The evening didn't last long for us, but for some it went on for quite some time, there was a musical evening arranged by locals, with some folk singers etc, but we chose to return to the rally village and relax.
The race day morning was quite calm, until at around 9am, Asad mentioned his Jero's oil level was low. Now I have kept NPP for over 2 years and driven it on 3 rallies before and never once has it reduced oil level. Well lo n behold, I checked casually and the oil level was towards the lower level. Panick ensued, in haste while leaving Islamabad, I didn't send along the Mobil 1 Oil can which I have been usining in NPP. No one at the rally village had synthetic oil, only minerel oil and that too for diesel engines. The petrol station was PSO and only stocked mineral oil but the store room person was no where to be found at 9:10am.
Confusion reigned for a while. Eventually Mitsuman came up with a solution, he had 400ml of STP engine oil additive/ treatment and he felt it could be added, so we did add that, afterwards oil level rose to above half on dipstick and we rushed towards the starting line for our 09:25 start. There was pandamonium near start line, every tom dick n harry had lined up their cars along the route and there was a single line passage only. And with people coming both way, I was delayed.
I thought I managed to make it just in time, but turned out I left starting line over 40 seconds of my due time. On my GoPro vdos you will note, that both the camera were turned on after I started from the line. I even had to zero the meter while changing the gears etc, while reciting Dua's and and prayers!
And to top it all, Almighty's message to never be complacent became extremeley clear at only minute 3 and a half, when we had the narrowest of escapes! Both of us were shaken, but Zuhaib managed to keep his cool and kept motivating me and navigating. But the damage was already done, as can be seen by our stage 1 timing. Most people had better time in stage 1. But still we are exteremely thankful to almighty for all the blessings (including the podium!).