The Bath Festival was a new event for me, and with Matt and I both out navigating, we took a road car to the event which should have been a nice luxury. Unfortunately we had a puncture on the way down, and having topped the tyre with air twice, ended up changing it so not quite the relaxed journey we had planned!
I was out navigating for Luis Gutierrez-Diaz in his MG ZR and having met up at scrutineering, we signed on. I went over paperwork and had the option of navigating from maps or tulips, however whichever option I chose would mean transferring some information from one to the other. I initially chose maps, but ended up using a combination of both (and relying on tulips), which had worked for us on the Exmoor and worked again on this event.
The drivers’ briefing was 1445 as the tests were running into the afternoon and evening, and before too long it was time for us to head off. The first test was around a farmyard with greasy concrete; I think I enjoyed it more than Luis! Then, it was off into the forests and we seemed to be doing ok.
Luis and I were running in the Clubman class because whilst I have a Motorsport UK competition licence, Luis doesn’t due to some additional costs from the Spanish ASN as he is Spanish. We found out we were leading the class from some messages and all seemed to be going well. There were a couple of petrol halts, but not long to get ourselves together.
When we got back to the finish we were still 1st in class but when the final results were announced we’d dropped to 2nd; it turned out one crew had been in the wrong class during the day and it was corrected on the final results. Still a very good result for us, just not quite what we thought!
The tests were very different to the Exmoor and just showed the difference in forests and regional variation; they weren’t quite as smooth, but therefore there were less manoeuvres needed to keep the average speed down. I’ve enjoyed both events, and would happily go back again.
We got home just before 0230 in the morning so a long day, but worthwhile!
Photos by M&H Photography.