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Report TAC Rally 2019

With a few minor updates to the BMW but especially a series of important changes to the service truck, our lives should become a lot easier and more efficient. In addition, the weather gods had also foreseen a bright blue sky for Saturday morning, so more than enough reasons to be super motivated at the start.

(Photos Wim Becker, Birger Vuylsteker)

Only someone had seriously messed with the thermostat because the temperature flirted with the freezing point in the morning, which certainly did not benefit the grip on the naturally very slippery TAC course.

We did not have to consult for a long time to determine our starting tactics. Unanimously it was decided to leave all the porcelain in the cabinet untouched. After the first Schuiferskapelle km’s it soon became clear that not everyone showed the same restraint with a lot of eye damage as a result.

For us, the test went without too many problems, here and there a bit of scanning for the braking points but one-off across the finish line. Not the most spectacular chrono but it was of course directly proportional to our caution.
We also decided to watch the cat out of the tree for the rest of the loop and get used to the many grip changes with only 1 goal in mind: not to make any significant mistakes!

KP 2 Ungrateful I personally found a lot easier, but here too we kept a wide margin to avoid any confrontations with the Tieltse canals.

KP3 Oosthoek, the longest of the 4, was unfortunately cancelled by Cherain’s crash. A pity because together with Schuiferskapelle I found this to be the best test.

An alternative route led us to the last test of the opening loop: KP4 Poelberg. In the meantime, the temperature had also risen a bit and that was also noticeable in the cockpit. Not that we were already in attack mode, far from it, but here and there there was already a little later braking.

The head was off and the atmosphere was very relaxed on the connection to the regroup. Until at a certain moment, again out of nowhere, the alternator alarm appeared on the screen. Not yet dramatic values, but still enough to induce a “déjà vu” feeling including any kind of concern.

Fortunately, we made it to the service without any problems and a short check reassured us again, the alternator was still in top shape.

We therefore left with full courage towards Schuiferskapelle 2 with a slightly modified tactic, slowly increasing the pace. Even before the refueling zone, however, our dashboard began to behave like an over-aged Christmas tree. After refueling the necessary liters of vitamins, we really started to worry and unfortunately rightly so. The battery voltage seemed to be in free fall and in no time the gas pumps started to falter and we stood looking bewildered next to a lifeless white M3.

At first sight everything seemed quite normal, belt was still perfectly tightened, battery cable was still neatly in zen place. But because we had put heat shrink tubing over the cable eye and a piece of the battery cable, we did not immediately see that the vibration devil had kept ugly house.

The overgrown collection of copper wires encased in a PVC jacket that is normally supposed to transport electrically charged particles from the alternator to the battery was in the middle and was only connected by a piece of heat shrink tubing. Unfortunately, heat shrink tubing is known to conduct very poorly and that is why our battery was once again severely abused and especially empty. The umpteenth proof that the R-Box BMW cannot do without electricity at all. Result: “Game Over!!”

Very disappointing for the whole team to fall out in such a clumsy way, but unfortunately this is also part of it. The service crew was again great, as well as the entire coaching team. Three yard thanks!!

We’re not going to dwell on it for too long. It was certainly not nice, we did not do enough km’s to be able to speak of any progress, but the short introduction was enough to discover that we also feel comfortable in the car when the conditions are more difficult.

Still a positive note to take home.

See you in Bocholt!

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