Oh dear, there was almost a revolt in Camp Saluki last night. Gayle didn't take down the long hoped for treacle pudding. turning up with a peace offering of chocolate muffins. The muffins seem to have pacified the crew though, they've settled into their normal routines and even finished up relatively early last night.
We don't know if there was too many 'E' numbers in the muffins last night, but whatever there was, it seems to have stirred Mark and Tim to guide the Saluki to charge through the course, overtaking many of vehicles in front of them. They started in 15th place for the day and by the time they screamed through the first checkpoint, 80 Km distant (50 Miles for those not working in Eurometres) they were up to 8th place. By the second checkpoint, they were up to 7th and screamed past the whole of the Saluki team who were assembled at the service point waving frantically, the guys hurtled without so much as a wave. That's the way we like it.
It was going to be a tight race based on the fuel consumption of the Saluki but the guys are on a mission from someone and who are we to stop them.
There are a couple of spare muffins in the camp today so I can see the guys being forced fed them whether they want them or not if todays performance is anything to go by.
Whilst at the service point, one of the team managed to get himself stuck in the soft sand, he shall remain nameless but let's call him Craig for the benefit of this write up. Being directed off the track by a course marshall and still on road tyre pressures his borrowed car decided that it quite liked where it was and didn't like the look of where Craig wanted to take it. The obvious result was that Craig was going nowhere. Rather than let the tyre pressures down and re-inflate once underway Craig promised payment of 100 Dirhams(not much) to Paul and Dave to push him out. They foolishly agreed, so with some body power assisting the engine, the car was soon released from it's stuck position, Craig, a Scotsman and not one to part with his money foolishly, drove off leaving Paul and Dave in the sand and without their 100 Dhms.
The guys came storming over the finish line - very light on fuel but still on a mission. They came in provisionally sixth today - a cracking result and one that certainly shows the capabilities of the Saluki III.
I've asked Tim to comment on todays race at the Saluki interview point, the race underwear wash basin. From the navigators point of view he thought today was superb. It's the best days motor racing he's had for a long long time. The car was faultless and with one exception the navigation was excellent. Give the guys some credit - they temporarily missed a waypoint whilst concentrating on overtaking one of the other competitors. A quick turn and the waypoint was reached and the competitor was soon left in their dust a short distance afterwards. As he rinsed his smalls the Saluki spanner monkeys have advised him that the clunking noise they heard 5Km (3 Miles) from the end of the race was the differential. Being the well prepared team that Saluki are, the spare differential that arrived two days before the race began is now being slipped into place.
All in all, "a stonking day" as Mark put it.
Looking it up in the Saluki dictionary it gives the following description.
Stonking, (British colloquial adjective): superb, tremendous, the best of the best, day 4 of the 2007 challenge.
Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge, we do hope you're following the results as they happen here when the race is finished and here for the live results as they cross the lines.