Saturday 14th November
Rally Position: 3rd in class, 12th overall
Today there were 6 planned stages ranging between 20kms and 58kms each. All of them involved high mountain passes on roads of varying standards.
Again the altitude really took its toll on Colin and I constantly struggled to get the motor up on the cam and pull us up the intense
climbs. Each time we hit the power-band around 5,000rpm, the issue then became how tight was the next bend and how big the drop-off!
The 1st stage went fairly well, although the lack of power was a constant cause of frustration. I had 6 stages to catch the Morris Land Crab and re-take the 1st in class position, lost due to our puncture earlier in the event. It was going to be literally an up-hill-task!
Having reached the top of a mountain some 2,000 meters high, we re-assembled to be re-timed on the way down. It was at this point
that the newly fitted competition pads came into their own and we took 45 seconds out of our up time!
The 3rd stage was another up-hill struggle and again, Colin felt as though he lacked the grunt. And then a real blow, the final 3 stages were
cancelled apparently due to safety concerns. With those stages went any chance of a recovery for us to 1st place and so we needed
to secure our joint 2nd place position against a 123 Volvo Amazon.
By the time we arrived at the nights final check-point it was a pitch black sky and we'd crossed the high Atlas mountain plain.
The scores were posted late that night and we'd dropped into 3rd place against the Volvo.....
We're 4 seconds from the 2nd in class position and tomorrow we'd have 3 stages to make up the time.
Daily Colin Score: 8/10 Starter-motor needed re-soldering and fuel leak from pipes near carbs.
Sunday 15th November
Rally Position: Unknown at time of writing!
Well we knew today that we had to take 4 seconds from the Volvo in a 3 stage day. The first news.... stage 3 was cancelled, so I had
2 stages to take the time back, one down-hill and one up.... The up-hill would be the issue, so we stripped the car of all weight possible
and left it at the hotel.
Stage 1 was very fast for us even with big drops, and I used clutch-slip to keep the car on the cams. This caused silence from my
navigator before an eventual outburst of "if you kill me, I'll haunt you forever".. She kept her nerve and only on one occassion
did the back step-out big time.. The stage was a slower affair, as this involved more up-hill and Colin just isn't keen. I pushed as hard
as I could but at the time of writing, I really don't know.
We saw the Daihatsu crashed out on a blind bend into a local truck and we know that that car was part of the leading team.
Our team, "Team Trotter" consists of Colin-the-Cortina, the Porsche RS and the Morris 1800 Land Crab. The Land Crab is leading
our class and the Porsche is now overall rally leader after the exit of the Daihatsu, who knows, we may win the team prize!
Daily Colin Score: 9/10... We made the full distance, just now need some silverware and the long-haul home to Oxfordshire!
Monday 16th November
Rally Position: Read below
Well, as we expected after the punture we were unable to catch the Morris 1800 Land Crab and that went on to take 2nd place in the Classics category behind the Porsche RS which took 1st place.....
As for Colin?
We beat the Volvo by 1 second pushing us into 2nd in class, however as the Morris took 2nd place in the senior classic that excluded them from our class!!!
Ladies and Gents, particularly those from the Lotus Cortina Register and Buy Sell Cortina, we're 1st in Class!!!! And the LC also was part of the team trophy as well!
As I write from our hotel in Burgos, Spain we've travelled back from South of Casablanca, spent last night in Gibraltar, tomorrow in Southern France ansd then home. Colin is running like a dream! More pics to follow and thanks for all your support!
Clive, Ces and of course Colin-the-Cortina!