Targa Miata
MIATA BUILD
February 10, 2007 - I've added a guestbook to the site.
It's always good to hear from other people who are watching the race effort. So if you have a question, a comment, a warning or just want to say hi, have a look.
entry 49 - tags: announcements
February 12, 2007 - The guestbook actually works now.
Whoops. Sorry to anyone who tried to sign it and wasn't able to - it's working now. Sign or read it.
entry 53 - tags: announcements
February 13, 2007 - Those with sharp eyes will notice some navigation changes to the site.
You can now read the updates in reverse chronological order - in other words, with the newest updates at the top. Click on the link at the top or bottom of the page that reads "Show newest first". The site will remember your preference. Feedback is appreciated!
entry 54 - tags: announcements
February 13, 2007 - We would like to welcome Corbeau as a sponsor of the Targa Miata team.
Corbeau will be supplying the seats and harnesses for the car. We approached them because we found their seats were the most comfortable of all the ones we've tried - and we've tried quite a few.
The FX1 Pro seat is also a very compact one that will fit well in our small car while providing us the comfort and support we'll need for a full week of racing.
entry 55 - tags: announcements, seats
February 19, 2007 - There's a small change in how the site's set up.
The diary entries now indicate who's written them and we're not going to use the third person anymore. This will probably be less confusing and certainly easier to write!

Eric's doing a bunch of research into rally computers, maybe he'll chime in with a few notes.
entry 65 - tags: announcements
April 18, 2007 - A request for the RSS readers.
I know there are a few people out there using the RSS feed to watch the site. I'm doing a bit of an experiment - please check out an updated feed at http://targamiata.com/rssplus.php and let me know what you think. I'm new at this RSS stuff.
entry 133 - tags: announcements
June 10, 2007 - This is a very sad announcement to have to make.
We are postponing our Targa effort until 2008.
The culprit? My marriage. I'm a Canadian citizen, and Janel is American. This will result in a green card for me, but until that is granted I am not able to leave the country as my existing visa is now void. The turnaround time for a green card is 2-3 months and I have to gather some other paperwork from Canada that will take a couple of weeks. If you look at a calendar, you'll see that it's very likely that I won't have a green card in time and there's no way to speed the process.
I can get permission to leave the country - but this also takes 2-3 months to obtain. In the meantime, Eric and I were scheduled for a Targa driving school at Mosport next weekend and there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to get back into the country. Meanwhile, there's the added complication of a ridiculously slow Canadian passport office, who have been sitting on my paperwork for about three months now. I did consider trying to bluff my way through, but the long-term consequences of getting discovered are too great.
This was a surprise to say the least. Had I known about this, I would have scheduled the wedding (at least the legal part) differently. Janel's the sort of girl who was willing to forgo an immediate honeymoon so I could run the Targa, so she would have been fine with that.
There is a bit of a silver lining. This will give me more time to test and prepare the car. Eric's job was interfering with his preparations pretty badly and now he has an extra 12 months to get ready.
I'm torn up inside. I've known about this for about four days. It's not the reason I've been working so hard on the car over the weekend, but it does make the postponement seem like less of a defeat. I'm used to overcoming obstacles with race cars and races - the ability to knuckle down and get things done is one of the skills that separates the lightweights from the serious competitor. But the combination of the Canadian and US governments has defeated me temporarily.

While we will not be competing in Targa 2007, we will be in Newfoundland in 2008. We've already registered.
entry 202 - tags: announcements
June 15, 2007 - My latest Miata book, Mazda MX-5 Miata: Find it, Fix it, Trick it is now available.
FindFixTrickMiata.com is a sponsor of the Targa Miata. Everyone should run out and get a copy. I think it's a pretty good book, covering every aspect of the Miata from history to annual specification changes to how to install a turbo system. And yes, there are a few pictures of the Targa Miata components in the book but you'll need a sharp eye to recognize them.
entry 211 - tags: announcements, sponsors
September 20, 2007 - Susquehanna MotorSports has joined the Targa Miata team!
They will be providing some of their signature rally products, such as a first aid kit, map light for Eric, mudflaps and other bits and pieces. On top of that, they'll be helping out with advice and information thanks to their long experience in the sport. They're best known for their lighting parts, and if we didn't already have a good stash of Hella lights we would have been in touch for those.
You can visit Susquehanna MotorSports at rallylights.com.
entry 315 - tags: announcements, sponsors
January 10, 2008 - An unfortunate turn of events.
Due to personal reasons, Eric's not going to be able to take part in the Targa Newfoundland for at least several years. It was his enthusiasm that got us committed to this race in the first place, and it's a real shame he can't make it to the starting line in September. We've been friends for a long time and this was going to be the realization of a dream.
The effort isn't going away, though. I'm still going to drive in the race. I'm not sure who my codriver is going to be at this point. Eric is still going to be involved as much as he can, and who knows what will happen eventually. But for 2008, someone else is going to be in the codriver's seat.
entry 369 - tags: announcements
January 13, 2008 - Excellent news.
The team has a new codriver - my wife Janel. This is not as obvious a choice as it seems, and it took some careful consideration on her part. Personally, I'm very happy with her decision.
She's a bit of a gearhead, with a turbo Miata that sees track and autocross use whenever possible. She can also explain why she prefers her existing turbo system over the supercharger she had before. She's spent lots of time at the track both riding shotgun and helping me set up cars. She's a WRC fan who was mistakenly rooting for Grunholm in 2007. Her organizational skills are far better than mine and she's good under pressure. In short, she has the potential to be an excellent codriver. It doesn't hurt that it'll be easy for us to practice together - much easier than for Eric and I living in different countries.
There are some problems we'll have to overcome. A complete lack of codriving experience of course. Motion sickness is liable to be the biggest concern. There's also the matter of available vacation time to actually participate in the Targa - it looks as if the honeymoon might get pushed off yet another year. I'm going to end up paying dearly for that one! But both of us are excited about the prospect.
entry 370 - tags: announcements
January 16, 2008 - A new toy on the site.
You'll notice that some of the entries now have tags associated with them. For example, any that involve building the header have a "header" tag. Click on that and you'll get a listing of all the header posts. It should be useful if you want to follow the evolution of a particular aspect of the build.
At the moment, only the header posts have tags on them. I'll go back through the rest of the site and add in more. Just like the Targa Miata itself, this website is completely homebuilt. It's part of the fun, right?
entry 380 - tags: announcements
March 21, 2008 - The Targa Miata is featured in the premiere edition of Forever MX-5 magazine!
It's an honor to have the car chosen as their first feature car, and I'm really happy with how the article came out. Heck, I'm like a proud father.
If you'd like to read the article, you can download it here as a 3.2 MB PDF file.
The magazine isn't available on newsstands, but you can subscribe at ForeverMX5.com or a copy of the issue at Carzines.com. They've actually asked me to be a regular columnist for the magazine, either due to my writing abilities or out of sheer desperation. You decide.
Here's why they chose it:
We chose Keith Tannerís Targa Miata as our feature car for the first issue of Forever MX-5 because it embodies the very best of the Miata world. Itís a top-notch sports car, built for speed, handling, and all-around performance. And itís a beautiful work of art, painted and polished with care and attention to detail. Finally, itís a car built for a lively purpose ó running flat out on the open road, having the time of your sweet life with your best friend by your side.
entry 439 - tags: announcements
May 14, 2008 - The Targa Miata website is now part of the Slow Car Fast family of websites.
Sounds very fancy, doesn't it? But really, it just means that I'm trying to get all of the various projects and sites gathered together. So just in case you're bored reading about this particular Miata, feel free to check out the other members of the fleet. You've seen them in the background of the photos, now's the chance to see them up close.
There's a new kid in the garage as well - a 1972 MGB GT. It's in the debugging stage right now, and it'll get a V8 after the Targa's over. It's Janel's "fun car", you see.
SlowCarFast.com
entry 456 - tags: announcements
July 8, 2008 - Targa Miata clothes have arrived!
If you want to get a high-quality t-shirt or sweatshirt and show that you're a fan of the coolest rally Miata around, now's your chance. I had to wait until I saw the quality of the sample shirt, but it's good stuff. It's not only a heavy, high-quality shirt but the printing is perfect. Can't say the same about the out-of-focus picture, of course...
The store is at targamiata.spreadshirt.com and about 10% of the proceeds will go towards the race effort. Yes, I know, they're not the cheapest shirts in town. But they're high quality and this way we don't have to do a big print run and hope we got the quantities and sizes right! You can choose whatever size and style you want.
Currently, all of the clothes are navy blue with the Martini stripes, but white is coming at Janel's request. I'm going to order some team sweatshirts to keep us feeling warm and looking cool during the race.
entry 489 - tags: announcements, Martini
July 11, 2008 - White shirts are now available.
T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and even a vintage-style "ringer" tee are in the Targa Miata store. Show that you're part of the team!
If there's a particular product you'd like to see, just contact me.
entry 493 - tags: announcements, Martini
July 17, 2008 - The Underground Miata Network is our newest sponsor!
The UMN, as it's known, is a Miata club in Ottawa. I was a charter member and have kept in contact with the club via their email list - but this was completely unexpected! The club generously sent in a donation to help with the effort. I'm blown away by their support, and will proudly display the UMN logos on the car as soon as it's reassembled.
entry 498 - tags: sponsors, announcements
August 31, 2008 - Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed an addition to the menu on the left side of the page: RACE UPDATES.
Hopefully the purpose is clear! During the race, I'm planning to make regular updates on our progress. There are no guarantees that I'll find time or have the ability to do this, and it'll only happen in the evenings if I do. But I will do the best I can.
The weather in Colorado today is almost exactly the same as in St. John's - wet (I think we got half of our 6-9" of annual precipitation last night!), cool and kinda blah. I pointed this out to Janel and she said "Uh oh".
entry 524 - tags: announcements, preparation
January 12, 2009 - The Targa Newfoundland TV schedule has been set!
Watch TSN at 11:30 am (Eastern, 1 pm Newfoundland) on February 8th to see the hour-long show. It's unlikely you'll see much of the Targa Miata because, well, we just weren't that dramatic! Unfortunately for those in the US - such as ourselves - TSN is not available south of the border. We'll have to wait until it gets shown on Speed, probably at 3 am on a Tuesday. Another option is to buy the DVD after the air date. Pay attention when you order, at the time of writing the only DVD for sale was the 2007 running.
In other news, the car is back on its feet with the new suspension installed. I'm working my way through the fairly short list of jobs to do, little things like fixing the wiring for the air temperature sensor and - apparently - the fans. Since the Toyo race rubber is at risk of cracking when used in sub-freezing temperatures, the car is confined to the garage for the time being.
The next outing for the car is the Miatas At MRLS 20th birthday party. That's a two-day track weekend at Laguna Seca, and I'm going to be there as a speaker, book signer and track weenie. If you can make it, drop by and get a ride on the track!
entry 645 - tags: announcements
February 13, 2010 - We made the cover of Forever MX-5 magazine!
Along with the cover is an 8-page article about the race. They've kindly given me permission to post it here.
Read the article
You may remember the magazine published an article about the car nearly two years ago, before we ran the race. Well, they'd asked me for a followup article about the race itself, so I sent something in to them. And of course, magazines started failing left and right right about then. Instead of just shutting their doors like many titles did, the publisher kept trying to bring the issue to press. They were ultimately unsuccessful, and eventually decided to go digital instead. So the long-lost issue has surfaced!

I really enjoyed reading it. Of course, I wrote it. But it's been so long since I've seen it that I forgot how it went. It's not a perfect article but I think it's pretty well done - and it brought the memories flooding back. You can tell it was all pretty fresh in my mind.

The issue isn't just about our Targa adventure. There's also a report on the Miatas at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event from last year that Janel and I attended - and will be attending again in April. Add in some Miata club event reports, a road trip article and various other stuff and it's well worth the $1.99 purchase price.
Buy the issue

I've been lucky enough to rate a fair bit of magazine coverage for my various cars over the years, but this is the first time I've taken over the cover.
entry 725 - tags: announcements