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2009 Cdn National Rally Perce-Neige - in-car video

Posted by Ferdinand 
March 09, 2009 12:37PM
Christoph and Freak (our service crew), concerned about the hasty repair job on the suspension, decided to wait for us at Black Rollway to make sure we had successfully made it out of the Tortue stages. There was no more service allowed at this point, so they couldn't do anything for us other than offer moral support and agree to follow us home on the looooooong transit back to Maniwaki.

We only had one hour to complete the transit, so we had to get going right away while Freak and Christoph ran off to retrieve the big F-350 service truck and my wife's Subaru Outback to join the queue and follow us back to Maniwaki.

One hour is not a generous amount of time on these roads in the best of conditions. We were going as quick as we could, with the broken suspension causing the car to snake all over the road. We even had to pass a couple of other service crews pulling big trailers.

We thought for sure we were going to get pulled over by the police for our erratic driving on Hwy-105. That was pretty creepy with the car crabbing along sideways, headlights aimed off to the ditch on the right, unless Martin lifted off the throttle or used the brakes in which case the nose swung the other way instead with the headlights pointed left into oncoming traffic!

It was with huge relief that we eventually reached the rally finish, on time, at the rally HQ in Maniwaki. What a long day. We were fried. We watched the podium ceremonies, champagne spraying, party time, wondering where the heck Freak and Christoph were...

It was almost 1 am when my cellphone rang, my wife calling to let me know she'd received a call from Christoph. He and Freak were both stuck down a snowmobile trail at Black Rollway, something about wolves howling in the background...

Leaving Black Rollway, you cross the bridge and immediately turn right. They went straight instead.

There is no cellphone coverage out there. They called using a land-line phone from the Black Rollway centre, but couldn't reach us because our cellphones had no coverage either until an hour later when we finally reached Maniwaki. My wife had phoned everywhere leaving messages for us. She even posted this plea for help on FlatOverCrest.com.

Our only means of transportation at this point was the broken rally car, and we certainly weren't going to attempt driving that an hour each way to Black Rollway and back. All the other sweep crews were either already well into party-mode by now, or fast asleep in their hotel rooms. We finally coerced Rob Lefebvre into generously agreeing to help us with his Land-Rover, except it would have to wait until morning because we were all dead tired.

Christoph and Freak could run the big truck all night to keep warm, and the owner of Black Rollway had offered them a room for the night. Reassured that they wouldn't freeze to death overnight out in the middle of nowhere, we agreed to meet up with Rob the next morning to see about organizing a rescue mission then.

Of course that meant, to get to our hotel for the night, we had to hop back in the rally car, driving it crabbed sideways through downtown Maniwaki. Then, the next morning, back into the rally car again, zig-zagging sideways all over the road, with just a small detour via the drive-thru window at Tim Hortons for coffee, and then back to rally HQ in time for the breakfast banquet where we'd agreed to meet up with Rob.

And then we got the good news from Christoph. They'd spent the entire night digging the truck and the car out of the snowmobile trail and had just now come within cellphone range of Maniwaki, about five minutes out. Yesssss!

Read Christoph's amusing account of their adventure in this thread.
March 09, 2009 12:38PM
Here is what Marcus Grönholm [aka Martin Walter] had to say about our Perce Neige rally misadventures.

"Not very good, today":

March 09, 2009 04:54PM
Here is what Marcus Grönholm [aka Martin Walter] had to say about our Perce Neige rally misadventures.

"Not very good, today":



March 09, 2009 04:58PM
Read Christoph's amusing account of their adventure in this thread.

"All in all, certainly one of the more entertaining wrong turns that I've taken."

haha it's good he has a sense of humor about it.

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