Only the pole is visible, the plate disappears into the white plumes. Finding the throttle was exciting, but this mist ride certainly is. We do not find our way with screaming vocal cords but with dead silence. At 11:45 pm we arrive more than half an hour before time. We made it! Wow, what an exciting day. Sleeping is not yet possible. The adrenaline cannot be put to sleep just like that.
We start at 08.30 am for day 2. Ideal finish time in Rome is 11.45 pm. The longest day is ahead of us. Kind of fresh and fruity we join the queue. Number 396 (the Hungarians) and number 398 (the Italians) have now become our buddies. They don’t speak a word of English, but apparently we all speak the same language in the automotive world. We have fun together and wish each other the best of luck. As always, team 398 quickly overtakes us with their Porsche. We do the same with the Hungarians.
This day is dedicated to the climb to San Marino, a tour in Urbino and the Apennines. Many cars die in San Marino because they start the climb up hot. Pien can ride at a great pace, but has little power up, so we take it easy. Once at the top, the drive through the narrow streets of San Marino is fantastic. The people on the side of the road are pressed against the walls to let us through. They cheer and shout, so do we. What a party. In Urbino there is even a man who has looked us up in the starting list and shouts out, “Yeaahhh! Liesbeth and Marjet !!!! “We don’t know the good man, it gives us energy.
We regularly receive a beautiful bag filled with food from the organization. Pien’s backseat is starting to look like a takeaway. Time to do something about it. At the end of the afternoon, just before we enter the Apennines, we stop at an intersection where marshals, a policeman and two photographers are standing. We hand out our ‘backseat’, they are happy, we are happy and we get into conversation. Marjet in her best Italian and I with the photographers who turn out to be Dutch. They take some nice pictures of us and then we have to move on. The ideal time imposes itself.
The roads in the Apennines are narrow, two-way traffic, and have no hard shoulder. No street lighting in combination with our 6Volt Pien (weak headlights) means that we have little vision, just like the first night. The hairpin bends alternate quickly. We have to concentrate.
And then it happens, just after a really sharp hairpin turn up, the engine cuts out. We stand still and the silence around us overtakes us. We realize that this is a life-threatening place, where you can only start with an inclination test while the ravine is very deep at a distance of two meters. Marjet takes a flashlight and goes madly on the other side of the bend to indicate that people should drive slowly. I’m calling Mike, our service hero, but I’m just out of range. In the meantime I stay in Pien, I have become one with this car. Nobody can get me out of here, I will not let her go, for nothing. After three exciting endless minutes, Pace Car 401450 comes to our rescue. The men block the road and look cleverly at our battery – everyone who comes to Pien comes to me, that is clearly visible, I can tell by them. We try to start the engine again and suddenly, after fifteen minutes, Pien is working again! Off we go. With Pace Car 401450 on our heels. Our new friends for life. Arrival in Rome is a release. The guys from Classic Mike run after Pien and make sure she can’t just turn off again.