Monday’s first two stages were called on account of road construction.
The work wasn’t on the route proper, but the dump trucks servicing the work would have been barred by closing the road (and there were a steady stream of the trucks). Methinks the town council weighed the relative benefits to the community, chose pavement over entertainment, and revoked permission.
So we opened with Colliers, run twice, blasting through the woods on a ten-foot trail then bursting out to fly along the waterside road in a village. They’d built two chicanes in to manage the fast cars’ velocity. One chicane peeled off the main road through a church parking lot pockmarked with mostly-marked bumps. The second inserted two short concrete bridges twenty feet and ninety degrees apart. Between the bridges, a pothole — large enough to get its own mention in the route book — took a victim, ripping the right front wheel from a BRZ.
Roads so narrow are easily blocked, but luckily the BRZ was running last. Unluckily, the plan was to go through again. And for some reason we Grand Touring cars were released, and we must have all come upon the warning triangle, the car with wheel askew, and the chagrined crew member holding the ‘OK’ sign. The 30 or so ‘Targa’ cars had to scrub the stage… (those folks are less disciplined than the GT crowd).
We moved on, to an pair of stages in mirror image. The first shot down a tapering valley, over some sideways hillocks, and petered out, as the valley became an inlet with steep rock shores. Stop or get wet, that’s the choice there.
We pivoted as a long chain of cars and lined up for the return. The outgoing route notes had “CAUTION crest into medium right downhill. Don’t cut” a couple km in. The first car on the road, a fully prepped Subaru, had some problem with that turn and wound up off to the inside. No one hurt, but the crew’s management of the situation seemed not to be practiced, and the confusion (plus concern, always, for safety) scratched another stage. In reflection, it’s probably good that the driver/co-driver aren’t “used to crashing”, eh?