Day 0 - The launch
We left Eastbourne at 4:30 on Sunday morning to give us plenty of time to get to Goodwood for the 8 AM registration. The trouble with we had with the ignition system the day before meant we couldn’t make the registration and party on the Saturday, so taking the late registration on Sunday was our only option.
Taking it slow and steady, we arrived at Goodwood at around 7 AM. We were both feeling excited that we’d finally made it to the start after countless hours of work and very little sleep. All that preparation was finally coming to fruition. All the stress and anxiety the powder puff had caused us was worth it.
All we needed to do now was register, finish putting the stickers on the car and prepare ourselves for the blast around the track. We parked up in the paddock and loads of people started taking a shine to the Ligier and laughing at just how ridiculous it looked.
We were in the second batch of cars to take on the challenge of the circuit. We found out that there was a minor fender bender in the first batch, so there was a short delay while we were waiting for the debris to be cleared up. Finally, it was our turn. Frantically accelerating off the start line, we eventually hit our top speed of 40mph on the second to last corner and overtook about 10 cars. Of course we were overtaken ourselves by at least 20 cars beforehand.
After the lap it was straight back out on to the public roads. We found ourselves leading the second batch for roughly 30 seconds before everyone got fed up at our top speed and overtook us. At least we were ahead of the third batch!
We were scheduled for the Hastings pit stop at 1PM and to our surprise we were only 30 minutes late. We rolled in and parked up to find friends and family standing around waiting for our arrival. Thanks to Mikey and Hastings Council for the free fish and chips which landed in our hands without us noticing and to everyone who turned up to see us off. Your support really helps to keep us motived in achieving our goal.
Sirens blaring, we departed the Stade and began our ascend up the A259 towards Rye. At the traffic lights we had a red light which stopped all of our momentum. We now needed a hill start. But it was here that we discovered that our car didn’t have enough unicorns to cope. One of us had to get out and give our fairy a push which is not a good sign of things to come. Without shredding some pounds, this is only going to get a lot worse.
2 hours later we arrived at Dover ferry port after a few close encounters with lorries and a worrisome number of hills. Our top speed limitations meant we missed our intended ferry so we queued up to get the next one. In the queue we met around a dozen other teams who we got chatting with. They were telling us how surprised they were that we made it this far. Even the lady in the checkin booth told us that our car was barmy and the smallest Mongol Rally car she’d seen. We told her that this was the record we were aiming to beat.
90 minutes later we docked in Calais and had reunited our 4 wheeled wonder back its native motherland. We got out of Calais, formed a convoy with a few other teams and fitted our duct tape improvised beam deflectors. A little while down the road, team OMJ had overheating troubles. After cooling down their Mini Scamp, we both made our way to Dunkirk before sunset to hold up overnight.