So it’s all over, or at least the Peking Paris bit, now driving back to Exeter.
35 days of long days and many races leaves one almost in a state of shock. It’s so difficult to put into words the emotions now being felt. We started with a dream of getting the gold medal which goes to about 25 crews for completing all sections in the allocated time, and for many was just too tough. As each day went by it was clear there were more possible targets, and even up to the last days we were still able to win the rally overall. However, it was not to be as we decided that we just couldn’t risk breaking the car and losing everything. Some races were cancelled due to bad weather in Switzerland and time controls slowed the cars making it just too hard to catch the car ahead.
The final results were more than we ever expected when we set off from Exeter- Gold medal, first in class and 3rd overall. We also came second in the European Cup and our team of Fords linked to Royal Kustoms came second with Jim and Tanya in The Huff and Dai and John in the blue Ford. The car went so well, probably drank more water than we drank beer and needed 500ml of good old 20 50w oil every day. Where the water goes we have no idea and no doubt this will be the next investigation. As you can imagine, many hours have been spent talking about what was or is the right car and I can honestly say our Ford has exceeded our expectations. She is the only British Ford pre-war to have driven on the Rally and no British Ford has won its class. Maybe we should talk to Ford UK marketing!
We are also so grateful to everyone who helped and gave money to our charity Force. It looks at this stage there is over £12,000 in donations which is wonderful, many many thanks to everyone who has donated and supported us. Shall we do it again, or any rally? I guess after 35 days and 12000 km one needs time to think about that. As a team, we had a great time. Nigel can drive the car so well and fast when needed and the navigation proved a lot easier. We didn’t fall out and I didn’t get sick not driving. Everywhere we went, people were on the streets waving and it’s going to be quite a change not to be treated as heroes ..after all we only drove a car!