Race2Recovery, Tuareg Rally, Day 1 update

19 March 2012, Nador/Missor

Distance390Km total, 42Km competitive

WeatherBright and sunny, 22deg C, ending with rain shower for service

SummaryThe event began auspiciously for Ben Gott and Tony Harris, as their car, the Rat Cat, cut out as it was boarding the ferry from Almeria to Nador on Sunday evening. The fault was eventually traced to a broken fuel pump earth wire underneath the transmission tunnel.

Tony and Ben had no issues on the first day of the event itself though; Tony drove the liaison and navigational sections while Ben drove the single special stage, posting a time slightly short of 60 minutes, on par with the majority of competitors and believed to be, at the time of writing, the best of the British Qt Wildcat drivers.

Dave Marsh and Tom Neathway enjoyed a more relaxed sea crossing but their event also featured its fair share of early dramas, as Dave lost the brakes during the navigational section. He and Tom stopped to investigate and realised that the wheel bearing had failed and it was only the brake disc that was holding the wheel on. As the service crew were at least an hour away, the Portuguese Wildcat team came to their rescue once they limped out of the stage and changed the bearing, allowing them to continue.

Both crews made it to the service area in Missor at the end of the day, where the Race2Recovery team were able to check the cars over and attend to the various small issues to have them both ready for the second day of competition.

Team QuotesBen Gott, Driver:

"We had a bit of a fright on the ferry, when the engine cut out but knew we had to get it towed on and sort it out there. It took an hour and a half to find the problem but I'm glad we did. If it had happened on the special, we definitely wouldn't have finished.

"The special stage itself was really good - really quick and challenging. But we also lost the trip computer whenever we went over 65mph, which was quite a bit! We managed to get through it eventually and really enjoyed the first day of the event."

Tom Neathway, Co-driver

"I learned just how important navigation on an event like this is today, as well as how vital it is to stick to the trip meter. I got lost at one point, as a result of some confusion in the roadbook and I'm really annoyed at myself for that but at least everyone got lost once!

"I found it very tricky to read the roadbook in the special stage and look out at the road to know where we were and what was coming up. I had to get Dave to slow down at one point, as I couldn't get the right rhythm but eventually, it all clicked."

Tomorrow's routeDay two takes the teams further south, again over a variety of conditions and ends with a section over large sand dunes, hinting at what is to come.

Sponsor SpotlightAlcon

Alcon specialises in the design, development & manufacture of specialist brakes & clutches for use in motorsport, performance road cars and specialist sectors such as defence, armoured protection and low carbon vehicles.

It has supplied the team with the highest specification of brakes for all of its Wildcats and the performance is second to none. Both drivers commented on how well the brakes performed on the first day, both in terms of outright braking power and their consistency over the fast and flowing sections of the event.