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London Cape Town Day 19: Porsche Penalties

By John Glynn. Pics by Gerard Brown/Rally Organisers

Day 19 on the London to Cape Town and it’s back to business as normal in Africa: smashing nice cars to pieces! If this keeps up, then perhaps only the support 4x4s will take the flag in Cape Town.

At the end of Day 17, the 911 lay 3rd with the 912 6th. A quick protest on dampers and the 911 lost an hour: putting the 912 ahead of it at the half way point.

Yesterday was a rest day – if you call it that. Just swapped some texts with Hayden to catch up with what’s going on.

Epic rest day yesterday. AC will try to send you some pics. Today was the most dangerous so far. Punishing averages: 120 km/h for 32 km in one section. To preserve the car, we dropped about 30 mins, which will be less than many. Don’t expect it to affect our 2-litre Classic lead.

Just did some WEVO Kilimanjaro: new oil cooler brackets. Old ones were cracked and broken, held together with zip ties, but too much to get done on the rest day, so it got rolled to tonight’s list. So it goes!

We are on Bilsteins at the rear now too, after we destroyed one Ohlin as the result of a third party vendor error: no Loctite, in spite of the WEVO order spec. A part self-disassembled and lead to a spiral downfall that we are still recovering from.

I asked how the 911 had been demoted from third to seventh position:

That is correct, they were finally penalised 1 hour for non-compliance of dampers being remote canister style. Forbidden in Classic classes. Car 10 was given same. So at the mid way, the 912 was leading the 911 in spite of precious little likelihood.

As far as I can see there is a 2 min error on day 19 sheets and we should have taken that time off the 33 car. We are shown as early at a TC, yet we followed the 33 in on 2 min intervals. One to sort in the morning. Sleep now, WEVOmanjaro out.

Huge list of failures today: lots of our friends ended up on trucks. Here’s an excerpt from the organisers’ report:

Our course was remote rallying down long mostly-sandy tracks – choking dust clouds cutting visibility in the early-morning sunshine was predictable, so crews started at two-minute intervals. It was an example of Kenyan rally-tracks at their best, but it was not to everyone’s liking; Alastair Caldwell reckoned it was difficult for cars that have already suffered greatly.

Underlining just how hard African rallying really is, Steve Blunt in the Subaru (P2 overall) posted another good time today but finished with bent front suspension after opting for a change to longer springs yesterday which proved to be too soft. The driver was all about “is it ain;t broke, don;t fix it” when he reached the Tanzanian border.

The 964 Porsche of Tomas Prenosil (above) caught fire while on the back of a truck trying to reach the border. Flames engulfed the whole car, including one and their carnets. Francis Tuthill, riding inside the top ten driving a Toyota Hilux, came out of the bush with a bent rear axle and arrived at the hotel on the back of a truck. Car 31, the VW Karmann Ghia (below), has fuel-pump problems after a dose of fuel so dirty the fuel-pump gave up trying.

Tomorrow is a car-killing rally all on its own! The route goes from Arusha to Dodoma: a favourite of the old Safari Rally. The day is 440 kilometres long and is bound to be misery squared for some.

After Tanzania we get into Zambia and Namibia before hitting South Africa. It doesn’t get any easier: Jan 25th is over 1,000 kilometres long…

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