So, day one is behind me, and my glass is either a quarter full or three quarters empty on the 1000-mile Seat Leon challenge. I’ve made it back to a Travelodge just south of the Scottish border facing another 318 miles before I can fill up again at the BP garage near Kempton racecourse in Surrey.
But I’ve only got an indicated quarter of a tank of diesel left, with a claimed range of 195 miles. Or enough to take me about as far as Birmingham, if it is to be believed.
Yesterday, 682 miles were racked up in 13 hours 48 minutes, at an average speed of exactly 50mph. Economy wise, the Leon returned an indicated 72.0mpg, which puts it within spitting distance of the 74.3mpg official combined figure. But again, short of the 80mpg or so maths says I need to complete to challenge.
Do I still think I’ll make Kempton? When I turned around exactly 500 miles north of the BP garage, the fuel gauge was exactly halfway. ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘should be easy.’ But that was before the Scottish heavens opened again and various roadwork diversions onto slip roads caused me to have to negotiate more roundabouts than originally planned.
It has also answered a question in my head that I already unofficially knew the answer too: fuel gauges always make the first half of tanks seem like they’ve lasted longer.
My optimism of even 7pm last night, when we turned around in that layby just south of Brechin, populated only be two litter bins and a sinister fence (not the welcoming party I had hoped for/expected), has now been replaced by a more realistic outlook.
Tisshaw's welcoming party at Brechin
If I can make it over 900 miles, I’ll be chuffed. But with the mysterious ways that fuel tanks and claimed electronic readings work, I’m no way discounting completing the 1000 miles, even if I had to buy a ‘just in case’ jerrycan of diesel at a garage this morning.