After leaving my house in the UK at 5 am this morning and two flights later I have arrived in the Acores for the start of the next round of the IRC.
Kris and Paul have already been on the island since Monday to enable them to recce the stages. All the drivers have to create their own pace notes which they will subsequently use on the rally. They drive a specially prepared road car over the stages and write their own unique instructions as to how sharp the corners are, how fast they think they can take them, and any areas to be careful of etc...
It's important to get as much detail as possible as the next time they will see the stages Paul will be calling the instructions to kris and it will be at full speed. Now one incorrect instruction could be the end of the rally
Last night the ceremonial start of the rally was held adjacent to the port in Ponta Delgada. All the drivers and cars passed over the start ramp cheered on by the very enthusiastic local fans.
As Kris and Paul’s Peugeot UK’s Peugeot 207 S2000 will be starting in 7th position on the road they were one of the last cars over the ramp.
Today the weather in Ponta Delgada is overcast with a lot of cloud surrounding the hills. We have an early start today as we must sort out all the rally administration and technical checks on the car etc...
After this it’s off to the official shake down to check everything is OK with the car and gives Kris and Paul the first chance to get behind the wheel of their car.
Kris and Paul have completed a very good recce of the stages over the last two days and commented that the rally stages are very interesting. There are all the different types of surfaces available here, gravel, tarmac all combined with jumps, fast turns and blind crests. It is very similar to stages found in Wales, but unlike our last rally in Brazil some of the stages are very narrow.