Monday, August 3, 2009
LEG 2 UPDATE - GERALDTON TO MT. MAGNET
It’s a tough day for the team. I’m writing this update from Yalgoo which is known as the entry into the Outback. The day was over 600 km with two special stages – the first 244.75 km and the second 134 km. We saw them pass approximately 25 km into the first selective stage and they were running hard and strong. Just beyond that point, they were able to pass the car that started 2 minutes before the #111 H2.
Rod, Jason and I headed from RK 25 to RK 134 – the start of the “Timed Crossing” – and were able to catch the race leaders and record splits. The first truck off the line started 36 minutes ahead of Josh, but last year’s winner (Riley #100) who started in third position had moved up to first place by this point and put almost 8 minutes on that first truck. Based on how fast Josh was running when we first saw him, as the clock kept ticking, we knew there must be a problem. He came through the “Time Crossing” at approximately noon, and told us he broke a brake line and needed brake fluid.
Approximately 20 km down the course there was a tough creek crossing with one stuck medical vehicle. The team stopped and surveyed the area, chose a line and proceeded on across the deep mucky bog. The section was seriously wide and the truck got stuck beyond their ability to get out on their own - up to the diff and skid plate. After several tries and assistance from other vehicles, a recovery vehicle with 20 feet of Snatch Um strap was able to move them a few inches – just enough to get #111 unstuck.
Needless to say, a disappointing day. However, despite a big penalty, tomorrow is a new day and it’s a long event.