Rallye Dunes et Marais, Royan, France – October 2011

Left Nottingham for ‘Dunes’ on Friday night in the glorious September sunshine and boarded the overnight ferry to Caen – we arrived at the campsite around 2 on Saturday, unpacked the car and headed straight to the beach.  We enjoyed 3 more days of French ice creams, I mean holidays, before sorting the trailer ready for recceing.  Set off Wednesday lunchtime to the Avia Garage to get the road book, then parked up at ‘Chez Gilles’ (the assigned service park for the two days of the rally) and got down to work on ‘Fred’ our trusty quad, we managed 3 stages, taking notes on the first run thru, then 2nd run, slightly faster with a few note alterations.  By 6pm we had had enough – so packed up and headed back to the chalet where we met up with our service crew Conor and Jody.

Thursday we were out again leaving the chalet around 9, last 3 stages to recce, but 4 sets of notes to do as ES7 & ES12 (Jaffe) were the same stage but run one way in the morning and reversed in the afternoon.  Half way thru the heavens opened, so we abandoned ‘Fred’ and dived for cover in the shrubbery.  Back on to the notes again.  Then disaster!  Fred became a bit wobbly, on stopping we noticed – his rear wheel about to fall off.  So, after a quick ‘repair’ (a kick) we ambled back to the arrivee board and drove slowly back to the trailer – we got him back safely but that was the end of the recceing – fortunately all the notes were done and we had been thru all stages twice.  We still had the afternoon so decided to check the road liasons, we could do this in the shogun – so not a problem.

Friday – a fairly lazy day, writing notes up, sorting the trailer and generally getting ready for  the afternoons activities – we headed down to Palais around 4, although we were not due into admin till about 5.30 – watched a few of the cars stickering before going off to technical – this was at Leclerc in Royan – can you imagine going into Tesco car park on a Friday afternoon for scrutineering – this year it was very quick, possibly as we had scrutineered for the year last time we were in France.  A slow drive back to Royan port where the cars were put into parc fermee for the night.  A bit of a wait for Drivers Briefing, then off for tea!

Saturday up early – 1st car out at 8am, I think we were off around 8.50 – 10 min drive then a small service and out to first stage, we were car no 23, behind Steph.

ES 1 – we were 9th – 8 seconds behind scratch, Omnes,

ES2 – we put in 6th fastest time – 5.9 seconds behind scratch, Favy

ES3 – joint 2nd 3.9 seconds behind scratch, Caze

ES4 – 3rd, 3.8 seconds behind scratch, Monchaux

ES5 – 7th, 4.7 seconds behind scratch, Favy

ES6 – 7th, 10.7 second behind scratch, again Favy.

By the end of the day we were 3rd, 19.9 seconds behind Favy who was 3.9 seconds behind Caze.

So Sunday – 3rd on the road, Caze crashed out on ES7, so that put us 2nd!

ES7 – 5th fastest – Omnes scratched    

ES8 – 15th fastest – not a good stage – to much soft stuff in the fields – Favy

ES9 – 11th fastest to Favy

ES10 – 6th fastest to Pierrine

ES11 – 9th fastest – Poincelet V

ES12 – scratch Mann!!!!  1.8 seconds in front of the next car

Going into the last stage there was 1.2 seconds between us and 4th (who just happened to be Steph & Rachel)  So we gave it our all and scratched the stage.

Overall results:  Favy 1st, V Poincelet 2nd (5.6 seconds in front of us) and Rick & Sandra 3rd, 5.3 seconds in front of Steph & Rachel who were 4th.

Only 6 brit teams entered this year and only 4 finished, Well done to finishing Teams – Burley (27th) and Lund (49th) and bad luck to Teams – Bonsey and Bullen.  116 entries with only 62 finishers.

Two podiums in France this year – just need to get on that top step!






Comments are closed.

Designed by Pixelcraze