This afternoon Camera Guy had gone from outside my house to further on up the road to record the rally action and been replaced by Citroen Guy. He was a pleasant young man who smiled and said, "yes" to everything I said to him but I don't think he understood a word I said. He was armed with two stop watches and seemed to be timing the cars from when they came onto the bridge down the road until they disappeared out of sight further on up the road. He'd then relay that information in a foreigh language via two way radio to someone who would reply in, I guess, the same language. And, language barrier or not, I could tell he was excited with Sebastian Loeb's time.
This morning from our viewing point the cars came from this direction
and went away in this direction:
We were safely behind the farm fence but I don't think it would have been very effective at keeping us safe.
Back by the house this afernoon I was getting a few close up shots, until I noticed they were driving into the sun and lost my nerve. Strange how I felt safer behind a fence!
Then there was a lull, a long gap between cars, couldn't even hear one coming and believe you me, we could hear them coming from miles away. I moved position and walked across the farm towards where we'd been in the morning and looked in the direction I'd expect to hear the noise and suddenly the rally didn't seem such fun any more.
A cloud of dark smoke was rising from up Pikiwahine Road. You can see one of the many helicopters in this shot. They came blat, blat, blatting from all directions. I looked up at each one praying this one would be the Westpac Rescue chopper. Praying that no-one had been killed. I could see in my mind's eye where the smoke was coming from and had pictured the car plunging down that steep, steep bank. I've never been happier to say I had it wrong.
And according to the News tonight, no one was hurt. And according to a neighbour who rushed to the scene, the driver and co-driver, a pair of Swedish girls, got out of the car before it exploded into flames.
There was no more racing today. Eventually the rest of the field passed through, travelling at a sedate speed - they were still noisy though!
I hope the Swedish ladies are OK.
Oh, and here's my video of some of the action. I'm hopeless at it, always forgot to stop recording so just stop it after the car disappears from sight.