All is going well here in our preparations for this weekends rally.
Our Monday PWRC test went well, giving us a chance to confirm our set-up from our test in Spain last week and to also try a few new things. We did not do a whole lot of miles, so we could protect the car for the rally, but never the less it was still valuable time in the seat, as I adjust to the new car. I am feeling very good in the car, but it is a bit of an unknown as to where we are placed at present and how much development work we still have to do. Time will tell.
The last two days have been taken up with a two pass recce of the stages to get our pace notes fine tuned. This rally is the first time in a long time that we have not had to write notes from scratch, as most of the stages, except 1, are the same as last year. So after hours of preparing and adjusting the notes at home, they are now working very well on the stages. The weather since we arrived has been warm and sunny, which has made for dry, dusty and hard based roads. This is despite a deluge of rain in the area only a couple of weeks ago. However, there are also some rough sections with a lot of large rocks around, so there will be places, particularly on the second pass, where we will need to protect the car.
Finally, this afternoon we had shakedown, giving us a chance for a final systems check of the car. We just did a single run, as the road was unrepresentative of the roads we will find in the rally, and we took it easy. Tomorrow we travel north to Lisbon where we have several media activities, followed by a spectator stage in the city centre, at which there promises to be thousands of spectators.
Thats all for now. I will keep you updated throughout the rally. We have uploaded some photos of our car with its full livery, team photos and photos of our preparation all on our facebook page, www.facebook.com/haydenpaddonwrc.