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Day ONE and the serious business of fun begins…

Day one was blessed with beautiful weather and a blue sky over Imola. We’ve been hearing of terrible weather in other parts of Italy but so far where we are we have little to complain about.

Teams started arrived at the Molino Rosso hotel all day and with them came their tales of adventure, merriment and in some cases misadventure. There was a need to call out an emergency dentist for one of our die hard teams who managed to bring a throbbing 

toothache with him all the way from middle France.  He also had a hazard relay issue (don’t ask me… I just picked up the term in between his yelps for the dentist) which our erstwhile service crew solved without even breaking into a sweat. They were reeling off Mini part numbers with the same dexterity as they would were they telling someone their phone number!

We had one team arrive with the rumblings of a minor ‘domestic’ apparent. Not overly sure what’s been going on but I think the roots are deeply seated in a combination of poor navigation and mechanical ‘nuisances’ (these are apparently perfectly normal knocking noises thet all classic Minis have. Though loud, alarming and repetitive, they are, according to the service crew, perfectly normal). I’m hopeful a reconciliation can be effected for our warring team so that the harmony amongst our ranks can be maintained.

We had quite a few teams arrive in Imola a day in advance of their predicted and reserved arrival times.   The hotel were excellent and managed to accommodate most of them but it was literally bursting at the seams when the arguing team arrived and thus, almost as if to exacerbate their woes, they were shipped off up the road to a partner hotel for the night. They’re due back in later for the obligatory scutineering, and every fibre in my body is praying they pass.  

The previously mentioned service crew are in fine fettle and have spent much of the previous evening offering informed re-assurances that everything is OK with the cars. There are no shaking of heads or sucking in of air here you know…. Your car will literally need to be in pieces before Gareth, Roger and Jono look even a little concerned. Even though we have fewer teams, I predict a pretty busy few days for the boys…. so we’ll see by Florence how they’re holding up.

Our Teddy Bears made their first appearance last night too and in the process delighted all the other hotel guests including the delegates from a medical conference taking place at the hotel. A number of Italian cardiologists consulting rooms will now be adorned with Italian Job waist coated teddy bears, pullover wearing dogs, scarfed monkeys and other stuffed animals…. all of whom display a discreet Italian Job logo!

Had a quick glance too at our 2011 road book (and a long meeting with the Italian Chronometrists) and the routes are looking wonderful. We also reviewed our route through the city of Florence on Sunday and boy it really is in the heart of the city. We’re expecting our numbers to swell to 90 in total so I think we really will be doing an Italian Job in Florence…. I think we’re going to create a traffic jam!

Got to dash now and watch the service crew getting their hands dirty as they scrutineer the cars under the ever watchful eye of Kenjay!

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