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

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...

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