We were somewhere in Douz, in the middle of Tunisia, when we realised the enormity of the challenge we had signed up for.
Miss a turn and you are lost
We were somewhere in Douz, in the middle of Tunisia, when we realised the enormity of the challenge we had signed up for. It was the first day in the Rally of Tunisia yesterday and it was incredibly difficult adjusting. The terrain and weather means it is a new experience for us and at one point my head was spinning with all the twists and turns. The route is like something from the World Rally Championship - lots of 90-degree turns - but the main problem is there are very few points of reference.
In Abu Dhabi, when we raced in the Desert Challenge, there were 60 or 70 points that we could check to ensure we were on course, but out here, on the first day at least, we only had three: "start", "refuel" and "end". We can only hope for better in the coming days, because unlike in the sand of Liwa, the terrain here is rocky and so there are no tracks visible - if you miss a turn, you can drive for miles in the wrong direction without knowing.
James West, my KTM-UAE teammate, approached one particularly sharp turn a little too fast and ended up crashing into a cactus field. I was, coincidentally, the first person on the scene and I think he may have broken his wrist. If he has, that will be the second broken bone in the space of two days after I broke a finger on Saturday. Thankfully I can continue, but James will probably have to miss the rest of the week, which is a real shame. I wish him all the best. It's treacherous in Tunisia, it really is, but we are still on course to finish in the top 10. We have to keep believing, because in a week-long endurance race anything can happen.
Trenker is competing in the Rally of Tunisia on behalf of KTM-UAE, the leaders of the FIM World Championship. It is the first time the Emirates has been represented in the Open Production class in Tunisia.