Targa Day 2 – The Northern Loop

Today was Day 2 and the cars set off on the northern loop.  Leaving Launceston, they all headed west towards Devonport, then south towards Mole Creek before going back east to Launceston, where it all started.  The full course map is here.  Today’s section is the yellow section.

You’ll notice Dan’s headlights are on.  As well as being standard practice for these events, it’s also due to the electric water pump being wired through them.  If the lights ain’t on it’ll get mighty hot under the hood!

Today saw 8 Targa stages taking place, covering some 60km of competitive, timed driving.  Of course there’s also the drive between stages to consider.  All up the cars have covered over 300 km today, including Targa stages.

I’ll call Dan shortly and then get times up as soon as they’re available.

UPDATE 4:45pm: I’ve just spoken with Drew, serviceman extraordinaire.  They’d all just arrived back at the Silverdome in Launceston and seemed pretty chuffed with the progress today.  Drew indicated that they’re not confirmed timings yet, but everyone’s pretty sure that they’ve moved up in the placings and recovered a significant amount of time.  The car’s still running a little lean above 4,500 rpm.

UPDATE 2 – 11.10pm – I spoke with Dan just under 3 hours ago.  Since then i’ve been watching CSI and trying to get my head around these stage times and the current standings.

NOTE TO SELF: I’ve been writing this Targa-blog from a competitive standpoint.  I must remain mindful of the fact that Dan and Roger’s goal in this race is primarily to go one better than what Dan and Jeff did in 2003.  That is: finish the rally.

That being said, here’s my quandry with the race times and penalties.  On raw times, Dan managed to clean every stage today.  i.e. he got the leg finished within the required time.  For some reason though, he’s accumulating penalties.  There’s no explanation as to why on the results pages, so I’m going to have to enquire into that and see what the story is.

ADDITIONAL NOTE (28/4/05): The base time that I was assuming was Dan’s time for the course was in fact the base time that cars were aiming at.  Penalties noted are time taken in addition to the base time.  Therefore, Dan’s managed to clean 3 stages so far and has incurred penalties on the others. 

As I mentioned earlier, I spoke to Dan a few hours ago.  The car is running pretty well overall.  It’s handling very well indeed but it’s still running a little lean over 4,000 rpm.  They’re going to lose a few HP by disconnecting the water injection and see if that makes a difference.  There was another problem today too, concerning the dizzy.  The distributor cap was new prior to coming over but they discovered a crack in it this morning prior to heading off.  It was quickly replaced with a spare.

Dan told me he was passed by a BMW during one stage today.  Grrrr.  The driver must have been taking things over the limits though as he went off the road on the next stage.  As Clint Eastwood once said, "A man’s got to know his limitations".

There’s been 2 vehicles drop out from Dan’s class.  There was the Ferrari on day 1 that had an engine fire.  The second car to drop out was a 1972 Ford Falcon.  No word as to why, but Targa report that there’s been no injuries in the race thus far.

Tomorrow’s leg is ‘The Tasman Trundle’ and will see the drivers head east to the coast, then south to Hobart, where I’ll be waiting to catch up with all and sundry in person.

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