Targa Miata
September 13, 2008 - After the long haul across Canada and the US, the race car was finally unloaded in Newfoundland.
The car survived the trip just fine thanks to the covered trailer - I didn't even have to dust it off. I drove it directly into the arena where registration, scrutineering and the first "car show" were taking place. The car's not very happy idling when cold at sea level, but I don't have a lot of time to mess with the tuning to fix that up right now. It pulls nice and hard though.
entry 534 - tags: registration
September 13, 2008 - Inside the arena, the most impressive aspect was the range of machinery present.
The Targa Newfoundland is a historic event that also allows modern machinery. The E-Type (or XK-E, I always forget) in is the Grand Touring class and is gorgeous. The Porsche is one of many, with BMW also very well represented. Later arrivals had to park outside and that included a number of Mitsubishis and Subarus as well as a heavily modified Challenger with an intake bursting through the hood. Yes, the new Challenger. I'll get a picture of it later when it's not completely mobbed.
I do have to say that the Miata presents pretty well. The livery gets a lot of attention - as it's supposed to! - and it's gratifying to see how many people know the car. It's a very friendly bunch.
The variety of cars and the friendliness of competitors is not a surprise. That's how everyone describes the Targa. Well, it's true.
entry 535 - tags: registration
September 13, 2008 - My biggest worry before the event was making it through scrutineering.
Missing something small (or big!) in the regulations could make for a very busy day. That's why I'd been reading them very carefully and repeatedly, and emailing the organizers with questions. The car breezed through with no problem at all. Less than 15 minutes after pulling into the arena, I was done. Wow.
Not everyone was so lucky. I saw a number of cars who had missed the labelling requirements, including a beautiful Porsche Carrera 4 with a towing arrow made out of duct tape! I took pity and gave him my spare tow stickers. I also saw a Touring-class Porsche with the driver's name written on the windshield frame in marker. Another team had a scare when they were initially told their helmets were not legal. The regulations for Grand Touring helmets weren't clearly written so they had some anxious moments.
entry 536 - tags: registration
September 13, 2008 - We're only allowed 6 tires for the event.
All of my tires were marked with a special magical orange blob as well as my car number. Eww.
The other aspect of registration was paperwork, of course. Copies of driver's licenses, competition licenses, first aid certificates, etc were traded for a big stack of route books, jackets, hats and stickers. Many stickers.
I then spent the rest of the afternoon putting stickers all over my poor car. It's not a big car, and there are a lot of sponsors involved in this race! I did my best to make sure they looked good and not just slapped on.
entry 537 - tags: registration
September 13, 2008 - We had the chance to get out on the roads today for a bit, calibrating the odometer.
It's going to be difficult to drive some of these roads without stopping to take pictures, as it's a gorgeous area. And we have gorgeous weather right now, sunny and warm.
Tomorrow is the Prologue. That's three stages that are not timed, to give us the chance to get into the rhythm of the race. It's exactly what we need. Janel is doing her homework, analyzing the route books and translating the tulip diagrams into her instructions. "Does this look like a sharp right at a Y, or a square left at a T?" We're discussing the distinction between "easy right over crest" and "easy right into crest". It's all well and good for me to discuss that here in the hotel room, we'll see how I deal with it at speed!
We had a reception tonight to welcome everyone. Like a bunch of nerds, we showed up first right on time. Yeah, I'm that guy. An hour later, the place was hopping. We took off right after the speeches because Janel's exhausted from a late-night arrival into town. Trevor's off in the morning after being a huge help on the drive out.
So, a good first day. The only problem we had was with a stripped screw inside the trailer jack that could not be fixed despite the best efforts of the support crew. No worries, it can be sorted when I get back home. The expected chaos and problems did not happen. The car's legal, everyone's friendly and we're all ready for the first shot at a closed stage tomorrow.
entry 538 - tags: registration
September 14, 2008 - This is the obvious solution for how to carry two cars to the Targa.
It's called the "car camel".
entry 539 - tags: registration