Silver Fern SS8

As some of may have read in an earlier post Dee and I were to marshal for the Silver Fern Rally in SS8 – Galaxy Road. I was pretty excited to be involved with such a great event. I couldn’t wait to see and hear all those BDA Escorts, so we arrived early, which allowed us plenty of time to be setup and ready to go. We also brought my Dad Paul (another mad keen photographer) and son Dylan (our regular camera man). I figured if I got busty with marshaling we would at least have photos and video from the day for this site!

Jeff Judd

As it turned out we didn’t see another sole at our point, so I also took the opportunity to take plenty of pictures (seen below). This allowed Dylan and Paul to wander into the stage a little further, so hopefully we weren’t all shooting the same thing. I hope to have Dylan’s video footage and added to this post very soon. I’ll also try and get Paul to process and supply a selection of images that he took too.

The weather had turned cloudy for the event which was a bit of a relief given hot hot it had been the day before. The trouble was the hot weather we’d been having upto this point had dried out the road. the dust was unbearable. It was almost like a lunar landscape with a fine white covering of dust over everything.

After what seemed like an incredibly long wait, we heard the sirens of the Zero Car making its way through the stage. Here we go. I was now really excited, just like a kid at Christmas. Dee thinks I’m mad getting so excited about 30yr old Escorts, but shes a Holden fan so what does she know!

Jeff Judd was the first car to reach us and man was he flying! The dust he left behind was unbelievable! Dee was also taking some photos but it wasn’t working out due to the dust.

Neil Allport through the dust

Just look at the photo of Neil Allport to see the issues we were facing photographing this event!!I had already moved along 50m or so past Dee’s position which was fortunate as the wind was helping to keep the dust away a little. I’m pleased with the images I got considering the dire conditions. I reckon the camera will have to go away for a service following this outing!

I was surprised at how close the cars were running behind each other. Some were only seconds apart which must have been a real challenge in the dust.

Time was flying by as I soaked up the noise of the BDA’s and admired the way the drivers were getting the sliding sideways – Awesome stuff. We were also out in force to support our local driver Andrew Shrimpton in his Mk2 Escort. We’d been keeping an eye on his progress in the morning stage via the live results at Chrissport. He was leading his class after the first few stages. We were gonna make sure we cheered him on when we saw him come past, but soon realised we were getting towards the end of the entries and he hadn’t been through. I got my phone out to check Chrissport but there was no signal! Before long the zero car was coming along with sirens squawking to announce the stage was complete and the road was open again and we definitely hadn’t seen Andrew and Trevor.

Dave Strong

We packed up our marshal point and started the drive back to the start line collecting the tape from gateways etc as we went. When we got back to the start line Linda Loughlin was there, and she let us know that Andrew had an issue with some flywheel bolts which had come loose / off and wrecked his crank shaft.

Last we heard as we headed for home was he and his service crew had found a garage with a hoist and were planning on making an engine change over night before the rally headed up the coast to the Mighty Motu.

I’m hoping Andrew will send us a small write up of his rally where he will be able to explain what happened to his engine, and to document his experience.

I will end my ramblings here, but plan to write a second article in a day or so about our trip to Motu Road, and included photos and video from those stages.

Feel free to leave comments below on any of my articles. It asks for your email address before you can comment as i think it them emails you if I (or anyone else) replies to your comment. I do not pass on your email address to any other parties.

The video from this stage will be available by tomorrow morning, so check back then to see Dylan’s awesome filming.




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