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We are Team Bugsplat, We take part in the Scumrun rally and run the official Scumrunvideo youtube channel

31 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 6 - The Imperfect Storm

I think it was somewhere near Toulouse that we hit it.  Somewhere above chaotic megastorm and just short of armageddon. The whole world decided to instantaneously turn into rain and then hail and fall from the sky at the same time.

You probably think I'm being dramatic. Well yes I maybe hamming it up for bloggist needs but the truth is it took us off the road!

We were driving along and we hit the wall of precipitative madness and the bug quite simply became a boat.  I aqua planed all over the place, slowed down to about 20mph on a motorway... Mad locals who apparently had no interest in living went whizzing past. I basically lost steering as the bodykit hit pooling water and we ended up drifting into the hard shoulder. Whacking the warning hazards on quicker than a fat kid downs a maccy d we were quite concerned that we would be rear ended as there was no way people could see through this.

So we sat and filmed the lightning until the hail eased up.

We saw a gap in the weather and blue sky in the distance and gunned it for climatic freedom. 

We were heading for the next checkpoint, The Pau racetrack sat in the depths of southern France.

We now had rain and hail on and off until we reached the checkpoint. When we got there it was full on raining but we didn't let that stop us. 

We turned up where the sat nav indicated we should and all we could see was boarded up walls and a big church. 'hmm are we in the right place?' then we heard it. The whine and rumble of assorted V8 power. We could not see it but we could hear it. It was then we realised we were right by the track. Unfortunately so were some security staff for the circuit. I had to pull out all of my francais prowess to sweet talk the middle aged french female security guard into letting us somewhere near the track. "Le photo sil vous plait madamoiselle"

Eventually she waved into an area we could park and said we could walk round some barriers and take a peak and some photos.  The photos are rubbish, but the cars were awesome! there was some historic racing going on with Cobras, Daytonas and many more. We got a few shots with the video camera and as the local staff were getting techy about our unsubtle trespassing we decided to head off.

Coming into Pau we'd met up with the lads in the red XJS. This stately thing was one of my favourite cars on the rally. To my knowledge it was the first time an XJS has done the rally and this thing was great! We were also touring around with the graffiti'd blue and gold merc. By the time we'd got to Pau I think we'd lost them though.

We headed back out of town running on fumes.  The XJS was in need of some fuel too so we were hunting. It was then that we found the most obscure of things. An electric recharge only 'petrol' station. Ie it looked like a petrol station but all it had was plug sockets!!!  Have I missed something? I rarely ever see an electric car on the road, yet they are building stations purely for them? Well bugger me, maybe I should go and buy a couple of 4 ways and setup one in my drive.

This was not good, we needed fuel.

Some gentle cruising out of town to the next services and we stopped. Still with the XJS we also bumped into the Scumtaxi white peugeot 306. We refueled but also got some lunch. 

Microwave burger. Win.

It was at this PETROL station that we had a bit of a debate about our routing. 

To our left was the pyranees, it ran from one side of our view to the other like an inviting set of lady bumps calling us to head straight into the middle for some mountaineous antics. The sat nav did not agree, It swore blind the best route was heading along to Biarritz and down, basically driving right around the mountains!

We eventually concluded that we had enough time to take the detour (or so we thought it was a detour)

The XJS and the Scumtaxi headed off, I'm not entirely sure what route they took in the end but we didn't see them again until the evening.

So loaded with food, filled to the brim with the finest octane fuel they had and the sun beating down we were all set for a few hours of driving that we were never going to forget...

To be continued - sideways

29 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 5 - Sunshine and Le Twisty Bits

So in the time so far there had been one inevitable consistency. One thorn in our canvastastic side.  One antagonistic wart on the arse of our scumrun behind. One meteorological toe stubbing against the analogous sofa of our motoring existence...

It hadn't stopped F£$%&$% raining!

So I could not have been more pleased to unzip the dutchovenlike mildly flooded tent to a bath of glorious sunshine.

I am nothing if not professional, Before even making a coffee I whipped the camera out of its waterproof trouser gaffer tape creation and rolled the tape.  One of my favourite parts of filming is doing a 'walkaround' 

There is something quite amusing about shoving a camera in someone's face and watching them squirm as their brain waves mash with their lips in a cacophonous splurge of nervous semi-articulation. This becomes compounded, concentrated and slightly discouraging when you add in the effect of their own body weight in alcohol the night before. Hangover walk abouts are great fun.

After a bit of filming I started up the Mini Moto once more. With the sun being out this now enabled me to fit a camera to the mount I had designed so thoughtfully to get those ever so important 'mini moto ankle shots'.

More importantly the campsite was effectively built a bit like a go karting track so I soon lost sight of the ankle shots (I decided the ankle feature youtube video probably wasn't a priority) and just blatted it round trying to get my knee down. Was going well until I ran out of fuel.

Gradually as the sun got warmer and the heads got clearer, people started gathering around the event cars like tramps waiting for the soup run in anticipation of where we were going that day.

On my walk about earlier that morning I asked the question...where d'ya think we're heading? and what was apparent was that nobody had a bloody clue. some said south, some said east, some said north some said west some said 'fnaaarg'.

Ed announced that we were off to Pamplona. Those more cultured, geographically aware or perhaps agricultural extremists amongst you will be aware that Pamplona is the home of the Bull run. An annual event that sees 50% sane people take on Beasts 150% their size with at least a 75% chance of death. Thankfully the actual event runs later in the year and wouldn't be on for our arrival. Probably for the best...100 Bulls vs 100 Cars strikes me as a battle that you would like to see on youtube, but perhaps not be part of.

The routes were distributed in their secretive branded envelopes and manic high risk paper cut manouvres were had in an endeavour to read the destinations. 

The usual 'Iwanttobefirsttoproveihavebigballsafarians' ran off in search of their car keys. We on the other hand set up a camera on the rear wing and filmed everyone else leaving.

Our first check point was a mountain visible from the camp site. It was only about a 20km or so blast. I opted to drive and this time we were going to do it properly. No messing, we knew there would be mountains, twisty roads, other scumrunners and sunshine, this was the perfect storm of footage in our view.

So helmets on, helmet cameras armed, in car cameras ready, main camera loaded. 

The drive up to the checkpoint was great fun. This was the first time the Bug really came into its own...The big old german tourers may have their litrage, they may have their horses, they may have their V8's but when your hauling an arse heavier than the combined cast of 'Super Sized vs Super Super Sized' up the mountain side I'm sorry my friend but the little japanese pocket rocket with some dodgy sockets has it all the way.

I remember one 'manouvre' in-particular which was recited back to me that evening where I think I overtook 4 other scumrunners on the other side of 2 bollards or something along those lines. All in the name of getting good footage...and anyway, they were in my way.

I recognised the road from a previous rally, we had definitely done this bit before, I believe in 2009 but could be a different year. 

When we approached the checkpoint it was clear that nobody had really read the notes again. In our haste we quite often get to a checkpoint and realise that we have some options as to where to take a photo, some people went to where the road initially ended, some took the side road up to the next point (as we did) some dismounted and went all the way to the top! (fair play) . I am a lazy git so we went as far as the car did. If I wanted to go on a charity walk, I'd sign up for a marathon and dress as a pot noodle or something, ooh idea for next year maybe.

As you may have noticed from the checkpoints on the previous day there was a bit of a circuit theme going on. This carried on into today as our next checkpoint was the one in Pau in the south of France. Historicracingophiles will tell you they had some grand prix there once. I simply thought of the 80s singer ta pau and went from there. 'The only way is up' It seemed appropriate given how I'd just lared it up the side of a mountain.

On the way back down the mountain was our first run in with the French authorities. A police car was heading up to the checkpoint. My guess is some baguette poking local cheeseham muncher had summoned the blue garlicdarmerie to enquire about our passing through. Some subtle braking avoided too much attention. The car is pretty subtle anyway so we thought we'd get away with it...umm

Once out of sight we floored it over the mountain roads. It's a good job I cleaned my teeth that morning as we were flashed by a camera I believe heading down through a valley all while smiling of course.

The downside of thrashing the bug up and down mountains however is pretty obvious. She was drinking more liquid than Kerry Catona at an iceland frozen cocktail conference.

So we stopped for some fuel and food.

Behind us in this picture were the Team Tubbies lads with their Nissan something or other... We had a little discussion about fuel / mileage / mpg / tank size etc... it was depressing...

We had a tank that was giving us between 150 and 200 miles. Less if we did much 100+ cruising.

They had a petrol tank and an LPG tank which gave them circa 700 miles.


Barry the Transvestbear badger was holding up well. He had now graduated to the front bumper via a couple of industrial strength cable ties. It was kind of like a cross between mad max and care bear S&M.

After Stealing all of the mountain fun I thought it was probably time I let Andy have a go so he took the wheel. The roads opened up into some more motorway style cruising and this gave us more chance to get some shots of teams. One team we hadn't caught up with yet on the road was the MilesforMatilda team in their big pink merc.  We cruised with them for a little while, I attempted to tweet Susie a picture of them, But I forgot that getting signal in the french countryside was about as likely as turning up at a farm and asking the farmer if he had superspeed broadband. "oi we av le fax macheen"

As you can see from this picture the sunshine wonder was still upon us, in fact we were starting to ask ourselves why we had not thought to bring sun tan lotion given we were in a soft top car. 
Just as we headed south and pondered these musings the skies grew dark in front of us...very dark...

To be continued...Soggily 

28 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 4 - In Le Club

So we pick this up with circa 280 men and circa 4 women on circa 5 coaches heading to circa god knows where in the pouring rain.  I attempted to film inside the coach...with the camera the size it was and the French coach driver obviously being a former coach drifting champion or so it would seem...trying to do so was akin to  giving a tarantula a leg wax...near impossible.

Andy and I had joined the coach with the pirates on...This meant pirate songs and 'Aaaaars' most of the way.

It was also the coach with head snozzwanger Kev on board...My heart sank when I saw him. Not because I don't love the nutter, but because in '11 when I was on a coach with him in Prague (next to him no less) he decided it was the perfect moment to let loose a weapon of nasal destruction (stink bomb)

As luck would have it he appeared not to be armed so this time and my nose receptors survived the journey.

The destination of our evening frivolities was supposedly round the corner from the camp site. The coach driver must have been going via belgium for a waffle or something as it seemed to take forever...but once arrived we were parked up in a car park and discarded into the French habitat.

What we were faced with next was tricky for your average braincell lacking scumrunner...a choice.

Hither was a bowling alley, thither was a selection of restaurants and yonder was a discotheque.

So picture the scene, 280 men and 4 women wandering around like drunkard lemmings staggering like running on an 8086 (nerd joke) making grunting noises at each other looking for various forms of haggered flesh to devour. All with a look of puzzled bewilderment. It was less a banging party at this point and more like night of the living dead.  Throw in the fact that we'd all been sat in cars for 18 hours and the analogy rings true.

The confusion was mainly down to a syndrome that I have now decided is called 'otherthanpotnoodleorhamandcheeseroll-itis' where a scumrunner is offered a myriad of food opportunities not usually expected in its natural habitat. Their was a steak house, a Chinois restaurant (no its not a typo you uneducated cretin), A pizzeria and I believe a curry house somewhere also.

We opted for dead cow...

After some overly polite queue jumping from the gentlemanly klongbangers...oh we didn't mind they were so dapper and proper it just for a second felt like the honourable Actuarius had appeared.  We were also in the company of the Snozz, the Speedy Sparkies and later on the Gavlar lad-ies amongst a few other teams.

The food was good, far too good for us lot...then I realised later on that we had pretty much taken over the whole joint. Well...what can I say, 2 trannies, 5 cavemen and a film crew walk in and quite frankly if I was a local I'd be out of there quicker than gok wan in a cupboard shop.

What I had also realised by now was that I had consumed quite a lot of beer. I'm a light weight when it comes to our pale ale friend and this made for some interesting footage later in the evening.

We headed to 'le club' which was about 200 yards away. We came across a slightly inebriated Ed (Mr Scumrun) on route by the entrance to the bowling alley. He shouted something about some guy called zane or zed or ned or shed or something who worked at the club and said to ask for him if we had any issues.

Then something very comedy happened.

Another picture the scene moment, I stagger up to a 9 foot bouncer with a massive video camera on my shoulder (so it was pointed at his balls) he stops me and says 'oi, non, what is this, video, non' pointing at the camera. Well of course, why wouldnt you take a massive camera clubbing with you, everyone does don't they? no, ok will here I proved the power of scumrun...

I merely lifted up my scumrun competitor lanyard and said, I'm official mate.

He couldnt back track quick enough, "of course, head right in" he virtually bowed (so the camera was now pointed at his 12 pack.

So we headed inside looking for beer, women, and quality tunes...

We headed up the stairs and it opened up into a bosom of blue lighting, smoke and flashing strobes. It looked like a good setup, their were some hotties behind the bar who gave me a knowing smile...'sorry luv, must have been a different camera man for that film sweety'

Was looking good until I focused the lens on the centre of the dance floor.

What I saw disturbed me...forever...

Imagine Mr Bean and Rab C Nesbitt's abandoned love child being mildly electrocuted to the beat of the music whilst simultaneously being attacked on every ticklish point on his body by very small insects

This was what it looked like when Batman took to the dance floor in plain clothes.

I filmed him for a short time. He seemed to be enjoying the limelight so much I just pretended to film him for much much longer.

After 30 disturbing minutes some more people arrived, and then some locals, then more runners, then more locals. We were admiring some of the female attendees on the dance floor who appeared to be most compliant in this very obvious meat market arrangement when Nessa turned to me and said "we've been stitched up" now when a Transvestite Nessa lookalike says that to you, you tend to immediately think a combination of 'really? that must have hurt' and 'that's maybe taking the theme and outfit just a touch too far' until she then followed with "look around the bar area" so I did...

What I saw made it quite apparent what he was getting at...

Many young men in tight white t's and very riplous abdomini effectively posing...to each other.

"This is a gay club"

I think he may have had a point.

So the Scumrunners did what any straight group of inconspicuous alpha males would do in this situation...

The Macarena...classic.

This then progressed to wheel barrow races across a (packed with locals) dance floor, accompanied with podium dancing and all-together total embracement of the spirit of the evening.

I joined the dance floor with the enormous camera (no seriously it really is quite large) and got lots of the locals 'performing' on camera. It's funny the camera gives you some kind of weird power. I seemed to spend half the time filming nubile young damsel's derrières with no comeback or consequence from their owners. The French either love a camera, or their all practiced porn stars...either way...was fun!

Only other thing of note that night was apparently their was some kind of riot going on outside the club, the 12 foot bouncers (id had another beer by then) were wielding pepper spray and telling us to stay inside and wait for our taxi.  We didn't really see much of it but we were tempted to throw Nessa and Stacey into the mix just to see the confusion on their faces...'my gang rules' 'no my gang rules' 'hello boys'

We got back to the camp site around 2.30am (we were some of the first back it seemed) crashed into the tent and were content that we had had a top evening.

to be continued...groggily

26 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 3 - The rain in France falls mainly...where we are!

So we pick things up somewhere south of Le Mans... In fact I guess I can be more precise here...

Now as indicated with 178km until the next turn some people may question whether that is indeed a good thing, surely twisty village roads all the way would be a better choice? The laymen's perspective may indeed ebb this way...however with my 4th Scumrun under my belt and baring in mind I drive a car basically built for cornering (not motorway) and therefore not being particularly biased I can say that there are some benefits to long straight roads...

How many of you are thinking 'top speed, top speed' now? a fair few I would guess. Well yes, while again not condoning speeding (unless in a de-restricted autobahn of course) One benefit is that if you should wish it you may put your foot down. But this is not what I mean...

Bit of insight here for people who are thinking of doing the Scumrun...

The routes are bloody long...very long...getting longer...bank on 10-12 hours driving on at least 3 of the days

If you want to go to the blessed 'avoid all toll roads' or 'avoid motorway' options on your satellite navigational magical box then go ahead, be my guest...but I'll offer you one paraphrased quote from a team driving a merc this year.

"We got to the campsite at 2am, we took the back roads, nice roads, but we've missed everything now"

Bank on avoiding tolls possibly adding 75-100% extra time.

I will make a concession where mountains are involved but we'll revisit that in subsequent days. The Edmeister always designs the route with parts of it giving awesomeness in the road department but you need to accept at some point you are going to have to get some miles under your belt!

Ok consumer advice over and done with...

Another reason I like these long stretches are when you consider what we (Team Bugsplat) were there to do  this year.  Film Stuff.  Now as most people take the 'main route' it offers us an unrivalled opportunity to catch up with cars on the road.  So this road in-particular met this criteria very well. With some fairly rapid cruising speeds we passed many teams and got the required shots.

As the motorway became main road, then the main road became country road, which then became twisty hilly roads, we knew we were getting close to our next checkpoint.  The Charade circuit is known as the French Nurburgring. I am a big fan of the German home of motorsport. In my top 3 places in the world the Nordschleife would be in there somewhere, but ascending into the hills of mid france it was clear that any race track up here must be something special.

But before I could even consider that I had some 8 foot high speed bumps and a mentally driven white american limo to deal with...

Coming into the checkpoint area we picked up the big white american limo. I love this thing. It was a proper pimp mobile. the interior had smoke machine, leather, lasers, subwoofers, bar, tv and everything else you'd expect from a vehicle straight out of the most mad bits of Vegas. It's just a shame it was filled with big lairy men as it was a porn movie setting if ever you saw one. Combine the occupants into that thought though and it all of a sudden becomes a very unsavoury proposition however!

To quote a previous years limo driver "She handled like a block of flats!" 

Well at least while we were sat on her derrier up the hills it appeared that way. 

She had one significant advantage over us though coming up through 'random village A' towards the circuit...Ride height.

More scrapage, lots more scrapage...

Eventually we left 'the village of no exhaust return' and headed further upwards. Here the road opened up and we started to see parts of the circuit. It was totally clear why the French Nurburgring tag came about, Rolling curves and undulation. I was a bit gutted the track was shut, would have been fabulous to go round, even in the wet as it was.

We eventually got up to the checkpoint and with a little rubber torturing we got the requisite photo.

At the checkpoint were the Gavin and Stacey lads, erm, ladies sorry, so we decided to convoy.

Time was carrying on and luckily the campsite was only a short ride away so we hopped back in the bug and headed back down the hill to find it. Following the Volvo in the pouring rain I can't help but admit just for a second or two I was jealous of their comfort!

We arrived at the campsite somewhere mid pack but had seen some of the people ahead of us on route, this was a good thing, it meant that we had seen many of the teams on the road and the plan in terms of our pace seemed to be working.

We had a couple of hours until the coaches were booked for us to head into town to bring scumrun mayhem to the sights and sounds of ...erm where were we again?

So Andy used the time well, He fitted his role as Gaffer very adequately, he put the tent up, blew up the air beds and was most compliant, I even allowed him to take a shower.

I on the other hand, got the mini moto out of the boot and rode around (once I got it going properly) in the pouring rain trying to get 'action shots' with a very soggy video camera! I vaguely attempted to drift it but only succeeded in getting even wetter. Much more productive...

The mini moto or mini bug or 'project X' as I labelled it pre event deserves it's own blog entry I'll do that after the main blog as I have lots of photos of the build (and rebuild!)

So after I spent a good 30 mins regaffer taping the main camera up to deal with the conditions we headed for the coaches. Imagine the view 2-300 very soggy people heading out on the hunt for food and booze. None of us knew where we were heading, but I certainly felt sorry for wherever it was!

To be continued...

25 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 2 - Le Havre to Le Mans in Le Bug

Firstly a quick apology for the delay between part 1 and 2, I went on holiday. I know a lack of dedication that I can only look to improve on.

So we left it at Dover...

So we climbed aboard 'The Pride of Scumrun' and headed up the stairwells en mass to the bar. There is a circle of inevitability with this event. A marking if you will. The start and the end celebrated in a cramped bar with several hundred oddly dressed drunken participants, several 'continental' ferrystafffolk overlooking with an air of 'oh no not again' and a smattering of completely under-prepared 'normal' people making their holiday driven or truck driveresque crossing all very clearly sharing one behavioural feature I describe as 'please don't let our paths cross' syndrome.

The party was in full swing, Chris (one of the event team) after making his solemn vow to me at the launch that he would only partake in a light supping of ale...was mullered.

I should insert a disclaimer here that the event in no way condones drink driving, breathes are tested, warnings are issues and drivers are nominated...drink passengering is fair game though. In fact it's kind of essential.

(he says inserting a photo of both team drivers with a beer, this was pre-sleep of course!)

After a little filming of the fun we decided that there was one way to survive the day we had in store ahead of us. Sleep... Some teams took to this idea and those with the cabins arranged mostly headed off in reasonable time to get, oh at least 3 or 4 hours sleep.

What struck me as odd were those who I shall proclaim as WTF enthusiasts who has honoured their bodies with the luxury of a bed and then proceeded to not even try retiring to it until about 2 hours before docking!

These people aren't right in the head if you ask me...hang on what am I saying? this is the Scumrun.

I occupied some of my time by getting creative with our Sparks Bear. He went through a change, you could say 'the change' and became Barry the Transvestbear Badger...

and was promptly gaffer taped to the camera.

Andy my co-conspirator above was able to do that thing I have never been able to do...(no not that you dirty B$%&£$£) sleep sitting up. He must have drifted off with at least 5 hours to spare the lucky git.

I struggled, gave up, struggled again, convinced myself I was asleep only to realise I couldn't be if I was having that conversation with myself anyway. In the end due to complete exhaustion of being only partially sane I managed to get close to an hour of sleep.

Then I was rudely awoken by some pirates shouting...well you can guess.

It was a good job, It was briefing time. We all rammed into the restaurant, and just at the moment we were all poised to receive the good tidings of the day, A foreign small lady of what I presume to be French in nature decided to try and get all 280 of us to move...

A swift 'no 2 mins sil vous F£$%$£$ plait" was delivered.

Ed arisen above the crowd like a scumrunian messiah announced with baited breath...

"go to the car park just off the ferry"

So we did. Leaving the ferry was positively sedate in comparative terms, only minor hornage (no you dirty dirty boy, go wash your mouth out) as people were slightly nervous of the French authorities.

As stories of Stuttgart bombardment do the rounds on the ferry I sometimes think that some of the newer folk think the Gendarmerie (or however it's spelt) will be lined up in tanks with machine gun turrets when we get off the boat! We may be British but we're not all that bad (Snozzwangers aside, they should be locked up soon as look at them)

We congregated in a holding area which gave me a good chance to get round some of the cars with the big camera in the daylight. We also did some testing of the on car camera system which was so doomed to failure as I will cover.

So all the participants grouped together closely for a photo...you could smell it for miles.

The route cards (which I always refer to as route cards but are now A4 sheets of paper such is the detail of the latest Edrouteplannermastermindschenanigans) were given out and the route was as follows...

Race track 1 - Le Mans
Race track 2 - Cherade
Campsite in Clarmont Ferrand

Now it's not a race, it's a charity rally drive but the cars disappeared quicker than free beer at a...well just free beer.  We played around with cameras for about 5 minutes and all of a sudden there was only ourselves and 2 other cars. So we left and headed for Le Mans.

Andy took the wheel for the first time, as I had had very little sleep. So I had the ultimate wake up, roof down motorway...age.

On route we saw various teams as we did our camera guy duties and were obliged to 'blat' past teams in the aid of footage.

Weather at this point was decidedly cloudy. Like a grey day in wolverhampton mixed with a foggy spot of west bromwich and a sprinkle of cold damp crapiness.

We stopped somwhere along here at a service station for some fuel. I won't mention every time we did this, as it would be fairly repetitive and laborious, It's a car rally, we did 2400 miles, yes we used a fair bit of petrol. If you are thinking about the environment right now, be gone with you, you're on the wrong blog.

At this service station there was a lot of other teams, The Capri boys were issuing Scumrun Parking tickets, The YMCA scooby had gone completely pete tong with it's coolant, they recited their glorious tale of how their car erupted during a French police 'pull' scaring them half to death. Only on Scumrun can a car get hailed by the local constabulary only to then blow up on stopping. Brilliant!

The Batmobile turned up, 100ft in that thing is worth a medal in my book.

We ate some ham and cheese roll thing (the only food available in France) and then headed off again. 

After some (time for a new word) Bugsplatfilmblatting (the art of driving quickly whilst filming things in a manor representative of team bugsplat) we reached Le Mans.

We, like many other teams, misheard or misunderstood the checkpoint photo briefing which apparently was to head to the public part of the circuit and get a photo. We went to the front entrance instead.

This was actually a blessing in disguise... The reasoning is three-fold...
1.I really needed a wee, they had some suitable pots available.
2.They had the Le Mans Museum and Shop which made interesting viewage.
3.We bought some entrance tickets and went for a mooch inside the circuit, doing a bugsplat video diary entry by the dunlop bridge (which will follow in due course)

In retrospect I wish we'd have gone and found the open part of the circuit but the small 'Professionalism' in me wanted to make sure we got footage of as many different teams as possible so we spent no further duration at Le Mans and headed south, I felt ok now after drinking my own weight in Red Bull...

Quick digression...
Seriously if anyone connected to Red Bull is reading this...get involved in the event in some way, We probably get through the same annual revenue as Maldova in one weekend!

I took the wheel, the bug was singing in her 103db full chat vocal range as we headed south towards Clarmont Ferrand, The rain was getting somewhat pesky however so we needed to unfortunately fail in one of my long endeavoured missions, to complete an entire rally with the roof down. I've not done it yet, I hope you will forgive this slight as the heavens were pouring more liquid on us than the campsite urinals get in an evening...and seeing as we were in France the quality was probably comparable.

So this is where I will leave it for the moment...More coming very soon.

17 May 2012

Scumrun 2012 - Part 1 - Another Year, Much Bigger Challenge!


So here we go. A conflaguration of audible atrocity, sensual dismemberment and optical bewandering that was this years scumrun rally. Not to mention it was a f$&#@?# good larf!
It all started with a policeman taking a photo of a small graffitid motorbike in front of a not quite as small graffitid mx5 in my drive.

Thats right, we have had all kinds of run ins with the officiati of the various parishes we frequent across the isles of europe and to be sure it was not to be the last but this is the first time that ive had to utter the inevitable phrase of "hi there officer how can I help" before actually leaving my home!

Let me explain... Andy my co driver/conspirator/cameraguy and all round gaffer and I were in the midst of our final preparation the day before the hallowed scumrun route began, innocently inserting cameras in places where cameras should not be, laying more cable than the chinese telephone exchange and testing various items of need for the impending weekend when our local `bobby` took exception to andys mildly enthusiastic outburst of chavalry on our camera mounted mini moto.

We simply pointed out that we would never be using it anywhere near public roads of course, well not until we were out of his remit anyway... I quote him here for note "you can do what you like when you get on the ferry" so I dont think it too much to read from that comment that we are therefore fully supported by her majestys representatives in blue and in fact could be said to be emmisaries of this great country.

That was a turn up for the books...

A last word of note before I begin, for those who may be reading this as a Bugsplat Virgin (those two words should probably never be put together again) We are this years official camera crew for the event. I run the official Scumrun Youtube channel. Hence there may be a leaning to mention cameras and / or filming of various natures throughout this post.

The launch...

The next morning we headed off bright and early...

...the plan was to get there same time as the event team and film the arrival of the cars. Some naysayer with a tendency not to be able to drive in the wet (ah the subtle introduction of one of the themes of this years rally) caused a not insignificant delay to our arrival. Luckily we had left plenty of time and only arrived after 3 or 4 of the teams. Its fair to say that the weather had not gone favourably.

To say it was raining is like saying that the scumrun is a club for uk car enthusuasts to go on a sporting tour and have one or two draughts of ale...ie it was like the skies had decided to do all it could to make filming outdoors with expensive camera equipment a near impossibility.

Enter the gaffer (tape)

Now those that follow my adventures know I have a leaning towards fixing almost anything with the use of tbe greatest invention of all time,gaffer tape. Not the wheel, if your wheel was falling off what would keep it on! Gaffer! So anyway before I lose myself in the billion or so innovative applications of my favourite thing, one of these is taping a pair of water proof trousers over a sony video camera.

It has to be said that it worked well!

The teams started arriving in ernest and were fed through the scrutineering bay. We were subjected to a noise meter test by the stewards to which we unsurprisingly failed monumentally. We registered 103 decibels, which google reliably informs me is the same as a jet flyover at 1000 feet, heh heh
So we were not allowed on the track for the track day laps bit. Which was probably for the best given the combination of thruxton being a high speed track, the weather conditions making it slippery, my borderline rear tyres and my uncontrollable need to go sideways.

This did not stop a few teams going out including a black granada limo that really seemed to be pushing it. At least the smoking stinking clutch and brake combination on their return indicated so.

It was good to see some of the scumrun regulars and legends turning up. While not all were partaking in the rally these took to the track and showed that should they return then their cars were still "up for it".

We also got to see Tiff Needell throwing his M3 around a very wet track with some lucky (or not depending on your perspective) donors to the charity. I've often heard the phrase from people "I had it properly sideways" and you think 'yeah yeah how come your still here then' but this was proper 45 degree 80mph stuff Tiff was producing. Made some fantastic footage.

After a bit of food where Ironically over a plate of lasagne I was more interviewed by Tiff about the event than the other way round (yeah get me man i'm too cool for school) we went on a bit of a wander round shoving the camera in various people's faces, interviewing the event team themselves and getting some sound bytes from the myriad of lunatics that were taking part.

It was clear even at this point that there were two or three teams that were throwing themselves into the 'spirit' of it whole-heartedly! I shall mention the Virgin atlantic 'babes' and interchangeable captain, the Scumrun pirates and the High Rollers just to mention a few... It was the first (but dear god not the last) time we were to here "Why are we pirates? cos we AAAAARRRRRRR!!!" and "KIMONO BABY!"

These and others have given me so much great footage to edit, worth a thanks for their efforts!

I'll apologise here for lack of photos at various stages, I was carrying a massive camera at this point and don't have time to search round others for the moment, may add later on.

Parade lap...

Well here's the thing. Given we were massively too loud for the track, what do they do? send all 100 cars on the track at the same time with pretty much no briefing or rules (at least that had made it as far as us).

Everyone was very well behaved for, well, at least...100m or so. we were about 2/3 the way back and decided that to get some good footage we needed to head forth frontwards. I believe some teams saw our 'manoeuvres' and thought 'oh they are the camera crew they must be allowed' and some thought 'well if he's doing it, we can' - either way a safe but fun couple of laps were had by all!

After the official briefing and a bit of partying we all hopped in our cars and headed south to Portsmouth to get the ferry. Waiting for the ferry it was clear that this was going to be a good 'run. The teams were in full swing. One of the event BMWs had its number plate changed to "BUM FUN" with Ed and Jess obliviously having a 'touching' photo taken next to the car whilst 20 odd people were p£$%&%$ themselves watching. The Batmobile lit its Afterburner which was a fantastic spectacle, what was more amusing was when the car behind started to melt...only on scumrun.

We then boarded the ferry...scrapily (no not misspelt, SCRAPE - ILLY)  as always, ramps and the bug dont mix.

So...So far we were doing well...all cars made it to the ferry (I believe) that in itself was an achievement compared to some previous years!

and...nobody had a bloody clue where we were going yet... The fun was only just starting!

9 May 2012

Another one under our belt...Scumrun 2012 done

Just a quick note to say that we completed Scumrun 2012, it was fantastic! We shot lots of good footage for the youtube channel. Now the task of editing begins. Note I will do a full report on this blog shortly. But for now it's enough to say that we survived!