19th September 2017

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The one and only bird on the rally, the lovely Michelle Brown wrote this one:-

It was just another day on the rally with the Mechanics. Early start, breakfast, tinkering under the bonnets, shortly followed by the usual shouts of “Let’s go, let’s go!”

Back on the road again, heading out of Budapest, wondering, as always, where the day might take us; it wasn’t long before we saw some signs for a go-karting track. Naturally we turned in.

At this point I should admit that I’ve never been go-karting before and as the only girl on the trip I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted my first time to be with 7 petrol heads who between them have about 300 years worth of driving experience. Did I mention that one of them is a professional stock-car driver?

Helmets on and induction done, I couldn’t help but wonder “what the bloody hell am I doing?” The thing is, I really shouldn’t have worried, because it didn’t take me long to discover that my terror was going to be rather short lived. The moment the flag was waved until the moment that all 7 of the Mechanics had left me firmly in their dust, was about 10 seconds. 10 seconds of terror, as everyone weaved around me, and raced past me, but that was it. Oh apart from David Price, who had naturally gone spinning off on the second corner and I met head on as I rounded the blind bend. But even he managed to recover and was soon off in the distance.

Catching up was clearly not an option, although I did try quite determinedly to be a nuisance in the middle of the track as I got lapped by most of the drivers. Apparently in Hungary, none of the same rules apply as they do at home; you’re allowed to play dirty; and my goodness, they did.

For most people, that would have been enough adrenaline and excitement for one day, but not for the Mechanics. The owner of the track soon turned up when he heard that 3 London cabs were parked in his car-park. David Price, never being shy of a cheeky question, jumped straight in and asked the owner if we could line the taxis up on the start line of the track for a photo. What he hadn’t realised was the owner was game to let them actually race the taxis around his track. Do you remember what I said before about their lack of health and safety rules??

This seemed like a fabulous idea, of course, except go-karting tracks aren’t really designed for London taxis. A bit like the Nurburgring. At least this time, the taxis had the track to themselves. I don’t think this was on the minds of the 3 drivers, however, when they came to the approach for the final bridge. Black taxis are a bit taller than go-karts you see. Obviously none of us had considered this before they took them onto the track. The cabs did make it under, but it was close.

So on we continued, adrenalin-fuelled and exhilarated. Just another pit-stop on the Black Cab Banger Rally.