A good stop and nice to get a wash. Weight loss? I can confirm I am a stone lighter on this event. I found it in the bottom of the shower.
A long day ahead and a busy rest day to service the car, if we get that far…
The Jag increases its ground clearance…
News just in, Francis Tuthill, who is hand carrying parts for Peter Lovett’s Porsche, has landed in Moscow. In his back pocket some spares we are going to need.
We met the Jag at the start of this bridge. They thought at first they had only ripped the exhaust off. We found out later they also ripped off the sump plug to the gearbox. Reversing off the bridge with no oil in the box had wrecked the car. We saw them later on a truck headed for Novosibirsk.
It’s quite a thing and drops about a foot when you drive on so I can see why they had a problem.
Even in the middle of nowhere there are people spectating. In the villages they all turn out to wave us through. Wait at junctions? No, no, no, the police stop the traffic for us.
Cars mobbed at a town time control.
Everyone poses for the camera. This mum had come 20km so her son could see the cars
In the Rally you travel mostly on your own, a minute ahead of the car behind and a minute behind the car in front. Every now and then the cars close up. When I took this picture about twenty of us were running nose to tail for about half an hour. We ran through villages and through this beautiful forest as close as the dust clouds would let us. Quite a convoy.
This led us to a sandy stage, we put in a reasonable effort, and I think we have moved up to 20th. It’s going to be a long hard slog and no mistakes to get the top ten finish we were hoping for in the planning…
The bride insisted…
There were some twenty Russians behind me taking the same photo
On the run to Novosibirsk we lost the alternator. We had hoped to get to service tomorrow to swap in the spare. A nervous limp to the petrol station with the car only just running on 8 volts instead of 12. Mikhail and his chums piled in to help us and we had the repairs done smartly. Poor Mikhail thought he connected it up wrong when the car wouldn’t start, but we had knocked the stuffing out of it to get there. A push and a near collision with a car coming on to the forecourt later and we were on our way.
Hilarious drive through traffic into Novosibirsk. At one point we took to the dirt hard shoulder and passed three lanes of stationary traffic for about a kilometre. When I looked in the mirror I realised we had covered all three lanes in an enormous dust cloud.
We followed three other rally cars doing the same trick further on, but this time the hard shoulder was just wet mud. The cars went down the lane slipping, sliding and mostly sideways. As it’s really humid and hot, most drivers had their windows open. I think we surprised a few with the mud we were throwing up.
Got met by loads of cheerleaders as we parked up in the City centre. Surprised to find we got separate rooms for the next two nights. Took my keys and found I was staying in some sort of super suite. I tore off my sweaty clothes and jogged twice round the room. A lap is 8 seconds. I have never stayed in a hotel room like it:
It even has two huge TVs.
The bar down town, it’s a great place but seems a little unsure of its identity. The people have been great, and we are being treated like royalty.