We’ve had a couple of long stages so far, 14 – 24 kms. If you consider the logistics of closed-road rallying, you’ll see that such a stage will be run fairly fast — otherwise, the length of time that locals will be locked out of the road is intolerable. So we’ve run a couple of long fast stages so far. And they’re not going well.
My usual method for running on time in touring rallies is to reach ‘on-time’ state early, and then try to minimize speed changes. This has us taking corners rather harder than normal, and running straights rather slower than normal. I tried that on the first long/fast stage yesterday. It was rubbish. The road was wet, hilly, and winding, and the average speed was brisk. It took 2 km just to reach the ‘on-time’ state, and holding it via the technique described above was flat scary.
So, adjusting, I reverted to a late, heavy braking + hearty acceleration strategy. It worked fine on the final stage last night, feeling much better. That stage was mostly downhill, though, and I found new limits today.
AssignedSpeed (CAST): 110 kph. MaxSpeed (not to exceed): 130 kph.
That’s a pretty small over-cast window… if you brake for curves, and then accelerate to max speed, the time error display crawls….. back …. toward…. perfect. In fact, with the start leading to a steep twisting uphill section, I was going further behind right away. I knew the BMW would do 130+ in third, and so I stopped shifting. The curves could all be taken in third, and when the road straightened – I just took it to around 6,000 rpm and held it there.
But I never caught up, not in 24 km. We crossed the line at least 12 down.
So what next?
I assume I need to carry more speed through the corners, but as yet I’m not ready to push harder in that direction.
They had a radar gun check station on a straight stretch, and there’s a $250 fine for busting the limit. Despite that threat — with a closed road, after all — it may be time for fourth.
p.s. The N52 jumps to 6k pretty quick, and it sounds great. But dang, does it drink fuel when you run like that.