Day 52

21. June 2000, Prince George to Kamloops

After almost everyone complained about the all-day long gravel road drives, we started today with a bit of a highway drive until Williams Lake. The drive was quite nice as highways are still one-lane out here and there is better scenery than on "forest service roads". The afternoon is quite demanding with one long test where we manage zero penalty and two short tests where we lose one minute and four minutes.
The three top competitors get zero - zero and three minutes, but the Ford Mustang manages to get zero - zero and two minutes. Unfortunately, number 99 (Ford Mustang) is one place behind us and now he has only five minute penalty more than we do - We will try our best to defend our fourth rank but the horsepowers speak for him.
On another note, we have been selected, among half a dozen other cars, for "re-scrutineering". On the rest day in Banff, Roger Byford from the Rally Office will have another look at our car, whether everything is technically correct (no modern machinery built in, such as disc brakes instead of drum brakes, etc.). Re-scrutineering is only done on request by other competitors so we must have done something to impress them. It seems that other drivers do not trust an old car like ours to be able to go so fast, especially with three passengers. But the forward-looking technology of Mercedes at the time and Sami's driving skills make it possible: The 190, after all, was a successful rally car in the Fifties and the driver can make a difference. Karl has managed the preparation of our car very well and has always kept to the regulations of the rally office. In fact, we have exchanged none of the parts in our car (apart from the seats) with modern ones as we do not think ourselves to be better than the Mercedes engineers of the Fifties. Of course, it is possible to install, say, stronger dampers, but if the fixation of the dampers is not accordingly strengthened...

After getting our final time check at the hotel we drive to the local Mercedes-Benz to get some greasing and repair our broken windscreen wiper. The Mercedes-Benz in Kamloops provide us with excellent service and they did not even charge us for it. In Kamloops we also meet up with Tom Sertic, who runs the Vancouver office of Busch Canada which is about 400 km.

TC 172: Prince George OUT
TC 173: Williams Lake IN
02 about 300 km
TC 174: Williams Lake OUT
TC 175: Clinton
03 154.83 km
TC 177: Cache Creek IN
03 64.50 km
Cache Creek Start
TC 178: Cache Creek Finish
29 (one minute penalty)

28.90 km

TC 179: Red Lake IN
49 19.21 km
Red Lake Start
TC 180: Red Lake Finish
14 (four minute penalty) 24.14 km
TC 181: Kamloops IN
44 69.06 km

Overall 1 hour 16 minutes penalty

The official results can be looked up on this website

Bisons! How can I tell from the distance? Well, we just passed a huge sign advertising the sale of farmed bison meat.

Timberland is slowly turning into cattle-land...

... so we have to drive over lots of these: cattle guards. Made out of steel pipes they prevent cattles from passing over and leaving their ground.

A bit of highway driving makes the day a lot more pleasant. The weather is wonderful on the first day of summer.

Tom Sertic from Busch Vancouver pays us a visit in Kamloops.

This train has an engine inbetween even when it's empty. We estimated that it has about 100 wagons and is therefore a few kilometres long.


Test section Williams Lake-Clinton along the Chilcotin river valley.

Time-check Clinton: Nigel and Paula with their Mercedes SL are here, we are here and so are the orange rally signs in front, but where are the officials? Actually they were just a few hundred metres in front, where we just caught them in time to get no penalty.

TC Cache Creek is operated by local car enthusiasts.

The two short tests at the end are quite tricky: narrow roads, narrow curves, up and down, all on lose gravel.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police going with the times.