Thursday, 17 May 2012

Rallye des Jonquilles (15th April, 2012)

Not long after getting the car on the road we had the privilege of taking part in a road book rallye in Northern France: the Rallye des Jonquilles (daffodil rally).  Around 15 kit cars from the Southern Kit Car Club were invited by the local French motor club to join the rallye.

A very early start was required to meet up in Kent at around 08:30 for the channel crossing.  On the motorway bound for the meet up at Ashford Tescos.

Cars and drivers assembling ready for the short dash down the M20 to the Channel Tunnel.

Checking-in en-masse for the Channel Tunnel.

Ready for formation boarding of the train.

On board.  Time to get to know our new travelling companions a bit better.  Where are you from?  What is it?  Did you build it yourself?

And they're off.  Straight into the French traffic. Am I really driving in France in this car that I just finished putting together in my garage?  Oh yes, this is fun!

Wonderful roads on the cross country route from Calais to Baie des Sommes.  This is what the car was built for.

Break to stretch legs half way to the lunch stop.  By this point we'd split into at least two groups.  I think we had now made it into the first group.  It wouldn't last.

Avon taking a breather.

Loose formation around the many windy, country roads.  The roads were pretty much deserted during the whole weekend, which added to the fun.

Okay, so there was a little traffic to hold us up.

Parking up at the night stop in Bethune.  After this we all got taxis into town for a few beers and a pizza.

Next morning was a short 30 minute blast cross country to Hazebrouk.  The full compliment of approximately 150 cars gathered in the town square to await the start.

Breakfast was served in the Marie at the edge of the town square.

Rallye plaque attached to roll bar with cable ties.  I think some had done this before - they had special suckers to attach the plaques to the bonnet without damaging the paint.  The radiator grille was an option, but it would have interrupted the airflow to the radiator.

The road book with the directions, turn-by-turn, for each stage.

Exiges, Astons, Ferraris, Porsches, oh and of course, Tigers.

This April it was still quite cold.  Even colder at speed with no windscreen.

Self portrait while waiting in the queue for the start line.

Chaotic queue for the start line.  What did you expect?  This is France after all.

The end of Stage 1 was in Saint Omer.  Refreshments were served at the local bar.

Another car park taken over by rallye participants.

Lunch was served at the end of Stage 2.  Three courses with wine and reception drinks!  I think most drivers stuck to water.

Another queue, this time for the start of Stage 3.

Ready for the off.

Cars gathering again for the finish in the town square at Hazebrouk.

Unfortunately the heavens opened on the M20 going home.  After so many hours in the saddle since leaving home we were beyond caring.

A total of 597 miles in just over 36 hours, mainly on B roads.  Doubling the total mileage since the car was put on the road just three weeks earlier. The car was put into the garage well after dark - the mud, dust, flies, cow poo, brake dust, etc. could all be cleaned off another day.

We had a fantastic time: good roads, good company, good organisation, good memories.  We'd definitely like to do something like this again.  I hear the French club has another rally in the Autumn.  Now where's my calendar...

No comments:

Post a Comment