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 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.
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!