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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There was plenty of discussion at this year's TN as to what might be the perfect car to run the event. Based on the results from last year and this, it looks like a 1960s Pony car with a V8 and a damn good driver is most competitive.

Still, there are other cars which would be good. The rules are designed to give Classic Cars an edge, as TN is primarily a Historic Event that allows modern cars to fill out the field and pay the bills.

The Porsche 911 that we ran was able to beat the times until the "off" on Day Three. Once Scott realized we weren't going to win a Targa, he backed off a little since we would not be able to catch the car one position ahead and the car behind would not be able to catch us unless we made another major error.

A Datsun 240Z or Healey six cylinder or Jag XKE would also be good.

A "proper" Ford Escort, maybe a Mexico, would be good, as would a rally prepped Datsun 510, BMW 2002, Dodge Colt or Mazda RX2/RX3.

But the IDEAL car would be a mid '70s Capri with a V6 and Ferguson 4WD!

Any other ideas?

Tim Winker
Still aimin' for that first Targa.
 

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I have not studied the vehicle regulations or the results from the past two years, in detail. However, it looks like you need an old car with lots of power and good tarmac handling.

Even better if you can select a car that has few, if any other, entries in that class. Then, if you are astute, you can finish the early stages just under the target times. That way, the organizers will not be lowering the target times in you class when they do target time adjustments, as the rally proceeds.

If you know in advance which stages are the ones where time will be lost, then you can just continue to finish below the target times on the other easy stages. Then drive at your true speed on the few tight stages where time will potentially be lost.

Doug Woods
 

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Just to clarify Doug's point about driving the target or base times down. There was virtually a constant relationship among the base times for all the classes. For example, the base time for Class 3M was always the same factor longer as compared to Class 9M. Therefore all cars' times effect the base times of the other classes. Fast times in Class 2S (slowest class) can cause the competition committee to reduce the base times in all the classes, using the same constant relationship among the classes.

Therefore, sandbagging in your class alone, will not prevent the base times in your class from being lowered if someone in another class is very aggressive in beating the base times.

There are several different strategies that can be played out when deciding to push or just beat the base times.

Steve McKelvie
2003 Inductee into the Royal Order of Screechers
 

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So the factors between the classes never get adjusted? I can't afford to get a second car just to do TN, and I don't know how to explain to my sponsors that I might drive my legs off, win every stage, and not be on the podium.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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>So the factors between the classes never get adjusted? I
>can't afford to get a second car just to do TN, and I don't
>know how to explain to my sponsors that I might drive my
>legs off, win every stage, and not be on the podium.

Andrew:

Exactly. If the relationship between the classes is established before the rally by the organizers and does not change when stage times are adjusted, then the organizers are in effect deciding who will win the rally overall, in order to suit their own organizational and promotional purposes.

In some ways, this might be quite legitimate. As Tim has mentioned previously, the event is intended for historic/vintage vehicles and, thus, the organizers may want such cars to win.

However, since everyone pays the same entry fee (which is quite expensive), it does appear unfair. There could be different entry fees depending on your chance of overall victory. Or, there might not be any overall classification, just class winners, then all would be fair.

I watched the Targa NZ last week and as I recall, almost all of the vehicles in the overall classification where modern cars. Perhaps, they have a different view of such events down under.

On the other hand, the whole point of the event appears to be (and likely should be) to travel to Newfoundland and have as much fun as possible during the week, and if you happen to get a good result, all the better.

The event is not a tarmac special stage rally, it is a unique event with a format that is chosen by the organizers, which in the long run is probably just fine.

Doug Woods
 

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Andrew,
I rarely disagree with any of your comments, but I think that it is better that the relationships between the classes are not adjusted during the event. In this way, competitors can build/borrow/rent/enter a car before the competition based on a fixed set rules. Changing the rules among the cars midway through a competition is like ..., well... NASCAR. How would you feel if you had a well prepared car, pedalled your legs off, made the base times, and then have the organizers say that yoy have to go 5% faster to meet your base times? There could be favourtism during the event. This way the bias, if any, is out in the open before the event starts.

I don't disagree that the fastest car may not have the least penalty time, but it will win its class. Perhaps the car with the least penalty points should be de-emphasized. This discussion is something like those debates about the NCAA football championship.

Steve McKelvie
 

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I forgot to add what could be a perfect Targa Newfie Car. A fellow in my town has a Type C Jaguar. Perhaps eligible for Class 2 Stock. This is the slowest Targa class. Doing that event in a Lemans winning car would be a blast.

Steve McKelvie
 

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I think you guys have put you fingers on it. Someone in a really hot car from the middle part of the century is likely to take the event. The problem is that it's not so easy to get sponsorship for a C-type or a Ferrari 250 (but then if you have one of those I'm going to guess you don't need so much sponsorship).

Unless you own a trucking company or are a major auto dealer either of whom can self-sponsor and treat the entire thing as a tax write-off, I don't know how you'd afford to run a competitive modern car on this event. The Viper's and the Mustang's dogboxes would need rebuilding at the very least - not a small expense. Were they running pump gas, or did that lovely Churchill truck have some proper fuel in the back? (and I'm sort of treating the '67 Mustang as a modern car - with Stack instruments and a dogbox I'd say it's pretty modern, really).

I'm just sad. I really want to run the event and really want to see some good tarmac racing in Canada, but the logistics and cost for me to bring the Evo are shattering, and the unlikeliness of a podium makes me reticent to tell sponsors that they will get exposure.

Nonetheless, I will once again attempt to put this on my calendar for next year.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
>I really want to run the event and really want to see some good tarmac racing in Canada, but the logistics
>and cost for me to bring the Evo are shattering, and the unlikeliness of a podium makes me reticent to tell sponsors
>that they will get exposure.
>
TN is not about winning, it's about being there! The event gets so much coverage that it doesn't really matter where you finish. There are thousands of spectators, much more than on any ProRally I have been to in the U.S. It gets written up in more magazines than any individual rally, possibly more than the entire CARS series gets coverage in in the U.S.

Furthermore, I NEVER would tell a potential sponsor that there is a possibility of finishing in the top three, or top five, or of finishing at all. Sponsorship is advertising. It's a matter of putting your billboard out there where it can be seen, whether on the stages (few impressions) or on display (many impressions).
 

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Tim-

I suppose I agree with you on both counts. It's perhaps not a competition in the way that modern stage rallyists think of it. But from what I can tell, Targa Taz is more like that, and certainly a few of the competitors who come from Oz think of it that way, or else they wouldn't have the equipment they have. So perhaps the event is what you want it to be, unless you want it to be a modern tarmac stage rally.

Of course you're all too nice to tell me I'm talking out of my arse as I've not done the event. I've only watched very, very closely and done the math very, very carefully.

And of course I never guarantee a result to sponsors Tim! You can't! I said "unlikeliness of a podium makes me reticent to tell sponsors that they will get exposure" - although you're right that the broadcasts and write-ups I've seen haven't really been about the results. But having had a couple of my bigger sponsors say "we need our product on the podium, so we're investing in you" I feel a certain responsibility to finish well!

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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This being my first rally I really cannot make any suggestions as to the best type or class of car to drive. What I can pass on to other newbies reading this board is that ideally they should look for a simple, low powered car to try the event with. We rented a great little Honda Crx, about 120 hp, front wheel drive from McNutt racing in Nova Scotia. It felt safe, had lots of power and steered like a go cart, and yes we did end up on the podium.

The nice part of the event is that everyone finishing ends up on the Podium. Now we did not have advertisers to worry about, so finishing first was not important to us, but i do understand that it may be very important to others.

Overall a great event, and we now have the rally bug and are trying to make things happen for the 2004 Targa Tassie. }>
 

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I was just going to point out to Andrew what he so correctly identified himself -- that he hasn't been there and might not have a complete grasp of what is going on... But now I don't have to do that.

But I can add two or three other things that DO have an impact on his assessment of the event.

First, the organizers have now got 100% more data from which to determine things like factors than they did at this time last year. Their experience base has doubled, and with it the ability to fine-tune things like factors. From the knowledge base they started with, including input from the organizers of Targa Tas, they came pretty damn close the first year and got closer the second. Every year it will get better. (And every year someone will come up with the "killer combination" that works perfectly for the event.). If you think the results appear to favour Classic cars (vs Modern), you probably didn't look at the results after the first day, where the top of the board was crowded with Modern cars. And if two or three Moderns had not made unfortunate mistakes on the second and subsequent days, they would have been right there.

Second, to anyone who doesn't think this is a real tarmac rally, come run the event. If you don't think that staying on top of your game for a week, running increasingly quicker each day, taking the measure of your competitors and keeping the car together in very tough conditions is real, then go back to watching TV because you won't find anything more real than this.

Finally, to those who think they can run just fast enough to stay ahead of the factors, you might want to consider what the two top finishers said. Bill Arnold said he was going to start the event running just fast enough, and that strategy lasted half a stage. Then it was flat-out, 100% of the time, slowing only near the end of the stage when he knew he was well inside of his base. Mostly, it was flat-out. And when I asked Jeremy Hill, who finished second by just 5 seconds after five days, if he could think of a place where he could have picked up those five seconds, he said "No!" He had gone as quick as he could all week.
 

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You know, I really want to do this with pop's old car, but not sure of the rules. Does the car need to be caged? I think he has a killer, but we aren't going to rip it up to put a cage in it...

Either way, I still want to do this event, even if with a modern rally car.

Eric
 

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You're absolutely right Doug - I'm talking from no direct experience. So I'm very prepared to be wrong - hell, I hope I'm wrong!

And don't think that I don't have respect for the format - obviously a lot of people are having a lot of fun and competing passionately which is what it's all about anyway.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 
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