Monday, 20 July 2015

Alton Rally

I had originally booked Volvo D302PEV in for this one as its in Hampshire, 125 miles away from my storage place at Great Yeldham in Essex. Afterall, the whole point of 302 is to cater for these longer distance runs.

Only problem is since I booked it in, the season has panned out with DAF P337ROO being used as my main bus for the season and Dart J317XVX standing by in reserve whilst 302 stays off the road out of MOT. There's no way I'm taking the Dart on a 250 mile round trip, but can DAF 337 manage it?

I was very confident given that we'd already done a 200 mile round trip to Brooklands without incident, and also attended Clacton without any issues, but everyone who knows me and the grief I've had with 335 and on Detling day with 337 were raising their eyebrows and looking for the men in white coats!

Well I'm very pleased to say we did indeed manage the whole 250 miles completely trouble free. Given all the people lining up ready to slate us when the inveitable breakdown occured, I have to say I felt like a proud parent when we returned incident free. It's been a long while but I actually enjoy driving my buses now which is a nice feeling - much better than worrying the whole time about what may go wrong next.

Anyway, it was my first time at Alton (the rally was highly recomeded) and I thought the rally itself was good & well worth travelling the distance. My only complaint is that most of the service runs were the best part of an hour long; thats a long time off site. I guess if riding buses rather than socialising on the rally field or perusing the sales stands if your thing, thats probably ok, but if like to socialise, peruse the buses and spend time amongst the sales hour offsite riding a bus is likely to be too long for some. That said, every bus I saw leaving site was full so what do I know?!

Here's 337 on display on the rally field: