17. July 2000, Clermont Ferrand to Laon
One more day of driving through French countryside. The rally is coming towards an end now. In Laon we are staying outside the city in a hotel on a lake. It is clear that this last stay before the end has been chosen for strategic reasons as it lies directly on the motorway leading to Calais. In the morning we sort out some last problems with the car as we do not want to break down on our last day to London or on our way back to Germany. This takes less than an hour and does not affect our time today much as there is plenty of time assigned. Back in the hotel, people are already in celebration mood as there is not much left now. Everyone is busy exchanging addresses, taking pictures, cleaning the car and trying to come to terms with that, tomorrow, everything will be finished. Some are visited by friends or relatives today. Do from Belgium/Netherlands even brings a whole bus of family to Laon: They will accompany him on the final trip to London. Most people are happy that all the stresses and strains will be over soon but some are already looking forward to their next rally...
Overall 2 hour 03 minutes penalty