|September 11, 2011 - So, how did it go?|
To keep the suspense to a minimum, very well. Both Janel and I were a bit nervous pulling up to the start line of Flatrock, even though it was a stage we'd run twice at legal speeds while checking out the car. But it's been three years since we ran a stage at speed. For me, I got a big shot of adrenaline about the time I hit second gear after a gentle start. I also spied one of our camera crew by the side of the road and remembered what I was supposed to be doing.
I was quite cautious on the first bit, taking things a bit carefully on the corners as I felt out the car. There are some real consequences to the first part of this stage, and it's taken a few scalps over the years. The car felt good, although the approach speeds were higher than before! Once we turned into the woods and away from the ocean, I put the hammer down. And this car has quite a hammer. After the stage, I was talking to a couple of other experienced drivers and they asked how the car was "up the hill". Hill? I asked a few questions and found out that the wooded section was uphill the whole 3 km or so. I'd never noticed. I lifted because my speed was high enough (we maxed out at 177), but the car shrugged off gravity. Just after that conversation, we ran over the same road again as part of a transit and I realized they were right. It IS uphill all the way! Not that you could tell from the way the car pulled. It is a rocket, and it seems to be propelled by sheer noise. The video is going to be epic.
Janel was a bit shaky from adrenaline after the run and I was giddy. What a rush.