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Targa Newfoundland 2009

Posted by Ferdinand 
September 11, 2009 08:30AM
We're in St. John's Newfoundland.

Registration is tomorrow, Prologue Day on Sunday, then the competition runs Monday to Friday, with the awards banquet 2,200 kms later next Saturday.

No results up yet (obviously), but you should be able to follow along here: http://www.targanewfoundland.com/
September 11, 2009 09:00AM
Awesome! Have a great time, and I hope nothing important falls off the car. Anything else that falls off is just weight savings, right? spinning smiley sticking its tongue out

Cab
1990 325i(s)
2004 325XiT
September 11, 2009 11:58AM
envy envy envy


rkj
September 11, 2009 12:27PM
Oh man, what a free for all- Good luck Ferdy. You're with Martin I'm thinking..... soooooo jealous thumbs up

Rick
September 11, 2009 05:21PM
That is sooooo cool! I wish I could be there! Good luck and have the time of your life!

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
September 11, 2009 09:44PM
Quote
rkj
You're with Martin I'm thinking...

Nope. I'm driving my red 1990 325i with Christoph co-driving. See entry #1035: http://www.targanewfoundland.com/drivers/cars/2009/1035/

Martin is here too though. He's an official this year, driving the course closing car.

Daily photos are available here: http://pics.spoon.org/gallery2/v/Motorsports/Targa/Daily2009/

There are some shots from today's (Friday) Targa school session. We didn't take part in this one, as Christoph and I helped instruct in the session held earlier this summer at Mosport.

Saturday is registration and scrutineering. Sunday we hit the road for several practice stages in the Prologue day. Look for photos of that at the link above. Monday it starts for real.
rkj
September 12, 2009 03:57PM
Quote
Ferdinand
Quote
rkj
You're with Martin I'm thinking...

Nope. I'm driving my red 1990 325i with Christoph co-driving. See entry #1035: http://www.targanewfoundland.com/drivers/cars/2009/1035/

Martin is here too though. He's an official this year, driving the course closing car.

Daily photos are available here: http://pics.spoon.org/gallery2/v/Motorsports/Targa/Daily2009/

There are some shots from today's (Friday) Targa school session. We didn't take part in this one, as Christoph and I helped instruct in the session held earlier this summer at Mosport.

Saturday is registration and scrutineering. Sunday we hit the road for several practice stages in the Prologue day. Look for photos of that at the link above. Monday it starts for real.

Great Ferdy, you're driving again with Christoph, and with the new car!

That should feel good, good luck you two, keep the shiny side up smileys with beer

Rick
September 13, 2009 05:51AM
All stickered up and ready to go!


rkj
September 13, 2009 12:44PM
Quote
Ferdinand
All stickered up and ready to go!


That looks great Ferdinand, make sure you get some shots of the car properly race dirty too smiling smiley
September 13, 2009 03:08PM
Quote
Ferdinand
All stickered up and ready to go!


hey i used to have those tires on my 318is.


September 14, 2009 10:29AM
Will you be making videos as well? Can't wait for the write-up! Good luck and have fun!
September 14, 2009 06:58PM
Good photo of us on Prologue Day here: [pics.spoon.org]

We survived Day-1 with no penalties, but so did pretty much everybody else in Grand Touring. Day-1 is relatively easy, but it start getting tougher tomorrow.
rkj
September 14, 2009 11:45PM
Quote
Ferdinand
Good photo of us on Prologue Day here: [pics.spoon.org]

We survived Day-1 with no penalties, but so did pretty much everybody else in Grand Touring. Day-1 is relatively easy, but it start getting tougher tomorrow.

Such a great looking car Ferdinand, really.
September 15, 2009 07:46PM
Ferd, I didn't know you had your own race car!
I can't wait to hear more about the even :-)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
September 15, 2009 10:48PM
Quote
Earendil
Ferd, I didn't know you had your own race car!
I can't wait to hear more about the even :-)

Its a fairly new car for Ferdinand, 1st time out with it. thumbs up sure is purdy
September 17, 2009 03:30PM
Not quite as good as the other picture I don't think, but Ferd was caught in action again yesterday (wednesday).
[pics.spoon.org]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

September 19, 2009 09:28AM
We won!

We are the 2009 Targa Newfoundland GT-Class winners. The only team of the entire event to escape with zero penalty points.

Stories, photos, in-car videos, etc. still to come. We're still decompressing.

Awards banquet tonight, then hit the road to catch the ferry back to the mainland and long drive home...
rkj
September 19, 2009 12:27PM
Quote
Ferdinand
We won!

We are the 2009 Targa Newfoundland GT-Class winners. The only team of the entire event to escape with zero penalty points.

Stories, photos, in-car videos, etc. still to come. We're still decompressing.

Awards banquet tonight, then hit the road to catch the ferry back to the mainland and long drive home...

Wow Ferdy, nice going. What kind of cars are in the GT class.

Zero penalty points, and no breakage?, must of had a few adventures though thumbs up the video should be cool...

Thanks Matey
September 19, 2009 02:02PM
This youtube video just went up for one of Tuesdays corners, and it includes a pretty little red 325i :-)
I would link directly to the part where Ferd it, as the video ends up being 9 minutes of cars taking the same corner, but my flash player has recently decided to break its self, and I can't even see what minute Ferd is at. However, he is like the 10 to 15th car in (a minute or so) and having seen pictures, you'll know the car beyond a doubt.




For more game show fun, play the video out loud, but don't watch, and see if you can't pick out which car is his smileys with beer

Ferd, if I may add a request to the usual event write-up (if you intend to do one), could we get a brief description of the car, and what you did to it? Or have you posted such information in another forum I could take a gander at?
As I get older, I keep thinking the immature go-fast racing bug will leave me, as it does the majority of people like me. However, it's only getting stronger. It needs a sanctioned outlet, otherwise the insurance companies may be making a mistake by dropping my insurance down now that I'm approaching a "responsible" age spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
As a still unmarried male with few obligations in life, the only thing stopping me (I think) is the money. Of course that is a pretty large blockade... So I find myself collecting information and experienced knowledge, as well as any anecdotes those who have been there are willing to give.

In other words, you are my vicarious racing hero of the hour smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

September 19, 2009 05:03PM
Congratulations Ferd smileys with beer

Looks like you and Christoph will be the team to content with in the future thumbs up
September 19, 2009 05:39PM
Quote
Ferdinand
We won!

We are the 2009 Targa Newfoundland GT-Class winners. The only team of the entire event to escape with zero penalty points
Wow! That's amazing! Well Done!! smileys with beer

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
September 20, 2009 11:49AM
Quote
Ferdinand
We won!

We are the 2009 Targa Newfoundland GT-Class winners. The only team of the entire event to escape with zero penalty points.

Stories, photos, in-car videos, etc. still to come. We're still decompressing.

Awards banquet tonight, then hit the road to catch the ferry back to the mainland and long drive home...

that is so awesome. congratulations.


September 20, 2009 11:56AM
Quote
Ferdinand
We won!

We are the 2009 Targa Newfoundland GT-Class winners. The only team of the entire event to escape with zero penalty points.

Stories, photos, in-car videos, etc. still to come. We're still decompressing.

Awards banquet tonight, then hit the road to catch the ferry back to the mainland and long drive home...


Congratulations - that's awesome!
September 20, 2009 01:39PM
Quote
daniel
that is so awesome. congratulations.

Quote
igor325
Congratulations - that's awesome!

Awesome, that is congratulations!


...I couldn't help myself.
Also, Flash player is working again, so the point that I noted above can be found at exactly


this point.

Of other interest in the 10 minute video might be the other E30 to grace the course:



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

September 28, 2009 03:57PM
Alrighty then, I've managed to process the first batch of in-car videos.

Prologue Day is just for practice. It counts for nothing. We were told the scoring results for the Prologue Day would be used to determine the start order for the first day of competition, but evidently that just applied to the Targa Category, not to our Grand Touring (GT) Category. We started in numerical order based on our Car#.

Just to clarify, there is a big difference between the Targa and GT categories. In the Targa Category, which contains many different sub-classes depending on vintage, engine size, and modification levels, the goal is to reach the finish line of each stage within an assigned target time. Targa cars are not penalized for reaching the finish line quicker than their assigned times, as long as they don't exceed a maximum 135 km/h average speed for the stage. They only collect penalty points for each second that they are slower than their target time. They have a top speed limit of 200 km/h, checked by radar, hence the requirement for full roll-cages etc. Otherwise they can go as fast as they like on any straightaways to put time in the bank, if they are worried about making their target time in any tight stuff near the end of the stage. The target times for old, small-engined cars are more generous, compared to the practically impossible target times for the monster open class cars. But it's not a race to see who can do each stage the quickest. The goal is to always reach the finish for each stage inside your target time.

In the Grand Touring category we are limited to a slower top speed of 140 km/h, again monitored by radar, thus we are not required to have roll-cages. Any street-legal car can enter. The only division is between Equipped or Un-Equipped teams, meaning teams like us equipped with rally computers and/or GPS capable of calculating your average speed on the fly, versus un-equipped teams with only an accurate odometer, a watch, and a calculator. GT competitors are required to maintain a specified average speed, within an allowable time window, throughout each stage. For example, if the average speed is supposed to be 60 km/h, that means we must take exactly one minute to cover each kilometre through the stage. If we arrive either late or early at any Intermediate Time Control (ITC) point within the stage [and we never know where the ITC will be], we collect penalty points for every second that we are outside of our allowable time window. On Day-1 the average speeds were quite easy, with a generous allowable time window of +/- 30 seconds. On the last day, Day-5, the speeds were quite a bit quicker, with an allowable time window of only +/- 3 seconds.

The more exotic Targa class competitors tend to look down their noses at the GT competitors because we are "slow" in comparison to them. But the GT competition is not at all easy. Yes we're slower. On some straightaways we'd be trundling along painfully slowly at 95 km/h, whereas the top Targa class cars would be touching 185 km/h. But we always have to stay within our time window, at all points. We cannot go any faster, if we're already accurately on schedule and within our correct time window. We are not able to put time in the bank by speeding on the straightaways. Then, when the road gets slow, tight. and twisty, we struggle just as hard as some of the Targa cars to stay at the correct speed.

The Targa teams "only" have to reach the finish line of each stage within their target time. They can be faster than that if they want. The GT teams must not only reach the finish line within their assigned target time, but we have to hit the line within our allowable +/- time window, no slower and no faster. On top of that, we must stay within that time window over the entire length of each stage, never knowing where a surprise ITC point may be located. In many ways the GT competition, where we have to watch the clock all the time, is much harder than the Targa category where they can concentrate fully on driving as hard as they can to the finish line.

On to the videos...
September 28, 2009 04:04PM
Prologue Day - Ceremonial Start:






The ceremonial start is at the Harbourfront of St John's Newfoundland. Cars are waved off one by one to make their way out of the city to the first Prologue stage. Several of the novice teams, unfamiliar with the style of route notes provided, or unfamiliar with the streets of St. John's, promptly got lost trying to leave downtown St John's.
September 28, 2009 04:16PM
Prologue Day - Flatrock 1:






For the first Prologue stage, the GT competitors were given a fairly easy target speed, and an allowable time window of +/- 10 seconds. This was supposed to represent a typical Day-3 challenge.

The first portion is relatively simple. We just have to go hard initially to get up to our proper average speed, then hold that steady for a while. There was an Intermediate Time Control (ITC) already at the first Tee-Right intersection. So it's a good thing we didn't dawdle off the start or we would have been late already there.

We caught a Porsche 944 just as we entered a slow narrow rough section. Luckily we got there about 6 seconds early, still within our +10 second limit. We were held up by the Porsche. By the time the road finally widened enough for us to pass the Porsche, we were very nearly 10 seconds late. Had there been another ITC at this point, we might have been caught late outside our window.
September 28, 2009 04:26PM
Prologue Day - Flatrock 2:






We lined right up again for a second pass on the Flatrock stage, heading North-East from here.

On this second run, we had the same easy average speed target, but now with just a +/- 3 second window. This sort of precision is a lot tougher to maintain. Here we start getting into issues of improperly calibrated watches and odometers. A small miscalibration can add up to several seconds of inaccuracy over longer stage distances, something we struggled with later on in the week.
September 28, 2009 05:36PM
I didn't realize it was one of those types of window-timed races.
The intermediate check points you say you don't know where they are, but can you see them coming? Or does the timing crew catch you coming around a corner and tag you then?
I guess what I'm getting at, is what keeps you from blasting through the course, and then slowing your car to 1mph right before each check point as soon as you see it, in order to nail the correct time?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

September 28, 2009 07:24PM
Quote
Earendil
The intermediate check points you say you don't know where they are, but can you see them coming? Or does the timing crew catch you coming around a corner and tag you then?
The ITC locations are clearly marked with a yellow ITC board, which is supposed to be visible as you pass it. On the Prologue day the boards were visible from quite a distance. Later in the week they weren't so obvious, hidden just over a crest, or around a corner, or even behind a bush. If you noticed them at all, you might only see them just as you passed them.

Quote
Earendil
I guess what I'm getting at, is what keeps you from blasting through the course, and then slowing your car to 1mph right before each check point as soon as you see it, in order to nail the correct time?
On Day-1, when the allowable time window was an easy +/- 30 seconds, we tried to run something like 20 seconds early everywhere, giving us a comfortable cushion if the stage suddenly got a lot busier and it became tough to keep up to the required speed.

On Day-5 the margin was only +/- 3 seconds. There we tried to run 2 seconds early everywhere. It's dangerous to risk going the full 3 seconds early, because if our clock or odo wasn't perfectly accurate (they weren't), we'd risk possibly arriving too early at a well hidden ITC. Running 2 seconds early gives us up to 5 seconds delay, in case we get held up in a particularly slow corner, before we drop below our allowed 3 seconds late margin. In stages with lots of tight corners, +/- 3 seconds is really tough.

You can gamble and run even earlier, outside of your allowed time window, but then you risk getting nailed by a well-hidden ITC. The guy who sets up the ITC locations is a devious SOB. He has something like 45 years of experience at this stuff and has seen every trick in the book. The whole week was spent trying to second guess this guy. Will he put the ITC at the beginning of the tough section, trying to catch teams sneaking in early? Or will he place the ITC at the end of the tough section, knowing that the teams who came into it on the correct time are going to be late coming out the other end? Or worse, will he put an ITC at BOTH the beginning AND end of the tough section???? We never knew what he would do next.
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