Sun to Red Sea Rally
10th June 2004
Day 8 - Matrafured
to Sibiu (Romania)
LORIMER AND STARKEY
WITH A CASE OF THE BENDS
Some great roads for
the Regularities, rising and falling on narrow forest roads,
the second one with barely 500 metres of straight line anywhere.
A super fast run through
good looking country to the Romanian border. And now something
totally different. For three hours you've got 3rd
world Eastern Europe with poverty and lumpy roads.
It's a country of churches
with superb spires and steeples - no two the same. When you
see the Fragas mountains tomorrow you'll realise that the
lumpy three hours was worth doing.
There was high
drama in the first half hour of the event this morning. An
early morning mist hung over the twisty 19 km damp tree-lined
Hungarian tarmac stage. On a downhill section with the wet
surface made even more slippery by a film of diesel from the
trucks which normally use this road, three of the leading
cars fell victim to the ice rink-like surface.
First on the scene was event leader Joe McAndrew who swooped
over the crest and performed a neat 180 degree turn on the
treacherous surface travelling backwards for 50 metres before
flick turning his Honda to face the right direction miraculously
avoiding the guard railed bend and trees. He still made fastest
time over the stage.
Then charging Nick Starkey in his Astra, intent on making
up time, lost the lot wiping his car along the guard rail
and tipped it 20 feet down a bank into a ditch.
Co-driver Jim Hurman clambered up the bank to wave down Graham
Lorimer in his 3rd place Toyota warning him of the hazard.
Lorimer followed Starkey’s path along the guardrail, similarly
out of control, with the damaged end of the guardrail wiping
the whole rear wheel and suspension off his Toyota.
“Nothing I could do about it,” said Lorimer. “The car was
behaving like a drunken ice skater.” The 3-wheeled Toyota
was last seen on the back of a truck heading towards Budapest
and the workshop of Janos Balazs – a Hungarian competitor
on the London-Sydney Marathon – and there were high hopes
that the damaged rear suspension could be repaired. more...