From Goodwood to Klatovy in under two days. The rally is officially on! Starting Friday night your correspondent camped near Goodwood Racecourse and started getting into the spirit of things. Drinking beer until midnight with a few fellow rallyists and Twitter followers meant a somewhat slow start in the morning, but appropriate for the send off. Goodwood, for those of you not in the know is one of England’s oldest automobile racing tracks. The annual Festival of Speed is a motor racing event not to be missed. The Adventurists, organizers of the Mongol Rally, arranged the UK launch party and called it the Festival of Slow - ha ha. About 130 cars, ambulances and firetrucks gathered together to collect their teams and in some cases their passports in preparation for the off. Mike’s sister Vicky came down and together they joined a phalanx of cars on a complete circuit of the track; the record for which was set back in the 1970’s at 58 seconds - we were doing no such thing in our three minutes of fame.
From there it was off to the Eurotunnel to France, Belgium and Germany to collect Tom at Frankfurt airport followed by a breakneck zoom down the Autobahn, “Oh, the numbers on the speedometer are in miles per hour on this car, not kilometers!” said Tom, and on into the Bohemian Alps and the Czech Republic in time for the beer tent to open. Busy time - I think I’ll go lie down now.