Telstra Rally Australia Daily Diary – Leg Two

After finishing on a high yesterday the focus today was to continue moving up the order.

This morning I didn’t need an alarm to wake me as Bevan (my training partner) called to make sure I was awake and ready to go for a run. So it was a 5km run to start the day.

These late starts in this event are really something I can adapt to though with the first car not leaving the service park until 8am.

The first stage of today we had a fairly solid run to set the fastest stage time, we did however have a bit of a moment where we went off the road slightly.

About three or four kilometres into the second stage today I went to grab fifth gear and ended up with a gear lever in my hand, this was a worrying feeling. It basically left me with a gear stick that was about two inches long to make life difficult, even more so when I couldn’t easily grab fifth gear.

After some running repairs in between stages we once again had a gear stick, albeit now comprising of a hole punch, socket, race tape and zip ties.

The next stage was also very interesting. With thirteen k’s remaining in the stage we got a flat tyre on the right front. Knowing that we couldn’t afford the time to stop and change it we drove on it until the finish, we ended up with basically half a rim, no tyre and a small fire from the brakes. But we did only lose a minute!

During our service the guys done a great job replacing brake lines and other sensors in the front right corner, along with a new gear stick plus all of the normal requirements all in the space of 20 minutes. Good job guys.

On the next stage somehow I managed to do a wheelstand, now that made life fun, especially when we had to turn into a 90 degree corner shortly after without the front wheels on the ground.

A Kangaroo also decided that he wanted to check out how fast we were going by watching us from the side of the road during the second last forest stage, I’m glad he didn’t move any closer. We simply gave him a wave as we passed by.

All in all it was a bit of an up and down day, coming back from a fair way yesterday to then lead the way in Group N and now be 16-seconds behind the leader. There is still a long way to go yet!

After a hectic day like today there is only one way to top it off, have sushi for dinner!

The images in my Telstra Rally Australia diary are taken on a Nikon Coolpix 3700 camera. You can see all the Nikon range at

More Atko’s Tales