“Ladies and Gentlemen prepare to start your engines," a voice announced over the loud-speaker system. The first car will depart in two minutes.”
“That’s us mate, time to go.” Lleyton and Davis got in their car and waited for the starter’s flag. When the starter, a distinguished looking man in his 80s wearing a sport coat covered with patches of previous rallies, waived the flag, Lleyton was off.
Two minutes later it was Rion and Sally’s turn, and every two minutes thereafter another car left the starting line. Rion learned quickly that Stuart’s Australian rally rules were a bit loose. Three minutes into the rally the two cars behind Rion passed him and they were going a lot faster than the rules said they should. Rion got the message, and he stepped on the turbo’s accelerator. Five minutes later he had passed the two cars that passed him, and he was looking for Lleyton’s car up ahead. Rion and Sally saw Lleyton’s car’s rear end a couple of times, but no matter how fast they drove they were unable to catch him. Rion decided they’d get into the spirit of the day, and he drove like hell and enjoyed the experience immensely. Going too fast around one turn, he lost control and spun out into stacks of straw serving as a barrier to prevent cars from going off the road and hitting spectators. The two Porsches that he had passed overtook him again. His car sustained no damage, and Rion quickly got the car back on course.
No longer worried about the rules, Rion drove fast and talked with Sally at the same time. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t regretting her decision to be his navigator, and she wasn’t. He was having the most fun he’d had since arriving on Earth, and he saw that Sally was enjoying herself as well.
At a sharp turn, Rion encountered an accident. One of the Porsches that had passed him apparently had tried to pass the other, and the leading Porsche decided he wouldn’t allow the trailing Porsche to do that. Neither gave way and they bumped, both spinning out of control leaving one Porsche 15 meters behind the other in the middle of the road. As Rion approached the two cars blocking the road he was going 105 km/h. He quickly figured out that if he tried to brake and stop short of the collision he’d smash into the rear car. He downshifted, braked and turned a sharp left then right as he passed the car in his immediate path, then he made another sharp right, threading the needle between the two cars. Another turn to the left and he was back on course. Sally had remained cool through the entire maneuver. She looked at the speedometer as Rion came out of the near collision. They were doing 80 km/h. Rion and Sally looked at each other with expressions of surprise and relief and they laughed and gave each other a high five.
Half a mile past the accident on a country road, Rion floored the accelerator on a straight away and caught sight of Lleyton’s car 100 meters ahead. Lleyton was facing a series of tight turns where he had to slow down and Rion used the opportunity to accelerate to 240 km/h, quickly closing the gap between Lleyton’s and his car. Three turns into the curvy road, Rion was on Lleyton’s rear bumper looking for a place to pass him. Rion saw Lleyton’s eyes in the rear view mirror. Lleyton wasn’t happy. Rion saw his opportunity, and he faked an attempt to pass Lleyton on the left. When Lleyton pulled left to block him, Rion shot around him on the right on a long gradual curve. Lleyton accelerated, and the two cars were neck and neck headed for a tight turn where one car would have to yield to prevent a potentially fatal accident. Rion wasn’t the yielding type; he was prepared to push his Porsche to its limits to gain an edge on Lleyton then break in time to make the bend. But then he remembered he wasn’t in this to win, and Sally’s life wasn’t his to gamble with; he was in the rally to make contact with Lleyton Stuart. Rion eased his foot off the accelerator just enough to allow Lleyton to get the edge and beat him to the curve.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish