The journey today was planned in three sections. Bismark to Faith, Faith to Deadwood then Deadwood to Rapid City. It’s quite some distance of 600 plus kms.
Today’s start for us was at 8.10 am which means that we are tenth slowest of the event yesterday.
Included early in the day was an amended regularity section, which as it happened was the best performance that we and Betty had undertaken. It was up with some of the best times of the day!
However the navigator did not comprehend some of the other amended instructions and we cruised too far off the intended track. An error that could have cost us many points had we not quickly retraced our tracks and returned to the correct track. You see, we do not follow other rally cars, we do our own navigating, and this time should perhaps have copied their moves????
We pushed Betty quite hard to get to the Time Control in Faith, within three minutes before the required max time without penalty. Whew!
Long straight roads that just went on forever into the horizon. Not another rally car to be seen. They were well in front. They travel like cut cats. They all mostly pass us en-route. We wave and we take photos of each other as they pass us. Good fun.
Being late at any control check means that the pressure will be on for the entire day, as is what happened.
The next leg to Deadwood, 190kms was hard going. By this time of course the top was down and it was enjoyable to feel the wind and to see unobstructed views of the expansive countryside all around and upwards.
Again, long straight roads that disappeared into nowhere out front.
About three quarters of the way along we encountered fuel problems. This had happened some time earlier also but the problem would come and go. This time it set in quite seriously and we had to limp into the first petrol we could find. Not many of these on this route but at last we stopped, filled up and then next checked the petrol filter. It was full of muck. Petrol could not get trough to the carburettor. Cleaned this up and carried onwards, but problem persisted. Dirty fuel. We must have picked this up in some remote spot where there was only one pump and not many users.
When we got to Deadwood the problem was exacerbated by very hot weather and we had to pull over to the side and do some cleaning up around the fuel delivery system.
Steve got stuck in and looked at all the possible reasons for the problem. He had every imaginable tool with him in case of such an event. Like having a doctors bag with him.
With limited results for solving the problem we got under way, but not too far.
Back under the bonnet and some assistance from the mechanics from the ERA who were doing sweeping duties finding those cars who had encountered difficulties.
What a great team of chaps they are. What great attitudes they have. They work hard and late into the night quite often.
Without a whimper they get down and dirty in an effort to get competitors cars back up and running onto the road. What a dedicated group of people. We met most of this support team during the P to P where we experienced the same response.
Got the car operating again after cleaning the lines, but still not running smoothly with 77kms ahead of us to Rapid Falls.
Got in late to the Hilton Garden Inn where we were met by a couple of guys who competed in the P to P. They drove to Deadwood from Canada to meet with the competitors.
Len and Kim drive a 1965 Chevy Impala half way across the globe with considerable aplomb, taking along with them a coffee maker and a wine chiller,along with folding chairs to enjoy their trip. Great guys. It was good to meet up and “chew the fat”.
Today (day 14) is a rest day and Steve got going early to attend to the draining of the fuel tank and clean out the fuel lines and filters and maybe the fuel pump.
Hopefully we will be able to visit some of the sites in Deadwood, which include Mt Rushmore, Bear country,Custer State Park, the Indian Crazy Horse Memorial to name a few.
Lots to do, not much time.