit of a rush I got invited by Dean (@drrally) to come over and experience this day. It was only a week before the event when I had to arrange everything to make the trip. Luckily Stuart Blair from the Series McRae Owners Club helped us to get a hotel to crash on arrival. This is the little banner I made to announce my plans
An exhausting road trip
We left our home near Rotterdam (the Netherlands) around 21:00 in the evening, september 23th. According to Google Maps it should be a trip that takes about two hours and 50 minutes to drive. To the Eurotunnel, Calais, of course… well I figured to get there faster with the Subaru… we supposed to be there at 23:50 to check-in and depart at 00:22. I know your counting the time on the clock right now and figuring out this is a very close timetable. And it was. By missing an exit on the highway in Gent (Belgium) we had to drive an alternative route…Instead of going via Brugge/Oostende and Dunkerque we drove via Rijsel (France). We were 10 minutes late at Calais. We had to wait a full hour to get on the next train.
With the timedifference calculated we started driving from Folkestone at 01:10, we arrived at 04:00 in the morning at our hotel in Chippenham. The parking lot was full of race cars, but there was no time to check them out as I was so tired it was hard to stay awake behind the wheel already. Time to sleep!
After four hours of sleep it was time to get up and wash the car. Once outside, everyone was already gone to the circuit…but I got some time to wake up while washing the car (not a morning kind of guy). Fortunately the circuit was only 15 minutes to drive. Easy to find too. A few nice Marchals showed us the way as this was my first UK event and probably the only Dutch guy there. But everything went fine. Once we reached the guys from Series McRae, Stuart was already waving to us. He had everything lined up very nice and we got a spot between two trucks and next to an actual Subaru WRC S5 (P12 WRC).
Rallyday is an event for everybody involved in rally or with a heart for rally cars. There are all kinds of rally cars attending: GRP N, GRP B, WRC, GRP A and basically everything that drives fast from different generations. This year the GRP B celebrated their 30th Anniversary. I loved the old safari spec cars. Check out the website if you’re interested in more information.
Between all the exciting old and new rally cars there was one special car. Definitely one of the highlights of this event for me was the presents of the original Prodrive Richard Burns Safari car: T14 SRT. It was only parked a couple of cars away from mine. So cool to see the car out of the museum. Although the car doesn’t run anymore it still has a superior look. This is the car that is example to my project, this was my opportunity to get them next to each other! Is was great to meet Jackie from Prodrive again, I felt very welcome to be there.
Check out my car next to the Prodrive Safari WRC and Deans beast:
I have a lot of work to do. It’s great to hear so may people loving my work as is, this whole event gave me new energy to work further on my project!
Drive Drive Drive!
Every day comes to an end, but this day not before I stepped in a real rally car! Dean invited me to step in as co-driver for a round on the track. Can’t say no to that! As it’s a RHD car I took my seat on the left, missed my steering wheel for a few seconds but that was soon over when I managed to get my GoPro setup and we entered the paddock. I can write a very long story now but let’s take look at the footage from my camera. I managed not to scream and stay cool, but damnnnn it was fast!!
With this experience we had to travel back home. Another 6 hours to go, but all worth it! The Subaru performed perfect, although the steering power is a bit off again (have to check that out).
I want to thank everybody showing up. I met a lot of people I only knew from my online activities. In special: Dean Ross, Stuart Blair, Gary Lowder, Jackie Irwin and Ade Jones. Hope to be there in the future as well!
Don’t forget to check out the selection of photo’s I made this day.