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Day One and No Crash

Friday, November 01, 2013

Day One of the Targa was a huge learning curve for Jim and Rhonda.  This event is not for the faint-hearted.  The 7 special stages were incredibly demanding with very few straight roads and when there was one breaking from 180 kph plus to take a sharp right hand corner at the end was a matter of fine judgment.  Cars started 30 seconds apart on those stages.  The intended relaxing tour between and service breaks proved to be anything but.  As a result of a delay on the second stage with a school bus found returning after the road had been closed, the organisers had to condense the rest of the day.  Lunch was restricted to 10 minutes and an arrival time at New Plymouth of nearly 7 p.m. after an early start meant early to bed.  Heavy rain on the last leg was also challenging.

The cars that do this event are not always what they seem.  None are standard (but then neither is the BMW 135i) and the drivers are almost entirely multi-Targa competitors and they have the skills to prove it.   What has been absolutely great has been the friendship, advice and assistance they have offered to the intrepid new entrants.  The advice has inevitably taken the form of “Don’t overdo it at first, work your way into the event and try for consistency above all.”

Well that’s what we’ve been doing as our first day results show – 56th out of 77 cars is not exactly stellar given that we DO have a good car.  Importantly, we are enjoying the challenge and the privilege of taking part.

Tomorrow runs from New Plymouth to Palmerston North on a very windy route with 6 more special stages.