Uh-oh. Looks like the times are too easy for the historics or too hard for the moderns. Paynters and almost all the moderns have penalties already while many historics are scot free. Adjust while you still can!
This is an interesting problem that for me goes to the whole history of automotive development. Trying to equalize cars of different historic periods is very difficult, but the advantage of the historic cars on this event has made it difficult for me. How can I tell my sponsors that we weren't on the podium because a '67 Mustang had a better handicap?
>Uh-oh. Looks like the times are too easy for the historics
>or too hard for the moderns. Paynters and almost all the
>moderns have penalties already while many historics are scot
>free. Adjust while you still can!
Perhaps the target times for each class should not be fixed at the start for the entire rally, but be self adjusting based on performance after, say every group of two or three stages.
Of course, the target times are probably perfect for your Volvo!
Yes - there has to be an algorithm for these handicaps that can adapt through the event. But I've wonderd this: how many historics would be discouraged from attending if they were only racing for class rather than overall wins? I believe Targa Tas is always won by modern cars. You can hardly blame someone in an XK140 for losing to a WRX, but you can see the weirdness in the reverse.
Which begs the question: why not just run the event as a 1960s rally (or a 1970s endurance rally) with "selectives" ie. penalties for being over a certain time, with early stages being relatively easy (and with minimum times too to keep the average speeds down on the straight stages) then becomeing more difficult to the end of the rally to sort out the faster competitors, then award everybody within their classes too? Why have handicaps again?
Flirting with the laws of physics.
PS of course I'm talking out of my arse as I should really be there complaining in a driving suit...
For our class (modern modified) the target times were adjusted (reduced) after a couple of days of competition, presumably based on prior days results. I think all target times were reduced somewhat, but the most significant reductions were for modern modified.
The consensus among competitors at the event seemed to be that the ideal car was a 70s shell prepared to modified rules with updated mechanicals. That is exactly what Bill Arnold did with his 72 Bavaria. The difference in target times for his class (Classic) vs ours (Modern) were quite significant. Whether intentional or not, the target times seem to favor cars that look old over cars that look new while simultaneously favoring significantly modified mechanicals over stock mechanicals. I didn't read the prep rules too closely, but there seems to be quite a bit of leeway in modified. I think we could have put our suspension and motor in a 76 Mustang and zeroed a lot more stages. Unfortunately, Sean is not in the business of tuning classic Mustangs, so it is unlikely he will be backing such an effort.
Shameless plug: I'm available to co-drive next year
I just returned from Targa Newfie as well. Great event and finished second in class.
This event is hard to build a car for. Chuck's assessment is correct. It was also true last year. I believe that last year Bill won the modern class, but finished sixth overall. He then studied the rules and built his '72 Bavaria. He won overall this year.
Because the time adjustments are made nightly and might be adjusted differently next year, I think that it is very risky to specially build a car for this event. Also the rules are decided by the organizers and they can change/make up rules at a schedule of their choosing. I say bring a fast car that you like and drive it well.
>Sounds like the organizers can easily place the advantage on the class (or car) that they would like to see win.
Welllll... they could. But I don't believe they do. The base times are adjusted daily based on how well the cars in each class did the previous day, so any advantage in the early days of the rally is pretty much eliminated by Day Five.
Targa Newfoundland was intended to be an event for Classic Cars, but Modern Cars are allowed to fill out the field (an pay the bills). Consequently, the rules ... and entry fees ... favor the Classics.