We participate in the Safety Caravan of the IV RallySprint Culebrín-Pallares
Even though since I have reason to use the cars have occupied My mind, there were some years that my days were filled with basketball. In these years of team I understood that, behind the stars, there are players who rebound, who defend, who pass the ball, and who together, as a team, just like that, get the victory. In a rally something similar happens. A complete team must leave the skin months before so that the safety of those who compete, those who see you sideways or at full speed, run as safely as possible. What's behind a rally? Escudería Faro de Extremadura invites us to participate in the Safety Caravan of the IV RallySprint Culebrín-Pallares . An invitation that we wanted to share with all of you. Motor running, siren on and ... to the stage!
It all started a little over a month before the appointment, when we had the first contact with the organization. From that moment until the departure, marked on Saturday October 20 at 7.30, the organization had little rest. My mobile needed a couple of daily charges, messages never stopped arriving. With the administrative documentation in order the signaling and assembly of the sections was the starting point. Two would ride the pilots, Section A-1 located in the region of Tentudía; and Section B-1 "Javier Domínguez", which corresponds to the legendary highway "El Culebrín" officially named EX318. Two winding roads drawn in the south of Extremadura that would be crossed three times each to complete a total of six passes.
To give a more emotional tinge to this story, and get away for a moment from the simple letters, this test pays homage to Javier Domínguez , person very involved with this sport that unfortunately lost his life years ago. In addition, with just three editions and the fourth starring these lines, this appointment has become very popular among fans to be decisive year after year for the regional asphalt and to bring together the best drivers of the championship.
And social networks gave a good account of it. With them, as well as encouraging the public, they took advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness among the spectators, both about the place they should occupy and about the respect for the medium. The pilots were adding, as much or more than the nerves. The closing of the inscriptions culminated with almost 60 participants three days before the opening ceremony, official document that would also be published 24 hours before the event and that gave way to the organization of all communications and material for the Security Caravan. At last the literature was disappearing and taking action.
On Friday everything was ready to give the welcome to the participants. Right there, where every year, in the Plaza de España de Pallares, a town of less than 400 inhabitants that is exponentially multiplied its population with the arrival of this special day. Administrative checks, technical checks and assembly and, finally, security meeting, one hour before the exit podium ceremony. All a well defined plan in the regulation and meticulously followed which master baker. Smell had, yes, but not a sourdough, but burned gasoline.
It is not easy to explain the framework that revolves around the organization of security of a rally.I was summoned an hour later with the Head of Security of Section B-1, Jose Julio Navarro, who just after shaking hands gave the order to Civil Protection to move to the points indicated previously . The Directorate General of Traffic has updated this year the regulation of traffic of sporting events to indicate that this type of tests does not require accompaniment of agents of the Traffic Association of the Guardia Civil. A change that gave answer to one of my first questions, and the Civil Guard?
For its part, each section was busy at its start and exit by a ambulance , which would provide assistance in emergency case. Next to her was a crane , responsible for towing damaged or damaged vehicles. All this information is collected in the Road Book submitted before the competition, a text of utmost importance for the pilots in which even the coverage of the different companies in each point is indicated. The last verifications were completed, now yes the roar of the engines hugged the spectators and gave us oxygen to those who were behind the spotlights.
"Car Zero for Race Direction, do you receive me? "
The departure of the first participant, quoted at 7.55 hours, corresponded to the 5.550 kilometer point of the BA-109. Before he released the brake and started running , Car 0000 and 000 had tested that the section met the appropriate safety conditions. Later, after the Regularity cars, the car 00 and 0 would leave, the ones in charge of giving the exit to the Speed cars. The Car Zero and its counterparts play a decisive role. Its mission is, in addition to analyzing the conditions of the stage, to show the public the speed and layout of the rally participants.
In most of the occasions the Zero Car is a competition vehicle, although it is not necessary that it be so. Those who are not racing or semicarreras are the cars that roll from the start of the Head of Security to the Car 00. As for the crews of the so-called Cars Zero, referring to both pilot and co-pilot, it is ideal to have experience in rallies in order to be able to report in detail to the Race Direction. It is also recommended to have a valid officer's license, at least one of the occupants.
As if The Three Wise Men waited for us, we set off at full speed at the exit of Section B-1 "Javier Domínguez", our place of work. Just before the Car 0000 came out in this second section, we, the Coche Escoba and the Coche Cintas were to do our job. The Cintas Car is one of the most important of the Safety Caravan. It must ensure the road closures, as well as warn the spectators of possible dangers in their locations. As important as the Escoba Car, which will travel the stretch after the last participant.
Everyone in your site
Pedal thoroughly in the exit. The sound of the gauge announces to the spectators that the Safety Car is approaching, and that the adrenaline will soon take off. Our objective, in addition to confirming the closure of the stage and warning delayed spectators, was to ensure the radio points , another key to the organization of a rally. This team deserves not a paragraph, but an entire report.Usually three colors are available: yellow, blue and red. The first one informs the pilot of the presence of a danger on the edge of the track or in a part of it. With it the participant knows that he must reduce the speed and not overtake, preparing to vary the route. The blue, in disuse, warns of the approach of another vehicle faster. And the red, the most prohibitive, stops the race completely.
We crossed the arrival point and first mission accomplished. Car 0000 receives the exit order . The second stage, that of "El Culebrín", the most anticipated by the fans, trembles with the passage of the participants. Brief time to enjoy the beauties that dance through our retinas. The retractable headlights of the Honda Prelude of Jesús Luque dazzle us, the roar of the BMW M3 E46 of Santiago Barragán gives us the goose bumps and the tail of the BMW 325i E30 of David Navarro, with his restless rear, end up making us smile between so much concentration. There are things that can not be explained. They feel, they enjoy themselves, without more.
As we head to the service park, located halfway road between stretch and stretch in the town of Monesterio, we are informed of a tremendous accident. Again fifth to bottom in road of connection. One of the fastest riders, participant with number 5, suffers a hard accident on one of the bridges of Section B-1. His Peugeot 106 Rally breaks the parapet of the bridge and is about to fall into the void. I could not feel anything but chills when I saw the height of it, more than twelve meters separated us to the ground. The concern ended with a "I'm fine" pilot, two words that sowed calm in the Security Caravan.
Unfortunately, the section was neutralized . This happens when after an accident the track does not meet the security conditions to continue running. If the duration of a regroup exceeds 15 minutes, that is, if in that period of time the track is not ready to continue, the section will be neutralized or canceled. The rest of the pilots will have to deviate and continue towards the next section. Likewise, in case of accident, the injured participant will show a sign identified in the Road Book with the word OK in green to indicate that it is OK. Otherwise, it will be signaled with a red SOS.
Above those cups
After this incident, the Car Cintas corrected without problems, the party continued. The rest of the passes, both sections A-1 and B-1, were completed with cleanliness and without serious accidents. The winner of the IV RallySprint Culebrin-Pallares completed the 54 km. timed in a time of 30: 01: 695 minutes. Antonio Luis Casimiro signed the second fastest time skimming the victory with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X only 03,919 seconds of the German model. The third place was for José Antonio Caballero, who finished 37.824 seconds behind the head with a spectacular Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
The award ceremony put the pin on a impeccable collective work. Thanks to Jose Julio Navarro, who left us the steering wheel with the utmost confidence and from the co-driver position he explained the entrails of the Safety Caravan.