1 & 2: Prologue
5: Malaga - Granada
Chapter 5(b)- Malaga - Granada
The Evo was not in its finest element on the rolling curves of the A-45. They demanded a steady, smooth rhythm more suited to a finely crafted work of art, not the Frankenmonster sledgehammer she was driving. Keep the throttle pinned, the automatic locker powered all the wheels, and the car understeered. Lift off on the throttle and locker disengaged and the car pitched its nose in. Still, Anna was glad for the extra power, though, for with such gentle curves the top speed was king, and with this new engine, the maximum potential of the Evo was certainly being tapped. Heart in her mouth, Anna still had a glow of satisfaction seeing the speedometer top a hundred and seventy.
Just then, her CB radio crackled and threw out some garbled chatter. She could almost make out words suspiciously resembling “Road block.” Seems the other drivers came better equipped on that front. She frowned to herself and stole a glance at the map. The original route was Casabermeja, then Villaneuva de Cauche, then the A-92M to Loja, all highways. But come to think of it, she didn’t expect the police to be alerted to their race right from the start.
Her high-speed rumination was interrupted by flashing lights on the horizon. What, already? A row of police cars was streaming out of the Casabermeja exit in an attempt to block off all routes of escape. It was just as well that she was zooming in faster than they could get organised. Still, it was going to get very crowded very quickly. Heart in her mouth, she jinked right, towards the offramp, and stood on the brakes. The Evo immediately loosened up, wobbling left and right as she dove into the scrum of police cars madly scrambling both to herd her off and not get decimated by twenty-five hundred pound of ballistic rally car. Everywhere was an assault on the senses, guardrails looming, tyres screeching, sirens wailing, all the stuff in the back rattling. Anna grit her teeth and sawed at the wheel trying to get the nose in as the road dipped and the right-hander tightened and the hastily installed ABS struggled to keep up, and by some miracle she slipped past the rail, then her mind hit a blank. She was off the route now, should she try to re-enter the highway but there would be cop cars all over the rest of the highway by now and she would be a sitting duck when there were no exits but-
A cop car pounced at the Evo’s left side. By reflex, Anna swerved right again, but she was still travelling too fast for the car to turn. With a squealing of tyres, the Evo skittered over a traffic island, between a cluster of signs, and shot off the road into a grassy plain. Well this was a rally car I suppose, Anna thought in the surreal airborne moment before she slammed into the ground, then rattled around before a particularly large embankment launched her back into the air and deeper into the field. Rattling and bumping all the while, Anna tried to cut a course through grass taller than the bonnet, around the shed on her right, keeping the throttle pinned and praying she didn’t hit a ditch or a culvert or a rock and end her quest for glory in a shieking wreck of torn wheel mounts and shredded springs. She had to find a proper surface, and soon.
There it was! A little gravel road, next to the B-road. She made a beeline for it, kicking up dirt and gravel, scanning the main road for a break in the guard rail. Momentarily it disappeared over a crest with tufts of golden grass. Praying it wasn’t just a blind spot, Anna swung the wheel and once again the Evo took flight, bouncing off the rev limiter until it bounced off the road with a clatter and a crash as all the tied down cargo in the rear came loose and started flying around. Fishtailing wildly, Anna struggled with the brakes, then the throttle, finally straightening it out just in time to see the turnoff and the sign for the A-356. The dawn sun was in her face. She was heading East. Good enough.
Heel-toe downshifting, Anna wrested the Evo onto the turnoff, completely disregarding the universally red stop signs and the passing lorry that almost obliterated her, pinning the throttle and streaking off into the sunrise. No rivals or cops in sight, but surely they would come at her again soon. Fortified by the adrenaline, Anna tightened her grip on the wheel. With this Evo, she could take them all.