Sarah and Ken Binstead in the Austin Healey extended their lead in the 2022 London Lisbon to 24 seconds over Dick and Harry Baines’ Mini Cooper S as the little car lapsed onto two cylinders towards the end of Day 3. As Harry put it, “we were running 8 kph up the hills and 80 kph down the other side!” The crew did well to keep second place.
Stephen Owens and Pete Johnson climbed back to the final podium position after a mistake yesterday dropped them to sixth. Aware of their ‘favourites for the win’ tag, Peter remarked after yesterday’s slip up, “Have you seen the Grand National? If you had, you would know what happens to the favourites!”
Now we have to watch for Nick Maris and Henry Carr moving up the leader board as well in the Datsun 240Z, they are currently fifth.
Catherine and John Harrison proudly lead the field away from the FuturoScope start of Day 3 on Saturday in their 1917 LaFrance after John had placed five national flags of the countries that London Lisbon will visit across the front of the Leviathan. Their catch up after delays proved to be quite an adventure. John and Catherine take up the story;
John, “It was an adventure in the end. We didn’t get the right ferry because we hadn’t got the COVID passports. So then we did get those passports and when we got them they didn’t even want to see them!
“We had missed that ferry and called them up to try and get on the next, which we did, but it was two hours late leaving so we’re on the dock till midnight. Standing outside on the docks we were talking to some of the truck drivers who said nobody wanted to see the COVID passports. They don’t bother, they never ask they said.
“But we got to talk to the ferry people to ask if we be could have a place so we could get off the boat amongst the first as we had get away fairly early in the morning. Yeah, okay they said. We’ll put you on the boat later on the bottom near the front door. They were good and positioned us, in the morning we were there all ready to go but it was funny, there wasn’t much happening!.
“There were a few cars right behind but the doors didn’t open as the ramp and call system didn’t work. So all the cars had to go off in reverse order backwards. So instead of getting off quite early, we were obviously very late. We don’t mind reversing but had to wait for all the cars behind us to do it, we had to wait until they had all gone.
“So instead of getting an early start, it was very late which made it even more frustrating. Then we set about finding a sort of suitable route down here, which we did and put in quite a drive, going as quickly as we could. We didn’t use any motorways, we used sort of decent roads and made it late last night after a long hard drive. Now we’ve got here, and are the first car away, but we have made a plan. In theory, we will follow the road book there. But in practice that might turn out very different. The guides are trying to help us but we can only go by the map to be perfectly honest. The plan is, we will try to get to the hotel tonight before everybody else has finished dinner and gone to bed! So that’s the sort of long term plan as well, we will do what we can on the route during the day but always try to get to the hotel.”
Catherine, “It was a bit of a catch up, it was a long day. But John did well because there was a lot of driving. Reading an ordinary map in this car is really difficult, but the point is if you’re following the road book you can strike the instructions off which we did, that we did quite well.
“With the rain today we are quite used to it. We’ve got all the gear for that, I’ve even got an umbrella.”
Bernard Northmore, Tony Sutton, Porsche 911 SC
Bernard, “To summarise with the conditions today, it has been hard work, especially this morning. Very difficult with some quite technical regularities, we dropped quite a lot of time but then caught up a bit as well.
“There were some nice little tracks and lanes, bits of gravel, but we lost quite a lot of time in the first regularity this morning. Since then it’s been a lot easier or we found it easier in being able to keep up and drop fewer penalties.
“The rain effects so many things, like having the window open and getting your timecard wet and all that sort of stuff, but it wasn’t a huge issue. The last regularity was good, a great climb and wonderful hairpins, but It wasn’t as good as the last regularity yesterday, which I thought was absolutely superb. But yes, this afternoon was good. In terms of the competition, I pretty much want more of the same for the rest of the rally. The navigation is fairly straight forward, there are a few tricks here and there, things that you mustn’t miss. But it’s a really good event. I’m doing it for the first time!”
Tony’ “ I think it’s a fabulous event, it’s very competitive, I think because most people don’t seem to know what they’re doing which is brilliant! The roads are spectacular as usual and I think everyone’s getting on really well and having a fun time, so it’s been wonderful.
“We haven’t really been affected by the rain and water today at all, no I think we were affected by a few brain fades! I’m not sure we could blame the weather as a convenient excuse. But having survived day one and day two without too many disasters, unfortunately, this morning wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. But we’ve got a few more days to make up for it!”
*The Shires host Round Two as the Challenge Increases