|September 12, 2011 - Time to start the race.|
After an early start, we hit Holyrood for our first stage. It's not a long one, but it was quick enough in spots to give us a good workout. I'm still getting used to just how quickly the car will power down the straights, and it's sometimes a conscious effort to push that throttle all the way down. Still, it worked out well as we zeroed the stage.
The car felt a bit floaty at speed over the rougher pavement. So at the first service stop, I added a few clicks of rebound damping both front and rear.
Then it was on to Conception Harbour. We pulled up to the start line to find that it was marked as Condition 2 under clear skies. Odd. There was also a report of gravel on the road for 2 km in the middle. In retrospect, that explains the condition downgrade. I recognized a good portion of the stage as the old Conception/Colliers stage that we ran on the last day in 2008. That time, it was memorable due to a short stretch of oddly cratered pavement. We skipped that this time, but it was still enough to confirm that the shocks were working much better and the car felt good on the narrow uneven pavement. It's almost a point-and-squirt driving style, as I can't carry the speed through the corners I could last time due to the downgraded tire requirements and I carry a lot more speed on the straights.
We did see our first off. I came around a corner to see a triangle, followed quickly by the crew brandishing the OK sign. Shortly after was a corner covered in gravel, then skidmarks, then the back of a Subaru far off in the woods. Oops. We found out later the car has just a bent wheel, so everything's good for future stages. We did end up taking 5 seconds of penalties on the stage unfortunately. We were not the only ones.
tags: targa, 2011 race, exotics, tuning