Rolling Disasters

May 9: Day 2. Where to start, so much has happened but the first thing that stands out is how many car breaks downs there have already been. We’ve had our own issues with the rally computer malfunction, the windshield wipers and now a problem headlight.Ed determined now that it was not the bulb when the new bulb didn’t work. He determined it was corrosion at the fuse box and we have light again. Age and moisture most likely.

But our problems are nothing compared to stories we hear and see. Is it the number of British cars? The rally conditions? Preparations? Maybe I’ll have some answers as this goes on. We know of front end problems, clutch failure, ignition problems, but the photos say it all. And these are just a few of the ones I’ve snapped.

Now if anyone is following the ranking based on performance, I must say that Stewball will look quite bad since we are taking two days out of the rally to go to Leslie’s graduation and will be penalized for not competing the next two days.

 Stewball did have his day as a race car, making Richard Petty proud. (NOT!). We drove VIR (for non-car followers, the Virginia International Raceway). At the end of day 2, I drove in a consistency run. Our daughter, Lilla and her friend Chad met us at the raceway and Lilla navigated. Now I had no idea what I was doing and neither did Lilla, but we actually did quite well. The purpose is not to drive fast, but to do three laps at exactly the same speed. In all we were 24 sec. off. I know many others did better, but we were novices so I am pleased. This moring Ed drove the timed trial, which was 2 rounds with an expected speed of 50. He made 42.5 which for our little car we thought was great. Again, his first time on a race track. Not ready for the big time, but fun all the same.

Now here is the final thing. Quite by accident, Ed took a very short video of Stewball on VIR. If I can just figure out how to post it on the blog, you’ll get a chance to see him.



About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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2 Responses to Rolling Disasters

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of disaster so early in the rally. Murphy’s Law. Whatever can break, will break some time (early).
    Have fun with the graduation! You’re right about that one, too important to miss. Stewball can take that penalty and still do well, he’s just that good 🙂

  2. TBC says:

    As BIG fans of VIR, having driven it many, many times, we are very impressed with your first-time experiences on the track. Really, quite respectable, and even though Richard Petty might not be impressed, I’d like to have seen him the very first time out on a race track!

    Way to go, you two!


    TBC and Arnie

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