Day 21

Rijeka Rest Day

OK, it's been a rest day. 

Firstly, let me finish off on glasses: 
Thank you to everyone for advice, understanding and sympathy on eyesight and management of glasses issues. I do feel better knowing that lots of people leave phones, wallets, glasses and all sorts of things on the roof of cars. 
I will get a sticker made to go on the roof that says ‘ Do not place item here – by order of the Management’.
Mary tried to get glasses made in Newcastle to bring over when she flies to London for the finish, but they need a week to fill the prescription in Australia.  Not so in Croatia. They apologised that it would take two hours, and a bigger surprise, it cost about $190 as opposed to $900 odd in Oz.  Hope Mary likes the new frames. I now have two good pairs and two cheapie backup pairs. (NB: I must remember to take spares in the car.)

Service Crews: The car park was a hive of activity today. Service guys seem to be happiest when they have a car to play with.  They're not even fussy about which car they work on.  Lots of them spent all day with cars jacked up and bits pulled off.

There are two Mustangs in the event. The Chris Palmer Mustang seems to always be in strife.  It’s a 427 cubic inch motor but has had to run on seven cylinders after a piston failure. It’s also had bearing problems and they rebuilt the engine again today. They put it off the road again yesterday but no serious damage.  Nothing seems to faze them too much.
left: Chris Palmer/Phillip Marshall Mustang; right: Richard Bennet/Matt Wallace  (Photos by Plamen Petrov)
The Richard Bennet Mustang is the old Peter Cochrane Mustang (we became friends during the Silver Fern rally a few years ago) which set second fastest time on the ‘1000 Bends’ section yesterday.  An amazing effort!  (NB:  see in-car footage of the Mustang action at :
After lunch, we went down to explore the town and take pictures but we were waylaid by the Belgians (Rene and Eric) who were having a drink in the service area.
Their Hilux ute running in the Challenge category is fitted with a large refrigerator and is referred to as the food and beverage wagon. 

After a few gin and tonics, it began to rain and we took refuge in a restaurant. After the Chardonnay, pork medallions etc, I noticed the rain had stopped but the light was fading too fast for picture taking.  So it’s been a hard day here in Rijeka.

      right: Rene and Eric and their ' food and beverage wagon"
Note the sugar sachets for Mark's Cappuccino!  (it was in the Ferrari cafe)

Got the washing done!  That’s not entirely true yet - They haven’t returned it as I write this.
We are still 5 minutes 30 seconds ahead of the 3rd placed Porsche.  We’ll see how much he gets off us tomorrow. They have added an extra stage tomorrow so there will be 70km of stages before a 408 km transport to Brescia in Italy.

After Brescia, there are no stages until the UK.  Some competitors, certainly the Belgians and the Czechs, are planning to go home for a few days before fronting up for a restart in Wales.  We will follow the route and act like the good tourists that we are.
Next: Day 22 Rijeka (Croatia) to Brescia (Italy)