Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/16/21 7:55 p.m.

10 years ago today, I was racing in the Targa Newfoundland. Hard to believe it's been a decade. I've done a lot of stuff since then including winning some endurance races, but nothing beats that race for sustained intensity. It's still around, a little shrunken, but you can still take your ridiculously fast car and drive it as fast as possible through small towns.

We just did a retrospective on the event and the Miatas that took part on FM's FB channel, but I'm going to take this opportunity to drop a couple of videos on you. 

This one's pretty short, it's Clarenville 2. We'd had some camera and mic problems so it's not as pleasant to listen to as it could be, but I think it captures the mayhem of piloting the Miata best.

 

Garnish. A favorite stage that starts off fast, drops into a tiny town and ends with a blast cross country. Different camera setup that doesn't capture the speed the same way (the wheelspin flare at 13s was going over a 100 mph crest), but if you have good speakers it brings you all the noise.

 

Roadside view. Short and sweet, it captures the difference between Grand Touring class and Targa class well :) It's not really fair, the GT guys are trying to drive very precisely while my excuse is that I was trying to heatcycle the rear tires but mostly I was just being a loon.

 

If you've got some time and want a good watch, here's a documentary on our effort at the race. It's a bit over an hour long and shows the ups and downs of the whole thing - the plotline is highly implausible if it were fiction.

 

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) MegaDork
9/16/21 10:41 p.m.

I love how all the kids started talking after you took that corner.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/21 9:28 a.m.

The cars run from slowest to fastest, so the show just keeps getting better for the spectators. The kids were probably a little more engaged by the time I came by.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
9/17/21 9:34 a.m.

I just came across my DVD of this yesterday cleaning up my desk at work.

BMWGeoff
BMWGeoff Reader
9/17/21 10:10 a.m.

The same event that brought you the Ferrari Enzo crashing into the Atlantic Ocean 

https://www.guideautoweb.com/en/articles/12823/ferrari-enzo-crashes-into-ocean-at-targa-newfoundland/

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/17/21 10:38 a.m.

To this day I'm still amazed that the event even took place; a huge undertaking for organizers and competitors...................respect.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/21 10:42 a.m.

Brandon - the driver of the other Flyin' Miata car - was one of the first on the scene there. That tow strap being used to prevent the Enzo from floating away is from his car :)

That accident really shows how easy it is for one whoopsie to end your whole race. Gravel on pavement is incredibly slippery, basically ball bearings. The Enzo wasn't the only car to end up in the drink, but it was by far the most high-profile and it also happened in town. I don't think he was driving excessively fast at the time, he was just struggling with grip and lost.

 

Like I said, he wasn't the only one to end in the drink. There's a yellow 911 in the water in this video - that's the source of the warning triangles. That car did finish the race IIRC and he was a Targa class competitor instead of a Fast Tourist. The video should start about the time I go past, although it's basicaly imposible to see the car.

 

2011 was the first year of the "Fast Tour", which allowed normal unmodified cars to run the Targa stages before the competition cars went through. It was a chance for the owners of supercars to drive their cars on closed roads. Problem is that the speeds were excessive - they were supposed to have a pilot car moderating the speeds, and the pilot car wasn't doing that. It turned into a high speed blast of unprepared cars being driven by untrained drivers. The drivers loved it but I was afraid they'd have a bad accident and the event would be shut down permanently. Apparently the current organizers of the Targa agreed, as they implemented speeding fines in 2018. One Fast Tour driver picked up $2500 in fines on one day.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/21 10:44 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

To this day I'm still amazed that the event even took place; a huge undertaking for organizers and competitors...................respect.

It's still going on.

It happened in very large part because of Robert Giannou, who knows everyone in Newfoundland and managed to get the provincial government on board. It couldn't have happened in many other places.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/21 7:48 p.m.

As celebration, someone's getting let off the leash at a track day tomorrow. 
 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
9/17/21 8:00 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Very cool that it is still going.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/17/21 8:44 p.m.

It's got about 30% more power than it did back then :) It's been working for a living doing stuff like aero, suspension and brake testing. 

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