|September 14, 2008 - The first day of driving is the Prologue.|
This gives us a chance to get a feel for how the stages work and lets the organizers seed the cars for the timed stages, starting tomorrow. The slowest cars go off first, the faster ones later. If you're seeded too early, you spend a lot of time passing people. If you're seeded too late, you'll be pulling over constantly.
The first stage was Flatrock, a fairly quick one along the coast and into the forest. We drove it yesterday as part of our odometer check and we'd had the chance to watch it on video - so it wasn't a stranger to us. It's just as well that I was comfortable with it as it gave Janel a chance to settle in with her instructions. It went pretty well. Not super-fast, of course, but you can't win the Targa on the Prologue. You can, however, lose it by crashing. It was all over in a bit of a blur.
We stopped for lunch at a school, much to the delight of the local kids. This is a common theme in the Targa. We're basically a rolling car show. We all knew what our appropriate time was to leave the control, but everybody was eager and peeled out a bit early. This would have consequences at the next stage start, as there was limited space for staging and we collectively caused a big traffic jam. Whoops.