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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, just watched Targa Newfoundland on SpeedTV the other night.

Some of the competitors were complaining early on that they weren't getting to go flat out, it seemed. What were the rules about speed? In other sections it seemed like they could go as fast as they wanted.

I was hoping to see more "rally" people there as well, there were the McGreer's (sp) but that's the only names I recognized. Seemed like most competitors were coming from a road race (track) background.

Is the intention of the organizers to work towards a crazy fast event like the Manx or more of a Sunday drive style event? Or both?

The Charlevoix tarmac stages look pretty exciting as well...

Skye "BC Boy" Poier
Seattle, WA

Vive le Prole-le-Ralliat!
http://www.rallyrace.net/

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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Each class is given a target time for each "stage". You are penalized one second for every second that you over (i.e. slower) than your target time. Last year is was very very very -- did I say very? -- easy to make the majority of the target times. If you beat your target time by more than a specified amount (6 minutes I think) you are also penalized. Most of us drove briskly, but not full out, until we got 3 or 4 minutes ahead of time, then cruised at a slow constant speed to cross the finish line with those 3 or 4 minutes ahead of target. There were only about 4 rather short "stages" that were a driver challenge -- and no more than a couple purposely made impossible so that the objective became minimizing your penalty by driving it like a real stage.

I believe that the event appeals most to the enthusiast who seeks to enjoy a brisk timed drive with his/her car in the company of other similar enthusiasts, in safe road-closed conditions among gorgeous scenery and amid the most friendly and helpful people you can imagine. It appeals less to the stage rallyist who seeks to push his car to the limit in a closely contested battle. It's for adventurers -- for those who will seek out, rather than avoid, cod tongues and screech.

Mark Williams
 

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I support crewed and photographed for Entry 701, a Porsche 944S2. The story is here, and as far as I can tell, the best competitor page going from this event:
http://www.seko.ca/TN02/TN02Pics.htm

When "Chip" C.J. John's said it was too slow, it is because at this innaugural event of TN, the organiser's caved to the wishes of an angry townsperson in Marystown, who pressured the local council to restrict speeds. This was unpopular by ALL, except for the stick in the mud resident.

This prompted the organisers to renegotiate the terms of a stage in Botwood (I think it was there), which was also going to be restricted. Botwood agreed, and a good time was had by all, and there was much rejoicing. I believe TN '03 is doing a full night in Marystown, and there will be no such restrictions on any stage. Towns are desperate to host the rally, and towns that don't allow racing, won't get the rally. : ) Expect some postive changes for 2003.

The cars that have the advantage are the Classics (middle category between Historic and Modern). At least last year (not sure of latest rules) any chassis that fit that year block (whatver itwas) was could run basically ANY engine, AND because these cars are 'older' (ignoring whatver block you may have under the hood) they were given longer target times (slower speeds). Sooooo, you can have a 1965 Whatever, with a 1997 quadruple-turbo engine block from hell, and need only meet the times for the 1965 auto. This may be why a good car, such as Mark's, was not sufficiently challenged in his category.

Our team lost places on road penalties, but in overall speed, did very well. Slow? I dunno, with the target times for Modern, our driver said he had to back off several times on the long stages, but routinely was cruising at 200+kph. An experienced autocrosser, he was 3rd fastest in the Gander subdivision stage, which had a ludicrously low base time (on purpose, as Mark indicated).

The event is an adventure, and also reliability of crew and car. It is a long event, make no mistake. This is a rally, but not your usual SCCA dirt-type deal. Different strokes.

This is a great turnaround for motorsports in Canada. I lived in Newfoundland for 10 years up to 1999. There was essentially NO sanctioned (CARS/ASN) motorsport on the island until this. Now they have a sanctioned motoring club, Vinland Motorsports Inc. and they are learning to marshal for Targa, and competing in TSD's.

Craig

ps- the Screech ain't so bad. It's bark is worse than it's bite. The local berry wines are fantastic.

http://www3.sympatico.ca/kchamm/rally.html
 

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FWIW, we ran our 110bhp car in the Modern class, 8A. Our class had the tighest base times and targa times. It was very difficult for us to meet them(as my co-driver will attest), but others in the class had no trouble. They asked for the times to be tighter as they could handily beat the scores. Per FIA rules, any stage on which a competitor averaged greater than 135kmh could not be used again in subsequent events(at least that's how it was explained to us). We only slowed on one stage to not break that average.

I spent the week exploring the terminal velocity of a Subaru with a 1.8L engine and enjoyed every challenging minute of it! :)

Take part if you can!

Cheers! John
 

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Check the web site for fees. $3.5K for TSD, $4.5K for race.

I did a week long tour of French race tracks some years ago. The costs were about the same. You should treat it as an adventure holiday for people who like to drive cars.

Someone should tell the organizers that they should advertise in Europe. It's not that far. When I went to France a handful of race cars from the US west coast were there for the adventure.

Targa looks good value for an adventure of this type.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ouch! Well that explains the Viper :)

Edit: I get this impression this is the kind of thing the SCCA wants the Historic class to evolve into as well... ridiculously expensive cars.. driven in an "adventure holiday" spirit by the retired rich... fair enough I guess they have to have somewhere to play too!

But we need a Manx in North America!!!

Skye Poier
Seattle, WA

Vive le Prole-le-Ralliat!
http://www.rallyrace.net/

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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To my friend Craig, a few notes to update your recollection of Targa...

The Classic class is NOT any engine in any make. Engines must be period-correct: No Datsun 240Z engines in 510s, for example. Same engine and gearbox and rear end as supplied. Lots of scope for modification, but no hybrids.

And for those who say every stage time was achievable... why didn't they zero every one? Answer: Some were tougher and a few were very, very tough. And some folks just messed up...

But the largest challenge is/was to keep going consistently quickly over six days, not put a foot wrong, tear up a tire (the tire rules are clever that way) and keep the car together. In many ways, it is the old formula for rallying.

And to the comment that it's nothing but rich old guys, look up the two 'kids' in the 2000 Honda Civic; one quit his job to do the event, they poured every cent they had into the car, brought it back from a near-total wreck on the first day, perservered through the usual number of dramas, benefitted from the help and good will of dozens of new friends, and had the time of their lives. Believe me, rich they ain't!

For fans who grew up on a diet of the current gravel rallies, this is different, to be sure. But it is more a rally than many other events which are a series of sprints crammed into a single day. If you have a wider view of what a rally is -- and could be -- you will enjoy Targa Newfoundland.


Doug Mepham
 
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