Rally Germany and Finland

Jump

Jump

Germany – We all know about the bad parts of my Germany story so I won’t go over that again. Of the German Rally that I saw it was unreal. They let you get so close to the cars, it’s great. I guess it’s because they don’t have stupid public liability issues like they do in oz. On one stage I was about a metre at with cars absolutely hammering by. It’s great for photo opportunities.

It’s a tarmac rally so the cars have huge brakes rotors, huge rims and they’re low as. The cars hold the road like they are on train rails. It’s a amazing how quickly and sharp these cars can turn without budging and inch. On some corners you would see the brake rotors glowing red hot.

Limited Edition Lambo

Limited Edition
Lambo

On the last day when I was walking out of the rally, in the car park was a brand spanker, limited edition, jade green, 40th anniversary Lamborghini Murcielago. Only 40 of these exist in the whole world! It later passed me on the autobahn. People were hanging out of their cars, all trying to get photos of it. The sound from it was unreal. Scroll to the end of the photo album below to see more photos of it.

Click the link below for the photos from Germany:
http://www.gabnation.com/albums/2006/wrc-germany/

Sideways

Sideways

Finland – Finland went a whole lot smoother thanks to a GPS satellite navigation system. I got to see heaps of the rally, which was excellent as well as catching up with Dale, a mate from hockey who I haven’t seen since January when he left for Finland.

Finland is a beautiful place. It’s very clean and with lots of green areas. It was a nice change from being in busy London. It’s hard to drive more than 20 minutes without seeing a lake. I read in a Finnair magazine that they have close to 188,000 lakes.

As with Germany, a lot of times they let people get really close to the cars but the main difference is that the Finland rally has lots of jumps and long stretches making it the fastest rally event on the calendar. In one viewing point I was about a metre away from the road just after a huge jump. One driver came a bit wide around the corner while I was taking a video and in the video you can see me pull away ready to jump to avoid getting hit, but obviously all was good. The rally cars on this jump felt like they were flying by at close to 150km/h. There are some really cool shots of the cars mid way through the air.

Air Time

Air Time

On one of the jumps, we were right next to where the cars would land. On landing, rocks would fly off into where we were standing. You’d have to turn quickly to avoid getting a rock in the face. Of course, I took my sunnies off to avoid them getting smashed. With one car a rock came flying past and hit me on the wrist. I looked down and it had hit my watch, right on the glass face:

http://www.gabnation.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/my-poor-watch.JPG

I was most upset as this was my birthday present from Rach and my first watch in years :(

On Saturday was the super special stage where two rally cars go head to head on a circuit. The circuit was well designed wrapping around a small lake with jumps over the finish line and a bridge crossing over the path of the other car. It was packed full of spectators and was definitely a hit.

Chris Atkinson (AUS)

Chris Atkinson
(AUS)

One the last day a car came flying passed us and a wheel popped off, which flew by us and into the trees. I really don’t know how he went for the rest of the rally with three wheels. We went into the bushes to find it and it looks like the wheel snapped off the axle rather than bolts coming loose or snapping off. Check out the photo album for a shot.

Click the link below for the photos from Finland:
http://www.gabnation.com/albums/2006/wrc-finland/

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