Bertie's Spanish Adventure

Rally Festival of Trasmiera is held over 4 days and with an entry of 170 various cars the crowds were in for some hours of great entertainment

Rallye Trasmiera

The Rally covers approx 300km (10 stages) in total of the most amazingly scenic rally route.

Some stages are held around the local villages whilst the others take you up into the breath-taking mountains.

Following a 24hr ferry crossing, from Plymouth to Santander, Bob & Bertie arrived on land on Monday and headed off towards Hoznayo to settle into the service park and hotel.

Mike & Sarah arrived Tuesday lunchtime, so the afternoon was spent recceing three of the ten stages.

Bertie

Bertie

Wednesday we were up bright and early and headed out in the sunshine to finish recceing the final seven stages, allowing time in the afternoon for Bob & I to sign on and Bertie to fly through scrutineering.

Thursday; and Mark (Berties chief doctor) had arrived, so off to the service park to do a few adjustments to Bertie in preparation for the first stage which was that evening.

Hoorah…5pm arrives Bertie, Bob & Mike leave service and head off to Ravenol, the first 11.27km stage.

With all the corners of the stage packed with crowds of spectators, Bertie had no trouble completing the 2 laps of the villages tight corners and chicanes and took the opportunity of sneaking past car 4, the Fiat 600 Abarth, on the tight downhill section.

Bertie

Car No 4

Friday morning was family photo shoot time, where all the cars, drivers and navigators assemble for the traditional Rally Trasmiera family photo.

Following the photo shoot, Mark sets about adjusting Berties brakes ready for the three stages later that day.

4.30pm, time to head off for the first of three stages with the cars setting reshuffled back to the original running order.

Guemes, another local village, with the stage consisting of three laps totalling 14.53km, with long straights, tighter technical sections and fast sweeping curves.

With Bertie running as car 5 he quickly made 2 minutes of time whizzing by car 1 (Volvo PV544) and car 4 (Fiat 600 Abarth).

Off to stage 2 of the evening … Ribamontan [ml1]  a shorter 7km stage through some fast sweeping sections of tarmac with a few sections of lose gravel to keep crews on their toes.

Keeping crews on their toes Keeping crews on their toes

For stage 3, the final stage of the day it was off to the seaside Playas

This is a new, short stage for all old and new competitors, which wraps around part of the promenade area of Noja giving excellent easy viewing for all the spectators … of which there were many.

It covers a long straight, with several tricky chicanes put in. A mistake on a hairpin from the crew in the Alfa Romeo 2.500 gave Bertie the chance to gain another place. Bertie whizzed effortlessly through this stage with no dramas. Back to service and a well-earned beer. A quick check over, adjust up the brakes (again) and day 2 was complete.

Alfa

Bertie

Final Day

Saturday morning brought rain and an earlier start with service out at 8:30.

A 13km road section through the stunning countryside brought us to the 8.18km stage 5 Alisas, some big climbs made Bertie puff a bit, but he was able to stretch his legs a bit on the downhill sections.

 A short 10km road section brought us to stage 6 Alisas 6.54 km of stunning Spanish roads again some long climbs, long sweeping corners and a few tight hairpins. Bertie managed to catch the 600 Abarth but not get past.

40km of road section brought us to stage 7 Matienzo 10.5 km of more stunning Spanish scenery. Again, some long climbs up the beautiful mountain roads and the stage was complete.

Bertie

Bertie

A shorter 10km road section took us to the final stage of leg 3 Barcena de Cicero a slightly shorter 8km stage with less climbs but a short loose section at the end to keep Bertie on his game. Back to service and regroup and leg 3 was complete.

 

Adjust up brakes (again) as well as clutch, a top up of engine oil and Bertie was ready for the final 2 stages of leg 4.

 

Shortly after 3:00 saw us lining up at the start for the final leg. 7 km of road section took us to the beautiful village of Hermosa, a 11.25 km stage consisting of 3 laps around the village. We were held at the start for a while to allow other cars to clear the stage, then we were off. Up through the village round the hairpin up to the left 3 then 90 left at the split down the long straight up to the 90 left and disaster struck as Bob changed down the gear shift coupler let go. We coasted to a safe stop and began some frantic repairs which led to half of the coupler being dropped down the tunnel completely out of sight and reach. Some quick thinking from Bob and he cut a small piece of wire from the farmers fence and bent a hook on the end of it. I then started desperately fishing for the missing half of the shift coupler, a few seconds later and bingo there it was. The two halves were quickly bolted back together, and a cable tie added just to be sure, refitted and we were back on stage. Quickly completed and we were off to the final stage.

Bertie

BertiePena Carbarga is a stunning climb up a mountain only 4.91 km but a 700m climb Bertie was puffing and exhausted, but he made it to the top with no real problems. There is only one road up the mountain, so the cars are all assembled at the top and wait until all the cars have completed the stage. Once the last car is at the top we are then all allowed back down and escorted back to the service park with thousands of Spanish rally fans lining the route, waving and cheering the crews. Back at the service park Bertie must make his way through even more fans who had waited in the rain to greet the crews completing the rally.

This Rally is an amazing event, everyone is so passionate about the sport it's addictive.

Thanks to Team Colorado. We'll be looking forward to the next of Bertie's adventures in the near future!