We made it to Italy and here is a recap of events so far,
After a stop in The Netherlands for a couple of days to visit friends and family, we went to Munich where the Lancia was waiting. Had to make some adjustment and a quick oil-change as no one thought of that. Left Munich at noon and went over the Brenner pass to Italy and Mantova, fighting traffic a couple of times we were able to keep a speed of about 110km most of the time and we arrived at 7pm.
Thursday was the sign in and safety check that both went well. Now sitting at the hotel with other competitors arriving as well. A large field of close to 350 cars with us at number 311.
Looking forward to tomorrow and the start of the rally.
Leif and Barbara
We did it!
Completed the race and still have a fairly good working car!
Day 1 we started late with a drive from Mantova through some beautiful towns and winding roads to the west coast via a couple of time trials on race tracks. As we were total strangers to the system we were most likely the fastest through the first race track stage instead of in a controlled pace to match the time allowed. Got some nice pictures out of it! After that we spoke to some of the other competitors and were told how it works. After that we slowed down and tried to make us look a little bit better in the result list. So far the best we have seen was 260 something out of 350, not to bad working with the old fashion counting system to decide how fast to go( 1 thousand-two thousand and so on for measuring time when most of the other cars had micro-milli second computers to calculate time with.
Arrived in late evening at the stop over in Forte Dei Marmi and went to bed exhausted.
Day 2 started at 8.43am and went over a number of steep hills on winding roads with cars roaring like crazy between the time trials. we had a great run and the car felt like it was happy to be home. The towns we went through were fantastic and after missing the leaning tower in Pisa last year we got a close up this year with a stamp control just in front of it. After about twelve hours we finally arrived in Rimini with a dinner just before midnight. Again we went back and crashed at our hotel to be ready to go at same time 8.43am Sunday morning.
Day 3 was a totally different type of driving, at one point we were guided through a town by a motorcycle police at full speed and sirens hauling through red lights and stop signs!! Only in Italy! Mainly straight level roads were speed never exceeded what was admitted. I felt like the towns we passed were hoping to see a speed record going through them with most of the drivers exceeding the limit with at least three times! Again, only in Italy!
We loved it and the people cheering at each stamp control were we were given everything from food to wine and at one occasion Grappa- how about drinking and driving. Luckily the driver did not accept all the wine other the small cup of grappa, who can resist that?
At the end we ended up back in Mantova with the last few miles in a controlled speed to make sure we did not have any last minute problem.
The only issues with the car that we need to address if we are coming back is to go over the electric system to make sure we have better light both inside and outside. We also have to repair the mounting of the exhaust and replace a chock absorber that both got damaged during some rough driving and short cuts over divider curbs!
The end conclusion is that we had a great time and after a couple of days absorbing it, we will stop having the grin on our faces replaced with smiles.
See you later, Leif and Barbara Neuman