Wethersfield. One of my favourite venues. One of my least favourite rallying days.
Sometimes, things go wrong and you have to wonder if staying in bed would have been a better option, and perhaps Wethersfield was one of those occasions. When the highlight was the pre-rally carvery the night before with friends, perhaps that is saying something.
We headed to Wethersfield the day before the rally, and passed scrutineering without any issues. However, the noise test was due to be held on the day of the rally. I was happily waiting in service only to see Matt coming back from noise shaking his head and saying we’d failed noise. My “pardon?” wasn’t a pun, just more in disbelief. We were servicing next to the Newtons who had Ian Mepham servicing for them, and thanks to their SuperTrapp and assistance, we just in the nick of time managed to fit the SuperTrapp to the car, get back to noise, pass, and get all our paperwork in order ready to rally for the day ahead.
Things started off ok, and I was enjoying being back out at Wethersfield having helped organise events there in the past. We weren’t setting spectacular times, but the stages seemed to be flowing, Matt was driving with commitment and things were going ok. Nothing spectacular, but we were getting round. Then it was time for SS4, not even half way through the day. Part way through the stage Matt eased up and “no clutch” came across the intercom. We limped to the finish, keeping out of the way of fellow competitors, and pulled into service.
We don’t have our own trailer, or access to one, so then came the discussion about getting home as we drive the rally car and service car to and from events. There was oil coming from somewhere, and I completed the necessary paperwork whilst Matt packed up from the rally. Matt decided the car was driveable, but he’d avoid motorways and take the longer, more scenic route, home.
By the time he made it home, the gearbox was making horrific noises and having started to take the car apart, the engine needs a rebuild too. Not something we had planned, and a rather expensive time coming up I fear… A day to forget.
Thanks to M&H Photography for the images.