We are going to be turning this into a classic rally car. And then you can see how much work there is left to do! Oh, please, please, please. – Lean over, lean over! Here we go! Better to stop…
The question is: Can I make the top 50? Can I? Welcome back to the final episode of Behind The Build. It is now Day Three and you would have left me on the Car Throttle channel with me being completely broken last night, with Heinrich also making some strange noises, and with us in place something, we weren’t quite sure but we found out this morning that we’ve made it up to place 66, so we’re doing very well.
There are approximately six or eight cars that haven’t made it, so they’ve either broken down or crashed out, I think broken down… Our goal today is to make it into the top 50. We’re not quite sure what’s wrong with Heinrich on the rear axle, so we’re just gonna plough through and hope that everything’s all good.
Wish me luck! It’s gonna be a tough day today. It wasn’t long before we were met with our first proper dilemma. Fellow competitor and German comedian Urban Priol had broken down in a BMW 1800, meaning we had to make the difficult decision to either help them or set a good first time. So, we did the right thing… and carried on. As you can see, the roads have gotten really, really tight, we’re on our average speed time trial of 36 kph which is roughly translated to 20 mph. It doesn’t seem like a lot but there are hairpins galore. And the scenery: Look around. With the miles racking up, the slight noise we heard from the rear axle didn’t get any worse, so we pushed onwards hard.
Whoahh!! – Yes! – Yes! – Yes. Now. – Now. Tight corner. – Oh yes. If you fly off there, it’s a long way down. No crash barrier, nothing. Then you’re in trouble. You need a parachute, do you have it? No, didn’t you pack it? No, I didn’t pack it… Ah no… – I’ve got an umbrella! With the mood onboard being at an all-time high and Heinrich running smoothly, my hopes of breaking into the top 50 seemed more achievable than ever. So we’re about to get started with our second time trial of the day. Karl-Heinz is busy putting all the average speeds in and the distance that we need to cover. He’s definitely got the hang of it now. Off we go! With progress going well and a top 50 in sight, the inevitable happened. The 57L… Where is it? No, it’s not that way.
That can’t be right! With us well and truly lost, we spotted a Porsche 944 in a bit of trouble, so decided to pull over and help. Hello. – We’re still in the… We’ve got a tow rope, right? – We should have one… But we’re still in the time trial… – Ah, no, it’s over for us anyway! Where are you from? – Yeah, then let’s get the tow rope. There we go… Well done Heinrich, you’ve saved the day! With our good deed of the day in the bag, we continued with our new friends in tandem, quickly catching the BMW, whose days we previously thought were numbered. Exhausted from a long morning of driving and rescuing people, it was time for lunch. You satisfied? On the whole, yes. We didn’t crash, we didn’t create a complete mess. We didn’t have to swim… Exactly, and we also pulled a Porsche out of a ditch.
That too… And now we need to check if we’re still in the competition. If we’re still in with a chance or if we’ve lost it. – Tomorrow’s a new day! I think that I need to have a word with some experienced rally drivers because we’re not doing too well but we’re not doing too badly. I just think I need to pick up some tips and tricks. A bit frustrated but we’ll get there. I think the main thing is never to give up. So yeah, let me chat to some guys over there. The most important thing is to never take a wrong turn, because if you do, you’ll never make up the time. Yep, then we’re in trouble… So I think it’s important to follow the road accurately to make sure your distances are accurate. – We’re not managing that… Because if you don’t do that, then your averages won’t match up. To have fun, that’s all we want to do, and to bring the car home in one piece.
And, is everything running well? – So far so good. With their words of wisdom fresh in my mind, it was time to put it all into practice in our next time trial. 3, 2, 1… Go. But this time, I was gonna push Heinrich hard. Right turn ahead… I mean left turn! Careful, it’s gritty! It’s ok, it’s ok… It’s fine, everything’s fine. We’ve got this. If that was ice… And we’re still 218 metres behind. I don’t mind… But I do, I’m the driver! – You’re the driver! With that all cleared up, it was time to enjoy some amazing roads. I mean, get a load of this! We’ve been working very, very hard all day.
He’s coughing a little bit… Yes… Heinrich. I think he’s had enough today. The problem could be fuel or a misfire. As night fell, we were well off-the-pace and were warned that if we didn’t reach the checkpoint by pm, we’d be penalised with a huge points deduction. Question is: Would we make it in time? Just have five minutes… You’re like one minute away from getting scored like loads of negative points, so quickly, quickly come up here and you need to make it in. I think we just made it. I think we’re not gonna be scored too negatively. That was a hard, hard drive. I am absolutely exhausted and I think that we’ve made it by the skin of our teeth. Yeah, there’s not a lot left. I am ruined, I’m hungry. Today was probably one of the hardest days driving I’ve ever done. I think I have placed… 61st.
I think 61 I’ve made. I know quite a few cars have actually crashed today. I saw a BMW in a ditch, I saw a Porsche 944 in a ditch. And he’s incidentally the same guy that we pulled out of a ditch earlier in the day, so he’s had a very bad day. I’ll see you in the morning. Ciao! So I found out last night after a very long day that we are now in position 58 of 90 cars. We were in 51st, we probably screwed something up, so we lost a few places. Today is another day, though, we’re in lovely Cannes. The sun is shining, Heinrich is a little bit lumpy today, I think there’s something wrong with the spark plugs, so hopefully we won’t have too many issues.
Today’s plan is to try and get into the top 50. I’m desperate to do that. We can do it, Heinrich has got it in him, so wish me luck! As we left Cannes, we went up into the mountains and set our sights on Italy and our first stage. Now. – Now. – Now. You’ll tell me when I should drive faster or slower. You can drive pretty relaxed now. At the top there are lots of straights where we can make time back up.
– Good. A solid first stage and a quick coffee stop later, it was time for the big one. The famous Monte-Carlo rally stage that Peter had informed me of. I couldn’t wait for the one and only Col de Turini, let’s do it! Another time trial, the last one we did really well, I’m really happy with that. We work very well together now. And yeah, super excited! This is also the last day, I’m actually quite sad that we’re not going to be driving together anymore. Three. Two. One. Go! Off we go! Go, go, go! Go! – Go! The Col de Turini really is as special as they say. And I’m not surprised it’s a regular rally stage. It has the perfect combination of switchbacks, long straights and incredible views, that it makes it one of the most spectacular roads I’ve ever driven. It was now time for lunch, but before that, a little look at some of the other cars I’d be competing against throughout the week.
We’ve got amazing stuff here, this is probably one of the most amazing, a Lancia Stratos. We’ve also got a Lancia Delta Integrale over there, Subaru Impreza, we’ve got old Porsches, we’ve got old BMWs, there’s literally everything here. We’ve got Skodas, Saabs, Peugeots. Heinrich is parked somewhere over there… Porsche 924, Escort RSs, BMW 2002… If we turn around that way, excuse me! Another Heinrich! This is a slightly older Heinrich, but also very cool. And yeah, proving the test of time. There’s one more car over there, Riley, let’s have a look at that. Yeah, it takes quite a while for this one to get started in the mornings but as you can see, there is such an eclectic mix of cars here, it is excellent and to see them all parked here is the best thing ever. This is now the final push, we’ve got two hours left. Karl-Heinz, will you come here? We’ve got 2 hours and we’re gonna make the top 50. Exactly. You think? I have a feeling that we’ll make it. We’ve got this. – We’ve got this! – Good! I already knew that making it into the top 50 was unlikely, but apart from finishing the rally with Heinrich in one piece, there was one more thing that I wanted to achieve and that was hitting the perfect zero on the average speed rally computer.
This is now our last rally stage. I think Karl-Heinz is getting a little bit pent-up. So, top 50! Yeah, top 50? Right, let’s do this! Four, three, two, one… Let’s go! Our last stage together, Karl-Heinz. Are you happy about that? Yes, if we do this one well, then everything’s good! If we can get over the line with exactly zero then I’m gonna be so happy, that would be… There are one, two hairpin turns ahead… – Good. A little bit more, a little bit more… Four…Three…One… Good. What did we have there? Ah, we achieved zero! Now this damn thing should switch over… So we just achieved 0.00. Exactly what I wanted! Now we’ve got a bit more driving to do… And then we go back to the hotel, find out where we’ve come. So, Mr Meyer… That was fun! So, that was it. Our final rally stage of what’s proven to be a challenging but amazing rally.
All that’s left to do now is to head to the finish line in Monaco for a well-deserved glass of champagne. There we go! We’ve arrived in Monaco. Karl Heinz, now you can sleep soundly. He’s very relieved. Car’s in one piece. I’m really relieved and today was definitely our best day. Yes! Hello! As the rally came to a close and the drinks started to flow, it dawned on me that the rally wasn’t just about the 1,860 km distance travelled over the last four days. Nor was it about narrowly missing out on a top 50 spot. Because even though we came in 59th place, driving the AvD-Histo-Monte is about so much more than that. You see, building Heinrich with Karl-Heinz and Marcel has been amazing. And the fact that he’s crossed the line in such good shape is incredible and goes to prove that built, not bought, is always the best way.
So have we built a baby Rote Sau? I like to think so because as far as I’m concerned, Heinrich is one of the coolest Mercedes-Benz race cars ever made. But the rally isn’t only about the cars. It’s been about the friends I’ve made along the way too. The smiles, the frowns, the tough and good times. Those long days and nights spent in the company of true enthusiasts, people with fuel really running through their veins.