Awoke early as reported in the last communique.
The sun comes up early and there is no wind. Idyllic!
Breakfast was on early. Good food too. For to be able to obtain really good food in the desert is remarkable. Freshly cooked everything for breakfast. Ate more than we normally would have. Good thing too as there was no time during this rally to eat.
The program for the day is quite a late start, meaning that we would not get off the start line until 10.08.
The navigator, having time to plan for the route and identify the pitfalls and identify the special instructions, went through the route book as best he could. There are some differences now with the introduction of a Sporting Time Control, which is timed distance to complete a short course. It’s very demanding considering the terrain.
And there can be one after another of two or more in a row. I don’t know all the rules around it but I know from what we’ve tried that it’s difficult.
All the stages were planned, and highlighted where necessary to ensure compliance to the planned route.
Our time came up at 10.08 starting the day with a STC and with a hiss and a roar attempted to cover the leg in time. Boy oh boy it was impossible to get up to the average speed requirement. We didn’t.
So on with the next stage on the desert roads in an endeavour to get to the next time check within the required time.
Well, to cut a long story short, under the pressure of time over distance and direction finding, there were many errors of choice made. Losing track of where you should be verses where you are, the GPS day comes in the most handy. Still, making decisions of which road to take over the Mongolia desert when there are half a dozen to select from can freeze the mind. On selecting one that just looks as though it will be the correct one, then after following it for some distance you notice it’s varying from the course, means doing a cross country run to the expected correct course but in so doing the mileage changes on the trip meter and finding the next way, the indicator will be out.
The car did so well despite the tortuous terrain and tracks.
We erred and in one instance took a long way around just to end up where we began. It’s so frustrating a) to have made an error, and b) to have tortured the car and used more fuel than necessary.
This course was hard on the car. Though other competitors drove like there was no tomorrow, one of whom ended up flipping his car, a Porsche, head over heels in a known bad spot. Most of the bad spots are identified in the route book.
The occupants are ok though injured and the car will not race again.
We had a bad day, missing so many marked land marks and travelling so much further than the route book required.
We got in late. No time for photos en-route. Stress!
The days results are not available as yet so can’t post. Have no idea where we’re placed but likely worse than previously.
Today is a rest day in Ulaanbaatar. Time to work on the cars etc. maybe have a look around.