Puff ‘s next event was the Three Castles Classic Trial, based in Llandudno. This is a rally full of tests, not quite Puff’s forte. Suzanne was with us again and we met at the Imperial Hotel the night before pre-scrutineering and calibration. The Brantz was now fitted with two sensors on the drive shaft which did solve any problems. A total of 76 cars were assembled on the Promenade for scrutineering and I had entered Puff in the Concours…do not ask why!
To start the proceedings, on Tuesday afternoon there was a short Prologue, with 2 regularities and 2 tests. At the end of this Puff was 18th overall and 1st in class. Whoopee! However, sadly, this was not going to count in the overall results!
DAY 1 – official Start on Wednesday morning, we started fairly early, running as Car No 24 on the road, although our competition number was 36. The first test was at Gwrych Castle – a stunning place in the sunshine – and Puff excelled here….34th out of 75 cars. Was pleased with that, as speed tests are not her speciality. We ended Day 1 in 25th overall and 3rd in class.
DAY 2 – Today, still in wonderful sunshine, we headed off towards the ‘hills and lakes’ going over some stunning scenery to Lake Vernwy. Suzanne and I are beginning to gel….we had one regularity – 4 controls – zero penalties at all!
DAY 3 – This was the most serious day for Puff with a lot of tests. But we got 11th place on Test 11 – unbelievable! However, on the regularities we did very well, with a lot of zeros.
On the 2nd last test, whilst going well, suddenly at one ‘5 sec box’ stop there was a bang, and Puff’s offside drive shaft failed. We stopped with only 200m to go on the test, but it was uphill and we could not push Puff through the grass to the end of the stage and the control. Our rally was effectively over, albeit we got to the end at Llandudno and were classed as finishers. 45th place….when I think we would have got to 29th or 30th if we had completed the tests.