Carrera Mediterana – Day by Day

Day 20 Portovenere – Rapallo.

Only one regularity section today on our way to the prizegiving in Rapallo. An unbelievable ex equo for the numbers 3 and 4, Pit and Sylvia Lindner and Marielle Vehmeyer and Irene Blauwkuip. So we look at the last regularity and much to our amazement they score the same penalty, than we look back to the next before and than it is the ladys crew becoming third overall. They fought very very hard for it and nice to see this ladys team in the Alfa Romeo on the podium.

Day 19 Livorno Porto -Venere

Yet another day of fierce competition is ahead of us. It started with a very early wakeup coll on the ferry at 05.00, totally unnacecairy because the ferry does not land until 07.30. Than a great breakfast at a romantic villa overlooking the town which is covering the navigation tasks coming which become a quite bit more challenging to sort out the man from the boys and girls. And so it did.

Day winners Pim Brunet de Rochebrune / Margit Brunet de Rochebrune. See results

Day 18 Alghero – Livorno

What a day. Four regularity section to handle and therefore plenty of time to get lost. And that is exactly what some of the favourite crews did.

Lindner / Brunet / De Bie all got 5 minutes penalty for missing timing points in the beautiful mountain area’s of Sardegna. It was one of the most pitoresque days of the rally. The island looks almost unpopulated. There live only 1.5 million inhabitants on the 45.000 sq kilometre island, making it a great place for our event.

Gerrit Baljet mis interpreted the route of regularity 3, not realizing that he started on the map at the wrong end of the section, the finish. How he managed to get through remains a secret, but that he missed all timing points does not come as a surprise.

Another day victory for Gerd and Armin in the Orange Porsche puts them back in the race for the podium. Well done.

Day 17 Arbatax – Alghero

A test at the kart circuit is a nice wake up call for all teams. With Armin Knüpfing at the steering wheel of the Porsche 911, he declassified all his opponents. Fastest time of the day he sets not only in the first run but also the second run. Great but a navigation error costs them dearly. A third place could have been theirs, but it was not happening. Pit and Sylvia Lindner took the day victory again just before Pim and Margit Brunet, but it is Richard Worts and Nicola Shackleton who improved their lead in this third sector.

So now we have three teams who can all win the rally. Nothing is carved in stone yet and we now look forward to a great finale.

Irene and Marielle have yet another shock absorber problem and fortunately find a welder willing to solve this. What lady charms cannot do. Or was it Rudy Stam’s charm and expertise that helped them solve this problem? Anyway, they are back on the road ready to defence fourth place overall.

The sad news is that due to business affairs, the Opel team has to return to the UK today, so good bye Richard and Catherine Phillipson, we hope to see you again soon.

Day 17 Arbatax – Alghero

A test at the kart circuit is a nice wake up call for all teams. With Armin Knüpfing at the steering wheel of the Porsche 911, he declassified all his opponents. Fastest time of the day he sets not only in the first run but also the second run. Great but a navigation error costs them dearly. A third place could have been theirs, but it was not happening. Pit and Sylvia Lindner took the day victory again just before Pim and Margit Brunet, but it is Richard Worts and Nicola Shackleton who improved their lead in the sector.

So now we have three teams who can all win the rally. Nothing is carved in stone yet and we now look forward to a great finale.

Irene and Marielle have yet another shock absorber problem and fortunately find a welder willing to solve this. What lady charms cannot do. Or was it Rudy Stam’s charm and expertise that helped them solve this problem? Anyway, they are back on the road ready to defence fourth place overall.

Day 17 Ferry – Arbatax

What a change of scenery. Compared to Sicily the isle of Sardigna is much more civilized cleaner, better roads and much more welfare than in Sicily. We are wondering whether the maffia has robbed the inhabitants of their sources. The politicians have absorbed national money for personal benefits, we do not know. But the difference is clearly visible. The island is beautiful good looking, impressive mountain ranges and empty

Most important this island is a dream for the rally drivers. Great navigation sections have been found by Mark Appleton, the route master of Petrolheads and this Carrera Mediterana.

Some drivers asked during the ferry crossing from Sicily to Sardegna if there were any navigation sections to be expected. Well the answer is a double YES.

On day one of sector 3 there are more penalties distributed than in the two weeks before. See the results site.

Day 15 – Agrigento – Palermo – Sardigna

The last day of sector three, so the heat is on. With 4 regularity sections this morning crews are eager not to loose any further seconds.

The first regularity is on the racetrack again. But what crews only learn after they receive the handouts at the start is that the regularity has to be driven by driver only and the navigators leave the car. And that gives some interesting results.

Best on this test is Pit Lindner and second best Gerrit Baljet.

Tom Hayes in his hire car took a different look at things and just went for the fastest time of the day and lots of fun.

A sting in the tail on the last regularity gives Pim and Margit a 5 minute maximum what endangers there second place. Gerd and Armin as well as Irene and Marielle miss the final timing point completely and also cash the 5 minutes.

On our way to the lunch we drove those parts of the old Targa Florio circuit that are still drivable because much of the circuit has been damaged by earth quacks or land slides. Than we visit the old pitlane and grandstands that date back to the 1930’s, now brought back in the original state.

To celebrate the end of the sector, spirits and cheese are served in the recently opened museum over the pitboxes.

Day results

1. Pit and Sylvia Lindner

2 Richard Worts / Nicola Shackleton

3 Roy Stephenson Peter Robinson.

Sector winners for sector 2 are:

1. Pit and Sylvia Lindner

2 Richard Worts / Nicola Shackleton

3 Pim and Margit Brunet

Day 14 Taormina – Agrigento

Todays highlight is of course the run over the Etna Vulcano. We climb up to 2000 meters and our ever so relaxing 25 – 29 degrees from the last two weeks become 12 degrees at the Time control at the highest point possible we can pass with a car. A very strong wind but fortunately like the whole rally so far, blue skies.

Roy Stephenson and Peter manage to do the longest route by far, but that is not what the organisers asked them to do. So a maximum number of penalties is theirs.

As expected on Sicily, one of the bridges has disappeared and as a result of that we have to cancel our first regularity of this event. The day ends with a lap consistency test at the circuit of the Vallei deiTempli. A nice race course close to Argimento. This city is known for the numerous ancient Greek monument temples and villas, attracting thousands of tourists each year.

We are pleased to see that Emile and Marianne Ensink have finally fixed the water-pump, with not much help from Transavia, UPS and Mercedes. No service given at all by these companies.

Leaving us tomorrow is Siobhan (Jopie) Hayes. She will switch place with mother Cathy, who will accompany Tom for the last sector, sector 3. The winner today is team Jaguar Richard Worts / Nicola Shackleton.

Day 12 and 13 – Rest days in Taormina

Day 11 Cozensa – Toarmina

Three demanding regularity sections with plenty of possibilities to take the wrong route.. And that is exactly what happens today. Gerrit and Elly Baljet, miss the exit from the short motorway run out of town and miss the time control and take a route that brings them to the finish but is not the one given by the organisers. Richard Worts takes a round about in opposite direction including the road on the wrong side as well. Just like all the days before we see blue sky’s, temperature is still around the 29 degree mark as we cross the mountains of the foot of Italy. Than a short ferry over the street of Messina to the most visited town of Sicily Toarmina.

On the way in the Opel of the Phillipsons is now blowing oil in an extreme way and it will be a miracle if we see the car on the road again after our two rest days.

Pit and Sylvia Lindner do it again and win this challenging day only loosing 40 seconds strengthening there lead in the second sector. With the Brunets on second place and the girls Alfa Romeo on third the leader board keeps changing every day.

Day 10 Bari – Cosenza

Highlight of todays route is definitely a navigation section throught the amazing area of the Trulli houses. The Trulli houses were generally constructed as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small proprietors or agricultural labourers. In the town of Alberobello, in the province of Bari, whole districts are packed with trulli. The golden age of trulli was the 19th century, especially its final decades marked by the development of wine growing. Today they very often function as holiday houses.

Unfortunately The Opel of the Philipsons does need to be looked after because it is loosing a lot of oil and firing only on three of the four cylinders so they will see an Opel garage in the harbour town of Bari. Also bad luck for Emile and Marianne Ensing whose Mercedes has a water pump failure and has to be picked up to be delivered to yet another Mercedes dealer in Bari. We have reached the fertile most southern part of Italy known for its citrus products, olives and wines. Unfortunately one regularity section had to be cancelled because of the late arrival of the ferry in Bari.Just before dinner the Opel team arrived at the hotel, with a fresh car, now finally performing as it should.

Roy and Peter take the victory again with this time Gerd Bühler /Armin Knüpfing on second place. Differences are minimal, but that might change tomorrow on our route to Toarmina.

Day 9 Saranda – Bari

The very last looks at Albania. Compared to our previous Mediterrana Rally we found that this country has made huge steps forward. Especially along the coast, the roads and infrastructure have changed dramatically for the better but at the same time one can see that further from the coast poverty is still extremely visible.

A long regularity with a dozen of timing point kept the crews on their tows before we arrived in Kalampaca. Here all crews had the opportunity to visit a few of the monasteries build on ancient rock formations. Definitely one of the highlights in Greece.

Then a short drive to Igoumenitsa via a brandnew EEC sponsored motorway to board the ferry to Bari/Italy.

As we were waiting for the ferry a spontanious party on the quay took place. Initiated by rally doctor Boy Visser the golden oldies sounded over the rallycars waiting to board. On top of that it was John and Jolanda van Rossem, yet another marshalteam distributed Jaegermaster to the compatitors.

The day was won by the Datsun team ex equo with Pit and Sylvia Lindner and third came Pit and Margit Brunet.

Day 8 Tirana – Saranda

It seemed an easy day with just two regularity sections on roads without any junctions.

So one of the teams, driving in a Datsun, finished the regularity and looked happy with the result. They stopped for some sight seeing, swopped seats and did not pay attention to the time they had to be at the next TC. And sure enough they win the day with only a few seconds on both regularities and than loose 3 minutes at the TC.

Along the route we passed the old Russian U-boat hiding places in the rocks along the coast. Frightening to see how close this was to the entry of the Adriatic. The hotel in Saranda was a welcome evening stop after the twisting roads of this day. This time it is Pit Lindner who scores best of all and is the leader in sector 2.

Day 7 Budva – Tirana

The final day of the first sector is going to decide who will take the honours. The Opel team of the Phillipsons or is it the Mercedes of the Brunet’s.

A long regularity section with 7 timing points plus a hill climb is won by the Brunets with just 2 seconds difference between the two. So after deducting the worst result of this first week it is the Brunet’s claiming the points for this sector.

The day ends in Tirana, the capital of Albania. The crews are confronted with heavy chaotic traffic were it appears that no rules apply’s. Funny to see that everything stops at the border crossing into the country because the power goes on and off.

The customs refuse to take responsibility and check the passports. The system is that the machine does this and no power means no system and the border comes to a halt.

We have to take in account that this country has been occupied by, hold on here comes a list that is not even complete: the Romans, the Ottomans, Italy, Austria, Hungarian, Germans, even Holland, the communists and believe it or not, China.

Day 6 Dubrovnik – Budva (Montenegro)

The Porsche Team – Gerd Bühler – Gerrit Baljet – Pit Lindner, has scored a hat trick today. All three crews managed to miss the final control of the day, scoring three times 5 minutes penalty. The team may have been distracted by the extreme beautiful landscape. Because so far all days were great for the extreme beautiful scenery. Than after yet another regularity were the rally went through a Star wars enviremont, the famous Kotor hillclimb decent, the finished at the medieval city of Kotor where the final control could be found.

Day winners, Pim and Margit Brunet with only 54 seconds penalty for the day.

2. Richard and Catherine Phillipson 1:29

3. Roy Stephenson / Peter Robinson 1:52

Day 4 Hvar – Dubrovnik

Another bright sunny day, 25 degrees, blue skys and happy faces. A short run over the top of the island, overlooking the islands around us and believe it or not, the historic route Napoleon. Than a short regularity and a 25 minute ferry to the mainland for lunch right at the border of the Adriatic Sea.

After lunch an interesting regularity section where skills of the driver are tested. Again big smiles on the crew’s faces as they arrive for rest day in Dubrovnik.

Peter Robinson and Roy Stephenson driving the Datsun 240Z finally had a problem free day and it showed in the results right away. Finally back in business and the fourth day winner in four days is born.

Gerd Bühler / Armin Knüpfing had a coming together with a land lady when he drove over their farm for the second time. The lady was not amused and put some stones on the road. He did some research in his paperwork and decided he definitely had to be there so drove into her driveway again, with the result that more stones where placed as he came for the fourth time. After some 2 kilometer he discovered that the road stopped and he had to go back. This time to find a stack of trees put over the road. A decision had to be taken, pedal to the metal was their only option and they went right through her barrier leaving the lady highly astonished behind at her farm. Crazy foreigners she must have thought.

Results

Peter Robinson and Roy Stephensen Datsun 240Z UK

Paul and Ineke de Bie Alfa Romeo NL

Richard and Catherine Phillipson Opel Cadet – UK.

Day 5 Rest day in Dubrovnik

Day 3 Zadar – Hvar

The rear axle of the Datsun 240Z from team Roy Stephenson Peter Robinson GB is playing up just after the start of the first regularity. With the help of Rudy Stam they manage to proceed just in time to arrive at the ferry for Hvar, to keep them in the event.

This third day of the rally produces the third day winner. Margit and Pim Brunet drive a faultless route and take the victory with only 10 seconds penalty. They are immediately followed by Richard and Catherine Phillipson who are on the first event with us proving to have understood the format of our events with just one second difference on second place. But this also means that the Opel team is now on the lead.

Emile Ensink finds his Mercedes leaking fuel when he starts it up at the magnificent Falkensteiner Hotel in Zadar. The fuel pump is broken and the reserve pump does not fit.

A half hour job, that takes half a day at the unwilling (the pump is not the same as the original so we donot want to install this) Mercedes garage, means they collect maximum penaltys and drop to the bottom of the field.

In Split we board for a short ferry ride to the extremely charming island Hvar and again it is Rudy Stam saving a team from further electricity problems. The Alfa of Irene and Marianne was fitted with a poor operating phone loader and after removal the car ready for its next duties.

Crews enjoy the wine, the food and atmosphere at the dockside dinner. Almost forgetting that there is yet another rally day tomorrow.

Day 2 Opatja – Zadar

Fortunately Tom and Hanna Hayes are back in the event. They may join the Mercedes team in the touring hire car, category, but that does not hurt them. They are thrilled to be back.

Disaster strikes at regularity section 1. Pit Lindner missed a junction and had to reverse. This again was wrong so they turned around just a bit to quick and ended up in a ditch. So much for any victory chances in sector one. The other competitors also had their problems finding the correct route and at the end of the day the results show Paul and Ineke de Bie on first place. Not only for the day but also for the total results after day two.

Serious contenders for the first place overall are now found at the bottom of the field.

This basically means that we still have 10 teams capable of winning the event.

The incredible views, the scenery, the empty roads, the incredible friendly people, the camaraderie is what everybody enjoys most.

The question heard by the competitors is, why did the ones who signed up for the event not show up.

For results see the result page.

Day 1 Trieste Opatja

The Hayes Mustang is leaking brake fluid in a big way. After all the trouble of getting the car to the start the rally is over before the car does move one inch. Tom and daughter Hanna will change over to a hire car to drive the route.

Another bad decision was to leave your passport in your luggage back, especially when this bag is travelling in the luggage van and you have to cross three borders. Well Roy and Peter will not repeat this kind of action in the future. Lost one hour and fin themselves at the bottem of the leaderboard.

Nicola Shackleton has sent husband Richard on an adventures gravel road into the unknown parts of Croatië. Unfortunately this was not the road meant to be in Mark Appleton’s road book and as the road stopped they had to turn around, make up some lost time.

All others enjoyed the empty winding roads through this great part of the world to end the day in the welcoming Milenij hotel at the Opatja seafront . The results for day 1 are as follows:

1 Gerd Bühler / Armin Knüpfung Porsche / DE.

2 Pim and Margit Brunet Mercedes / NL

3 Richard Worts / Nicola Shakleton Jaguar / UK