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Roulette Runner [FINAL RESULTS]


Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 3

Before the Stage

Luke topped up the fluids shortly after Martin of Team Southend-or-Bust walked away, carrying the spare muffler from the old Sinistra Savage. He checked the underside of the car as well, using a camera on a stick as his version of an inspection mirror, looking for anything out of place.

“Well, if it’s still leaking, it’s doing so in such a way that I can’t see it. Got some nasty scrapes under here, too, but it looks like everything’s still mostly in place.” Luke said.

“Well, that’s good, because this leg’s all road, paved stuff. Next stage, though, is a return to hell, supposedly.” Linda said, looking at the maps they’d been given and giving Luke the GPS coordinates for their destination.

“Amy, any wind of cops nearby?” Luke asked.

“Nothing on the scanner.” Amy replied, holding a small box that’d been plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. “And I’ll swap this for a radar detector, because if you’re asking that, I know you’re going to speed.”

“Would like to see if she’s still got the speed of a demon.” Luke said.

“Well, she certainly sounds like one. She roars, wails, shrieks, hisses and spits. Not exactly lady-like.” Scott said, grinning.

“Lady-like enough for a dragon.” Linda said, before sticking her tongue out at her brother.

With their minimalistic camp packed up already, and no longer having the luxury of warning from multiple cars to start off, Luke got in the car as they got called up for their stage start.

The Savage roared to life with little effort, and Luke put it in gear. Again, the gearbox gave the heavy thud of first gear engaging, and they began rolling toward the starting line.

Day 2, Leg 4

With their radar detector on the dash, the top still in the down position, and the engine rumbling a little louder now with two missing mufflers out of four, the Snail-Boat was ready to start. Luke stepped on the brake and floored the gas, waiting for the flag to drop as the car roared and squirmed, the rear tires fighting the brakes and the brakes losing the fight to 662 cubic inches of angry, snarling V8.

The flag dropped and Luke dumped the brakes, the Savage instantly laying stripes as the locking rear differential did its job and transferred all of the power the engine was throwing down. The gearbox gremlin gave the transmission a mighty whack and they hit second gear with a heavy thud, still continuing to burn the tires until about 2900 RPM, where grip finally won out over raw power.

“Glad you got a convertible, Luke. Even if the air conditioning didn’t work, we’ve got all the air conditioning we could want.” Linda said, as they roared down the road to the highway, engine snarling and hissing as third gear clunked into action. Soon after, they hit the highway, and fourth gear, their ‘overdrive’ gear, engaged, the car still gaining speed.

“Set for 70, 80, 90, or bury the speedo at 110?” Luke asked Amy.

“I’m thinking 70. We’d make better time going faster, but… We know the brakes on this car suck, and a bright blue land yacht with the top down, with very loud exhaust, doing 110 is going to attract more attention than we want. 70, we’ll blend in. Anyone tries to pass us, though, floor it.” Amy replied, turning up the radio and going for some mid-90’s rock.

Linda had her headphones on, and was listening to music from her phone, and Scott was making quick work of a bag of chips, before deciding that the empty bag would look better on the road rather than in the car. With a quick flick of his wrist, the empty bag hit the sky and flew clear over the back of the car.

“Litterbug.” Luke called from the driver’s seat.

“It’s not hurting anyone.” Scott said.

“We’re speeding. I’ll gladly eat a speeding ticket if we get pulled over for that. If we get nailed for littering, I’m going to be very upset.” Luke said.

Scott rolled his eyes, then decided that when he next thought Luke wasn’t paying attention, he’d let the box of tissues hit sky. As Luke navigated a couple of ‘tight’ curves for a highway, Scott pulled the bottom of the box open and filled the sky behind the Savage with snot-rags.

“Really!? Was that necessary?” Luke called from the front seat, not bothering to look back.

“Didn’t do anything. It slipped.” Scott said.

“One or two would have been ‘it slipped.’ That’s… 173 paper tissues in the sky behind our car, from what I can see in the rear view mirrors.” Luke said sternly. “No more of that, or it won’t take long to find out who did it. Right now, it could be blamed on a pure accident. We have a convertible, it’s windy in here, and someone forgot the box of tissues on the back deck.”

Several more miles passed by before they made it to Toreyville Dam, with the car still very much in one piece.

Day 2, Leg 4 Aftermath

“Let’s get ourselves prepared for an ass-kicking.” Luke said to the rest of the team. “And not one word confirming, nor denying, that the cloud of tissues was our fault.”

With the word of warning given, the team started preparing the car, and themselves, for a rough ride. They secured items in the trunk that had seemed trivial before, made sure that the fluids were topped up, put anything they cared about in compartments so that they didn’t get thrown out of the car, and made a couple of quick sandwiches out of the stuff Scott had picked up in Goose Lake’s grocery store.

Car Condition:

Virtually unchanged, just louder. Fluids all topped up. Items in trunk secured better.

Team Condition:

MRL +13 overall. Feeling very lucky. Scott’s giggling like a teenager because he got to throw trash on the highway.


The rough terrain has taken its toll on the entrants, and even more of them have been eliminated for a variety of reasons by now… which makes me all the more curious about who will triumph after the last leg is complete! I’m wagering that the entrants with the most morale and pace are the ones most likely to win… assuming their cars hold up, of course.


The going has been smooth for team dsd, with only the occasional stop to replace the supercharger belt. However the big white ute is performing surprisingly well. After finishing day one team dsd was certainly looking much much much better than some of the other teams…however ds5 did notice that at some point in the night 2 jars of moonshine vanished. Ds5 & Romeo are getting on great again and Romeo’s vast knowledge of rally navigating has us quite confident that we will be fine come day 2.
the start of day two was an eye opener with the terrian becoming much more difficult. Other teams are starting to drop out due to mechanical failures and Romeo has decided to silastic the brake booster to prevent leaks & also decided to give away our camping gear to allow for a slight increase in ride hight. We have just completed the 4th stage of day 2 …however after driving thru a cloud of paper tissues the supercharger started making strange sounds. After pulling over we discover that the airbox at some point during stage 3/4 has dislodge itself and was now lodged behind the front bumper(only one bolt was attached to the airbox and a ziptie was replacing the hose clamp)…unfortuantly some tissues have been sucked into the intake piping and now without doubt are in many tiny shreds coating the roots blowers rotors. Not a large issue but a full fluid change at the end of leg 4 is required and with help from the other teams the factory bypass valve for the supercharger has been forced to remain open so that all boost pressure is leaked to the atmpsphere just incase contaminants are still in the blower…another stocking was borrowed from team twin snail to replace the air filter.


#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

The story so far: Three uni students in a Berlose that might just be going over its limits. The journey has been great so far, but problems are starting to arise…

The road was smooth, the car was driving well, heck, even the fuel economy was good. But it was becoming very apparent that this lack of exhaust was taking its toll.

Seb volunteered to drive again, as Martin was too worried about what was going to go wrong next, while James had decided to take one for the team and offer to drive on a harder section, and hence he was the navigator.

James sighed, heavily. Martin perked up - “I know man.” he said.
“This is getting unbearable. I think it’s the worst sound I’ve ever heard” said James.
“I dunno about that, your voice is still pretty annoying” replied Martin. It warranted a brief chuckle from the other two, but nothing more. The drone was becoming a real downer for everyone in the car. Seb decided to put on some music, not that it had much impact. Anything to mask to the ever-more-awkward silence engulfing the boys.


While the aircon had always been a bit temperamental - it did have a habit of packing up the moment the external temperature got above 25 degrees - it had been perfectly fine so far. However, the drone of the missing exhaust had neatly covered the sound of of the the compressor unit getting gradually more noisy.

“Is it getting hotter in here or something?” questioned Seb about halfway through the leg. “And not just because of me”
“Ha.” said James, sarcastically. “It is getting warm though”.
As though it were a natural reflex, Martin immediately turned the music down and used his hand to test the air coming from the vents. “Oh, fucking hell” he swore.
“Please don’t say it’s…” Seb began, already knowing the answer.
“…Yeah” - Martin finished his sentence for him - " that’s knackered compressor all right".

James huffed and opened the window. For the first time on this journey, he was starting to get annoyed. Martin was too - a lack of AC was not fatal, but it suggested that this once sturdy car could be about to throw up lots of more problems. As for Seb, he was just concerned about the other two. He could tell that they just needed one thing to set them off and they’d all fall out with each other.

They barely spoke for the rest of the leg.


Day 2 Leg 5 Data

Toreyville Dam to Watson Ridge via FR 4020 and FR 4022

Fairly well maintained forest roads winding slowly up the ridge on the far side of Torreyville Dam. This side of the gorge has no trees, only scattered shrubs. There is nowhere to hide from the sun.

Length 17; Avg Grade 4; Max Grade 9

LAE High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: The views are absolutely gorgeous, and having the top down and fresh air is amazing. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +0; Notes: Once again, the smell of burning trans fluid. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH

LAE Exact; MRL 0; Notes: None.

LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Van’s starting to turn into a hot tin can.

LAE Medium (fast); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Other than smoking like Aunt Doris, everything seems OK. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE Exact; MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - High (fast); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - Medium (slow); MRL 0; Notes; Bad news: new grinding noise from the back end. Diagnosed as a worn axle shaft on the right rear. You have a spare part, but lack the facilities to replace it right now. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL +2; Notes: Slowed down to compensate for handling issue.

LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: The engine has bogged down a couple times randomly on this leg. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.



Day 2 Leg 4

Marc: There’s definitely a noticeable difference at highway speeds.

Blake: Well the fan is now acting as a source of drag rather than spinning freely.

Marc: The coordinators mentioned something about this being the last pit of peace before more hardship.

Blake: I’m not worried, we’ve got a tough beast of a car here.

Marc: I’m feeling great about this.

(Arrival at Toreyville Dam)

Marc: Well I’ll be damned!

Blake: Knock it off!

Day 2 Leg 5

Marc: I stopped by the dam to get some dam water, but the dam owner wouldn’t let me get any dam water, so I said “Fine, I don’t need your damn dam water!”

Blake: You done?

Marc: Yes.

Blake: Wow, will you look at that!

Marc: That view is breathtaking.

Blake: Looks like we’ve left the shade, just some shrubs around.

Marc: We demand… a shrubbery!

Blake: Ha ha ha!

Marc: Tune the radio in, find a weather report.

Blake: On it.

Radio: … Grainger is up again, he is 0 and 4 this… political tension is Kafiristan is on the rise… -ear skies, it’s expected to be a scorcher today…

Marc: What the hell, we had it.

Blake: Must be this ridge. (Fiddles with the radio some more) Shit! Must’ve lost the AM bands in this ridge.

Marc: Well, let’s at least get some music on, the station should give a weather report sooner or later.

Blake: Right.

Marc: What the hell is that shit?

Blake: Sounds like something that Team Arztotska would listen to. Must be some Russian or Balkan station.

Marc: Hmm, does have a catchy beat to it, especially when pouring on some speed.

Blake: Cool A/C, foreign tunes on the radio, a beautiful view, we’ve got it all.


+2 points for terrible dam and shrubbery jokes.


Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 4

Before the Stage

“Luke, I’m glad you got a convertible.” Amy said.

“Oh?” Luke questioned, now curious.

“This heat’s going to be awful for other teams without air-conditioning, but we can just drive along and let the air condition us instead. Plus, it allows for a beautiful view of the scenery whenever there’s something worth looking at.”

“Well, it just felt right. I know, it sounds stupid for me to say that, but it just seemed like the right car for the job. Big V8, nothing electronic to blow up in our faces, mechanical fuel injection, twin turbochargers, an old-school hydraulically-actuated automatic, and an auto-locker rear differential, all packed into a car I got for slightly less than $500. Sure, I’ve had reason to believe a couple times that I picked the wrong choice, but every time, it’s proven itself despite the flaws. It’s a little scuffed, a little battle-scarred, but it runs.” Luke replied.

Linda was looking over the maps they’d been given, then said, “Looks like it’s all uphill. I think all the road-duty’s had us a bit far ahead of schedule, so I suggest we take it a bit easy on this leg, try to avoid worsening the car’s condition.”

Scott wandered out of the nearby porta-potty, looking more than a little ill. “Smells pretty bad in there. Worse than when I cut that one loose in the car. I didn’t do it.”

“Right, Scott. Of course you didn’t do it.” Amy said.

“Let’s just get in the car and go. After all, we’re first now.” Luke said.

Day 2, Leg 5

Luke took it easy on the drive up the ridge, allowing the old beast of a car to settle into a natural rhythm with the twisting, winding road, the engine rumbling along through twin mufflers instead of quads, though the radio still could overpower it.

“Wow. That’s… That’s just stunning.” Linda said, looking out at the scenery.

“It is. Even if we don’t make it all the way, this was worth it all, just to see stuff like this.” Amy said.

“Hell, the wheels could fall off right now, we’ve at least got a great view. But I have the feeling we’re going to make it on this one.” Scott said. “Luke wants to win this so badly that he’s pushing his own limits on repair work just to keep the car going.”

“The only thing in it for me is glory and bragging rights. I get to say I drove an old rear-wheel-drive convertible through terrain most people wouldn’t consider without bringing an off-roader to drive.” Luke said, feeling the old suspension soaking up yet another bump, the car rocking gently as it did. “So for me, this is just personal. My skill as a driver is on the line here, and so I feel I have to do well. It’s why I picked the three of you, because your talents have been essential to our success as a team. I mostly drive the car. Linda’s been picking good routes and been excellent at judging our time so far. Amy, she’s not had to prove her repair-work yet, but it was her grand idea to put ceramic blocks on the catalytics, so we had heat to cook with without using fire. And you, your skill with wiring is part of the reason why we’re still able to turn up some music on the old radio.”

“Well, Luke, what do you want to play?” Scott asked, holding his phone, the audio cable running the length of the interior with plenty of room to spare.

“I’m saving my pick for when it gets to more flat ground, or some rough terrain, I think. But I promise, it’s a classic.” Luke said.

“Fair enough. I think I’ve got something in here worth listening to in the meantime.” Scott said, though the radio stayed silent for the rest of the trip as Scott couldn’t seem to decide on any music to listen to.

The view just kept getting better as they kept climbing, and the engine seemed quite content with the gentle pace, the gearbox gremlin rarely having to choose between second and third, thereby not jolting the car too often as team Twin-Snail made it to Watson Ridge.

Day 2, Leg 5 Aftermath

With the Snail-Boat parked as neatly as possible for once, Luke got out and checked the fluids and topped up anything that was low, while Amy and Linda dismounted the hot ceramic blocks to make something quick to eat, setting one in the little grill and the other under a pan. Scott helped Luke replace yet another of the home-brew voltage regulators, as the one currently under the hood seemed to be reading a little hot this trip.

“Yeah, that looks like another’s gone. Well, it was either these, which we could fit a case of them in the trunk with ease, or trying to find and mount an alternator with a built-in voltage regulator. And then we’d be fighting this problem buried inside a junkyard alternator instead of burning up against the firewall.” Luke said. Scott handed him the replacement, and within a few minutes, they had the regulator back in place.

“Let’s change the air filters while we’re at it.” Scott said, getting out the spares from the trunk. “Then she’ll breathe a little better.”

“Not a bad idea. Hasn’t been too bad on dust, but that 100% off-road section, that could have covered our filters in all sorts of shit.” Luke said.

Car Condition:

Identical to the last leg. Fluids topped up, replacement voltage regulator installed, air filters replaced.

Team Condition:

MRL +15 overall. Confident, but not over-confident. Feeling lucky. Glad to have gotten this far in a completely un-suitable car for off-roading.


Previous Post----Next Post
Day 2 Leg 4

With Bill at the wheel again, Castle Greenskull are well out of the town of Goose Lake
Bill: I overheard someone say there’s more shit gone missing. Last night, at camp. Please tell me it wasn’t you.
Wookiee: Ok. It wasn’t me.
Bill: Now for the truth.
Wookiee: I don’t have it.
Bill: That wasn’t a Yes or No. Still don’t know where my phone is.
Wookiee: Still not telling. Dude, eat a Snickers.
Toni: Seeing as how we’re only 10 minutes from the next stop, I’d like you two to play nice. Can you do that?
Wookiee/Bill: Okay.

They arrive at the dam, and Toni jumps out to take photos.
Bill finds a plaque and reads the inscription:
Largest dam in this part of Gasmea. Supplies water and power to… shit, that’s a lot of folks!
I woz 'ere, 93… really?
Wookiee: Stop reading, and look at the view.
After enough happy snaps have been posed for, they check the details for the next part of the run, check for anything else failing, and jump in.

1988 G728 Owner’s manual, p 86

I just found out the standard diff in this is 3.15, we’re running a 3.79:1 including transfer.


On an “unrelated note”, I think I found Team Riot Uncontrol. In real life.



I remember seeing a picture of that.


Day 2 Leg 6 Data

Watson Ridge to Pearson via FR 4022, overland, and Pearson Dunes Road

Though vegetation isn’t a factor, and rocks barely are, the overland trek to Pearson is across open dunes with broken sections of compact crust. Also, it’s very hot. Pearson isn’t a terribly scenic town, but does offer several much-needed amenities.

Length 31; Avg Grade 1; Max Grade 5 (Downhill from Watson Ridge)

LAE Low (slow); MRL -2; Notes: Got bogged down in loose sand in a few places, and lost a lot of time. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE DNF; MRL -5 (+12 Overall); Notes: CRITICAL FAILURE: The torque converter has given up the ghost. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH (despite the failure)

LAE Medium (slow); MRL -2; Notes: It is stupidly hot out here… on the bright side, Pearson has an auto parts store, and you were able to find a muffler and slip-on clamps.

LAE Exact; MRL -2; Notes: We’ve gone from hot tin can to smelly sweatbox in one leg.

LAE High (fast); MRL 0; Notes: Nothing wrong with the course, but it’s kind of warm and dog-breath-ish in here now. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE Very low (slow); MRL -3; Notes: Waiting in the middle of nowhere for the radiator to cool enough to top off the coolant rather sucked. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Not fun trying to get out of loose sand in the car’s current condition. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE DNF; MRL -5; Notes: CRITICAL FAILURE: Throwout bearing finally gave up the ghost. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH, despite the failure

LAE - High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - High (fast); MRL 0; Notes; Changed out the RR axle in the parking lot of the parts store. And damn it’s hot. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +2; Notes: With nothing really to hit, took a gamble and went at a fast pace.


@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 5

Before the Stage

Luke looked at the terrain stretching out in front of them, while Linda plotted a fast course through the sand dunes to their destination.

“Something on your mind, Luke?” Amy asked, noticing Luke’s attention was focused across the micro-desert in front of them.

“I hate sand. Gets in everything, clogs filters, you find it months later spilling out of your shoes and all over your car.” Luke said, getting into the car. “My advice, eat anything you’ve got left open in the car now, because otherwise you’re going to have it with a side of sand.”

Scott wandered out of the porta-potty, giving an evil grin as he got into the car. “Hope no one else has to go in there. The smell’s not the only thing wrong.”

“What’d you do?” Linda asked.

“Accidentally knocked the toilet paper into the poop tank.”

“Oh, like you used to do at home, drove mom crazy all those years ago wondering which of the six of us was the shit-monster who would do a poo, wipe, throw the entire roll of toilet paper in there, and then not bother to flush.”

“Something like that, yeah.”

“Let’s get out of here before any of the other teams find that one out.” Luke said, as everyone piled into the car.

Day 2, Leg 6

Luke barely waited for the flag to drop before giving the old Sinistra Savage everything it had, the gremlin in the gearbox barely managing to keep up with the alarming amount of fury as Luke channeled every bit of his hatred of the sand in front of them through the gas pedal. The engine roared, throwing the huge car into the sand pit with full aggression, bouncing off of the rev limiter as the four speed automatic struggled to keep up.

It didn’t take long for the Snail-Boat to run off the end of the speedometer, reading 120 plus a little extra, despite them not going anywhere near that fast. The heat started to build in the intercooler and radiator, and the prolonged high RPM was causing the voltage regulator to get hot as well. Luke backed off as the car ground to a halt in the sand, then said, “Well, I’m not getting out of the car to get us un-stuck. If I do, I’ll spend the rest of my days finding sand grinding around in my chassis after sinking up to my knees in this shit.”

Scott got out, opening up the trunk and grabbing the boards to help with traction, wedging them under the rear wheels so that they could roll out of the trench they’d made. Luke pulled the car forward, then waited for Scott to pack up the boards and get back in.

They repeated that process four times, each time caused by Luke’s desire to get out of the heat and the sand, his impatience with the gas pedal causing massive delays. However, once they got out of the dunes and onto Pearson Dunes Road, Luke tried to make up time. He floored it, and for just a moment before they piled on the brakes heading into Pearson, they’d topped the car out on the road.

“Can’t make up for getting stuck four times, but at least we know the old car can run.” Luke said.

Day 2, Leg 6 Aftermath

The first place in Pearson that was visited was the car wash, not to actually wash the car, but to vacuum out all the sand they could find. Then it was a trip to the gas station to refuel, both the car and the food supply, as everything that hadn’t been eaten now had sand all over the place.

The only thing anyone could get out of Luke for several minutes was just how much he hated sand. This cycle was broken by Scott asking about what Luke wanted to play regarding music.

“Wasn’t appropriate for that area. Next downhill, though, I’ll mention it. Though you’ll have to play it loud, so that everyone around can hear it.” Luke said.

Car Condition:

Functionally identical to the previous leg. Still weighs about 10 pounds more than it did before the stage due to the sand that hasn’t yet been found. Fluids all topped up.

Team Condition:

MRL +13 overall. Feeling very lucky. Enjoying gas station pizza and junk food. Luke’s running his cooling system at 100% to keep his circuits cool.



Marc: (holds back of hand against window) Man, it’s boiling out there.

Blake: (Switches control to MAX A/C)

Marc: Why’d you do that? Normal setting was just fine.

Blake: Max means the system recirculates the air in the cabin rather than pulling in outside air. Unless you want to breathe in all that sand.

Marc: No I do not. Whoa, the ass end almost let go. I didn’t think I’d lose any traction with reduced power.

Blake: Well, don’t let up, the trick is to maintain speed on the sand.

Marc: I am maintaining it, this isn’t exactly a dirt rally car.

Blake: Best one I could find for the price.

Marc: Couldn’t you have found a Stag or Lakota with four wheel drive?

Blake: Only ones I found in that price range were on fire. Except the one that was on blocks with a tree growing out of it!

Marc: Whoa, what was that? Oh shit! Come on! Dammit! We’re stuck.

Blake: Son of a bitch!

Marc: I’m gonna try to rock it.

Blake: Don’t you dare! That’s one of the best ways you can fry out the trans, the diff, the wheel bearings. Let’s assess the situation.

(As Blake expected, the Enforcer’s rear wheels dug two ruts in the loose sand with which the car was now stuck. Blake goes to the trunk and retrieves a small folding shovel.)

Blake: Let’s get to work, we gotta dig the car out.

Marc: Okay, give me a shovel.

Blake: I’ve only got the one.

Marc: So what do I do?

Blake: Improvise, find something to dig with, just get on it. You got us stuck, I’m not getting us out by myself.

(After Blake and Marc finished digging the car out, they make a couple attempts which kicked around a lot of sand but yielded little results. After some more digging and frantic effort the two men managed to get the 4200-pound car out of the rut and were once again mobile)

Blake: God that A/C feels good!

Marc: I’m glad we’ve got water, that was exhausting.

Blake: Man, if we had our full engine running we wouldn’t have been in that mess!

Marc: You don’t know that. Besides, for half an engine it’s held up pretty well.

Blake: Yeah, at least we’re not in a rolling steel sweat lodge.

Marc: God, My wife wanted to go to one of those.

Blake: Yeah? How was it?

Marc: Hell if I know, I’m not going to spend $2,000 just to sweat my ass off in a yurt. There are much better ways of dealing with stress that draining your bank account.

Blake: Pot calling the kettle black?

Marc: Shut up!

(Apart from a few more close calls in the sand, Team Outriders makes it to Pearson. Marc went to check out anywhere they could get a bite to eat while Blake went to check out the local auto parts store. The two men reunite in the parking lot of the parts store.)

Marc: Any luck?

Blake: Bah, they could get the injectors… in two to five days! I did get a couple air filters. I’ll replace the one, and we’ll have the other as a spare, God knows what else we’ll have in store. What are we thinking on food?

Marc: There’s a small diner one block over, either that or pizza from the gas station.

Blake: I’m thinking the diner, some place nice to sit down and have a decent meal sounds very appealing.

Marc: Sounds good to me.


#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

“God fucking dammit” swore Martin as the fan on the aircon started whining again. It may have been blowing hot air around the cabin, but it was better than having no air moving at all. He whacked the dash a few times, and it started up again. “This is getting fucking ridiculous”
“Mate, they said this was going to be hard” said Seb. He thought for a moment. “Why don’t you choose the music? That’ll cheer you up” he said, looking up from his map.
“Thanks” said Martin, picking up the aux cable and plugging his phone in. A few moments later, the distinctive chords of ‘Love Me’ by The 1975 came over the speakers.
“Wait, I never knew you liked these guys” said James with a smirk on his face. “Hang on” he said in a dastardly fashion “this is because of that Psychology girl you were going after a few months ago, isn’t it?”
Martin blushed a little. “Yeah…” He said uneasily.
Seb chuckled. “You were smitten by her”
“Mmm” mumbled Martin. “Can we not talk about her?”
“How did that end?” James recalled in a mocking fashion.
Seb joined in. "Hmm, how did it end James?
James responded - “Didn’t you go round to her house and awkwardly have to leave when you tried talking dirty to her?”
Seb cracked up. This story was always funny to him.
“Shut up, twats” snapped Martin. “I’d really rather we didn’t talk about this again”. He changed the music. “And you can talk James, at least I can even get to that stage”
“Woh woh” said James. The mood had turned. “Just because I’m better at one night stands than you”

Seb stepped in. “Oi, that’s enough”. He could have quipped about his attractiveness meaning he’d had better luck than both of them, but he could tell that was the last thing needed right now.
Silence came over the car, aside from whatever song Martin was playing. “I’m sorry, Martin” said James. “It was shitty joke anyway”
“That’s ok” replied Martin.


At Pearson, the boys went to get some supplies. James stocked up on some snacks while Seb and Martin went to search the garages for spare exhausts. Amazingly, they managed to find a suitable muffler and quickly set about getting it on. The heat was an issue - they had to cover the exhaust piece whenever it was under the sun to ensure it didn’t become scalding hot, but, after a couple of expletives and a bit of elbow grease, the exhaust was fixed, partially.

That would certainly make the journey more bearable. Heck, the car might even make it. But as to whether the boys would was a different question.


Day 2 Leg 5

The lack of shade wasn’t annoying team Castle Greenskull. Climbing up the ridge, the 130Kw engine had no shortage of power, even with the AirCon on full. Yes, the throwout bearing was still noisy, admittedly more so than ever before, but the fact that they were still going buoyed their spirits significantly… even Bill and Wookiee were smiling. Toni had the wheel again.
Bill: Day 2, climbing this hill in a 500AMU van. We’ve got sun, blue skies, fantastic views…
Wookiee: … and a van that hasn’t fallen apart!
Toni: I’m glad you two are finally seeing eye to eye. Can one of you grab me some water?
Bill: Sure. (hands a bottle from the esky). Aunt Toni, can you do something for me?
Toni: Depends on what it is…
Bill: I’ve done some calculations here, and I’ve worked out that you’re running about 3200rpm. That’s around 70Kw. I’d like to hear the van at full throttle. Give it some stick.

Day 2 Leg 6
Bill takes another stint at the wheel for the trek to Pearson. It seems like it’ll be an easy run…
The temp gauge goes a little higher than is ideal, but there are no other concerns.12 miles into the desert conditions, and things change rapidly. Pulling away from a small dune they just crossed, Bill shifts form second to third. As he releases the clutch, a terrible noise comes from under the van.
Bill: What the hell? (pushes clutch pedal fully)
Toni: Oh, shit!
Wookiee (seated closest to the trans), almost jumps out of his seat.
Toni: Stop! Stop!
Bill: I am! I am!
Wookiee: Well, that was fun!
Bill: Was that noise what I think it was? (Kills engine)
They get out and look for any other competitors.
Toni: Ummmmm…yes.
Bill: Woohoo! ( A huge smile on his face)
Toni: What? Woohoo? You do know that was a disintegrating clutch? The bearing died.
Bill: I thought as much. I’m actually happy. When you consider what this van has been through in the last few days. The drive to Walker River campground. The mud. The mountain. Sure, it’s a little disappointing that we didn’t win, or even finish. But I’ve had a blast.
Toni: Well, I suppose we’ll just have to call for a lift. While we’re waiting…(She reaches under the passenger seat, and pulls out what appears to be Moonshine).
Bill: You thief! (puts his hand into the rear seat-back pocket, and pulls out a matching bottle).
Toni: A toast to the hosts, drivers, and support staff, without whom none of the would have been possible.

@Darkshine5 , I hope you don’t mind, but nobody else seemed interested in knocking off your stuff.
A big thank you to @VicVictory for hosting.
Team Castle Greenskull wishes all surviving competitors the best of luck on their journey. We’ll see you at the victory party.


Day 2 Leg 7 Data

Pearson to Jademount via Pearson Dam Road and railroad maintenance road

Again through shrewd negotiation and connections, the course passes over private property — this time in the form of the service road running over the Pearson Dam, and the railroad service road on the other side that runs parallel to the tracks. Participants have been drilled over and over that they need to maintain a minimum of a 7 foot buffer from the tracks at all times, due to the active railway. The service road is rough, with large potholes, and chunks of ballast all over. There are no services in Jademount; it is merely a storage yard for power and rail companies

Length 16; Avg Grade 0; Max Grade 0

LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: Kind of disconcerting hearing chunks of ballast get tossed into the undercarriage and rear valance. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL +0; Notes: Lifter tick is getting even worse. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: This leg was mostly in the shady side of the canyon. It’s still hot, but bearably so.

LAE Medium (fast); MRL +2; Notes: Shade is so very helpful.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL 0; Notes: Car is down on power, and the Serivice Engine Soon light came on at the same time. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +0; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (fast); MRL +2; Notes: This leg was really fun! TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - High (fast); MRL +0; Notes: Very jarring ride this leg. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - Exact; MRL +2; Notes; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Rough ride, but faster than expected.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL 0; Notes: Had to repair the jury-rigged shifter again. Starting to run out of zip ties. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (slow); MRL +0; Notes: Van’s lurching again. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 6

Before the Stage

“Wonder why they kept having to tell everyone to stay away from the tracks.” Scott said for the eleventy-fifth time.

“Because of idiots like you.” Luke said, having lost his patience after the third explanation. “Seven feet. That gives more than enough room for a locomotive and its consist to pass us without risk of us getting hit by either the train itself, debris from the train, or any odd-sized non-standard cargo. And we’re maintaining that, because a car, even one so heavy as this, will lose against even the smallest of trains.”

“We weigh a little more than 2 tons.” Scott said.

“And a small locomotive weighs about 120 tons more than us.” Amy said. “Simple physics, doesn’t matter that we’ll be bombarding across the rough road at around 100+ miles per hour, a locomotive moving at half a mile per hour will still win that fight.”

“Plus, the closer you get to the tracks, the rougher the ride will be anyway. It’s gonna be bad enough with loose ballast on the road, but right next to the tracks, there’s tons of the stuff. It’ll be like riding in an industrial paint shaker.” Linda added. “How is it everyone else gets it, but you don’t?”

“I may have flunked physics in school.” Scott said after a few minutes.

“Well, that explains why you’re in interior design.” Linda quipped.

“Enough fighting, let’s get on the move.” Luke said, as they headed toward the starting line.

Day 2, Leg 7

“Think it’s gonna be an appropriate stage for your choice of music, Luke?” Amy asked, as Luke waited for the flag to drop.

“All flat ground, for the most part, but we’ll be traveling at very high speeds… I think it’s time for Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries, then.” Luke replied, starting the song.

The flag dropped, and Luke floored it, spraying gravel behind the car as the engine roared, the gearbox gremlin making quick work of the gear changes, and the lights all turned on, casting a dire warning to anyone nearby that they were coming, get out of the way.

Luke blared the horn, the first time anyone had heard the Sinistra’s aftermarket air horn, the blast echoing across the dam, only barely louder than the cannon-fire coming from the exhaust. It still made Amy and Scott flinch, with only Linda having seen Luke installing it before they’d headed out for the first day.

“Why would you do that!?” Scott yelled from the back seat. “What was the point of putting a truck horn in here!?”

“Stock horn didn’t work. Figured it was better to have a horn than not to.” Luke said, the car still accelerating down the mostly-flat road, only being slowed down as Luke made the turn onto the railroad maintenance road.

The first pothole was a wakeup-call to everyone in the car that the road was worse than it looked. The clatter and bang of chunks of railway ballast pounding against the underside of the car, the rear valance, the gas tank, and what was left of the exhaust all ended up making everyone in the car a little nervous, especially as a larger piece got kicked into the bottom of the fuel tank. It sloshed the fuel and sent the car into a series of 90-mile-per-hour tank-slappers, though Luke managed to recover without losing much speed, nor much time.

They made it to Jademount without much more going on, other than more clattering and banging against the chassis from the debris scattered around the road.

Day 2, Leg 7 Aftermath

“That was some wicked driving, Luke!” Scott said. “How’d you get out of the tank-slappers?”

“Simple physics. It was caused by a weight shift, so I had to counter the shifting weight without over-corrections to avoid spinning out.” Luke said.

The rest of their resting time was spent topping up fluids, wiping dust off of the car, and cursing as they found out one of their two ceramic bricks had been smashed and left in pieces all over the maintenance road.

“Damn it. Now we only have one cooking brick to work with.” Linda said.

Car Condition:

Functionally identical to the previous leg. Very dirty. Air horn air tank is almost empty. Fluids topped up again.

Team Condition:

MRL +14 overall. Feeling lucky. Confident in their chances of success, though keeping in mind that there’s every chance that they might not make it that far.


#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

The story so far: Our three uni students are starting to feel the pressure of this challenge, and its straining both the car and their friendship. But, after some recent high tensions, things have cooled down a little - literally…

James was again behind the wheel, as (I quote) he “wanted to drive alongside a passing train wearing sunglasses and looking cool”. The other two couldn’t understand, but they still let him.

After a few miles, they pass over the the dam. James opened his mouth, and Seb quickly stopped whatever he was going to say. “Don’t you fucking dare” he snapped. “I know what your thinking”
James laughed. “What? Come on, it’s funny!” he said.
“Mate, it’s the worst joke in the world, and you always make it” said Martin.
A brief silence. Then, quietly, James said “Damn”.
The other two immediately let loose at him. At least spirits were running higher than before.


“Alright” James announced. “I demand some good driving music. I want to blast down this service road”.
“Right you are” said Martin, scrolling through the iPod. “Try this”.
“Yes!” James shouted. “It’s Seb’s favorite song!”
“What because it’s about Spain?” he asked. “I don’t even get punk rock”
Martin tutted. “You’re missing out mate”

James swerved around a few pot holes, laughing. “I don’t even know what it’s about, but it makes me want to drive faaaasst!” he cried, dropping a gear and flooring it.
“James, I know your enthusiastic but I only just fixed that exhaust!” Martin said, clearly worried.
The sudden burst of maniac driving from James was interupted the massive sound of a truck horn from behind them.
“Jesucristo!” Seb remarked. “What was that? Have we got a Semi competing against us?”
“It would seem so” said Martin, who was glad the horn had forced James to slow down, a little.


At Jademount, Martin slipped under the car to check his exhaust job while Seb and James watched the other cars roll in.
“I didn’t get to drive alongside a train” said James, sadly, still buzzing after that fast drive.
“Aww, it’s ok!” said Seb, teasingly. “We can do it another time”.
James gave him an equally sarcastic look. Martin reappeared. “Hows it looking?” asked James.
“What, me?” said Martin. “Great, as always”. Neither Seb or James was impressed by that comment. “Nah, it’s good though, it seems to be holding well. And hey, there isn’t much more to go now”
“Certainly not” said James, the bright sunlight reflecting off of his beloved sunglasses as he inspected the rival cars. “We’ve lost a lot of competitors, haven’t we?”
“Yeah, we have” said Seb, “I count 11 other cars here, and there were what, 20 to start with? We’ve been halved almost”.

Indeed, that filled them with confidence. The Berlose wasn’t perfect, but the problems it had only seemed to be relate to comfort issues. Mechanically, it was just about fine. For now.


Day 2 Leg 8 Data

Jademount to Jade Mountain Fire Lookout via FR 3910

nother long, modest grade. This road has many obstructions and a couple nasty tight, blind curves. There are also some very narrow sections with short brush forming the boundaries between sharp drop offs and cliff walls. No respite from the sun, either.

Length 23; Avg Grade 4; Max Grade 6

LAE High (fast); MRL +0; Notes: The “narrow sections” are a little narrower than the Sinistra. Both sides have been thoroughy ‘massaged’ by bushes. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

LAE DNF; MRL -5 ; Notes: CRITICAL FAILURE: Oil pump has given out. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH (despite the failure)

LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None

LAE Medium (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None.

LAE High (Fast); MRL +1; Notes: Car still down on power, but otherwise OK. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE Medium (fast); MRL +1; Notes: Still smokin’ along. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Like the Sinistra, a bit too wide for the narrow sections. There’s some new foliage “sprouting” from the side mirrors. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE - High (fast); MRL +1; Notes; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

LAE DNF; MRL -5 (still positive overall); Notes: A driving mistake led to cutting a blind corner a little too close. Caught the LF corner on a rock, tore off the bumper, strut mount, ball joint, and tire.

LAE Medium (slow); MRL +1; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE Low (slow); MRL -2; Notes: Van died for a few minutes, and had been sputtering and lurching a lot. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.