Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/20/08 5:29 p.m.

I've put together a few things that show how we approached a stage at the Targa Newfoundland if anyone's interested.

First, the route book. You can see Janel's notes on the page as well as little pop-up notes about what it all means.

Route book (PDF)

Now, in-car video. I've added subtitles so you can understand what Janel's saying, along with the timing. It's a pretty hectic stage to say the least :) I have it both on Google Video and on my own site in higher resolution.

fast loading version (Goooooogle video)

high-resolution version (DivX, 13.5 MB)

I'd love to know what people think. Does this give you an idea of what it's like to run the race at all? Is there something else you want to know? I'm trying to put together the sort of thing I wish I'd seen before I went :) More videos of other stages are coming, but not dissected at all.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/20/08 6:19 p.m.

nice.

love your build as well.

RedS13Coupe
RedS13Coupe New Reader
10/20/08 6:26 p.m.

Nice, always hear pace notes being read... but have only ever seen passing glances at them, cool to have them to look over.

A bit random... but is there any special consideration or rules concerning the pencil the co-driver takes with them on the stages to make sure no one gets impaled?

Its nice to watch English speaking co-drivers, even better with subtitles.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/20/08 6:33 p.m.

These aren't typical rally pace notes, they're more navigational. Not every turn is on them, only the ones that are "out of character". So on a flowing fast stage, we might only have a note once every kilometer or so. On a tight town stage, pretty much everything is in the notes. On a WRC rally, the notes will look quite a bit different.

No special rules on writing implements. Janel didn't keep a pencil in hand on the stage. Some people tick off each instruction, but that opens up the possibility for error if you miss something. It's much better to work off the cumulative distance on the odometer.

Here's another team on the same stage. They were running "Grand Touring", which is the TSD version of the Targa. So the pace is a little less hectic. Janel listened to this and said "He's looking up too much". The navigator is giving an instruction, then looking up to see if it gets followed - and gets lost. Janel learned that pretty early.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gELOuFn7SkU

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Reader
10/20/08 6:47 p.m.

Awesome job!! Well done!! It always amazes me when I see video like that. Driving fast through all those small communities. Where are all the people? Do they clear everyone out? What about pets? Here in the States it would be lawyers, law suits, liability questions, noise complaints, home owners groups. How do they ever get everyone to agree to that? I have been to cruise nights that get out lawed due to noise and smell and they barely ever get much past walking speed!

Anyway, keep up the good work. I for one really enjoy it. Oh, one small suggestion. Maybe just a brief introduction to your vehicle would be nice. You know, a walk around, exterior and interior shots, a few of the engine and so forth. Thanks.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
10/20/08 7:59 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote: Awesome job!! Well done!! It always amazes me when I see video like that. Driving fast through all those small communities. Where are all the people? Do they clear everyone out? What about pets? How do they ever get everyone to agree to that?

They don't have cable.

Ryan9118
Ryan9118 HalfDork
10/20/08 8:25 p.m.
Keith wrote: These aren't typical rally pace notes, they're more navigational. Not every turn is on them, only the ones that are "out of character". So on a flowing fast stage, we might only have a note once every kilometer or so. On a tight town stage, pretty much everything is in the notes. On a WRC rally, the notes will look quite a bit different.

To see what Keith's talking about, check out this video of Petter Solberg and Phil Mills. An awful lot to listen to when you're driving that fast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I_EHrDZRvQ

Keith what kind of money does it take to run the Targa Newfoundland? It looks like it'd be an awesome thing to do. Nice little e-brake slide towards the end of the video too.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/20/08 8:48 p.m.
Feedyurhed wrote: Anyway, keep up the good work. I for one really enjoy it. Oh, one small suggestion. Maybe just a brief introduction to your vehicle would be nice. You know, a walk around, exterior and interior shots, a few of the engine and so forth.

available here http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/97/

Ohh and http://www.flyinmiata.com/

Ohhhh wait you wanted the in depth build stuff... see below

http://targamiata.com/

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/20/08 8:51 p.m.

http://www.slowcarfast.com/

and there as well..

pigeon
pigeon New Reader
10/20/08 10:34 p.m.
Ryan9118 wrote:
Keith wrote: These aren't typical rally pace notes, they're more navigational. Not every turn is on them, only the ones that are "out of character". So on a flowing fast stage, we might only have a note once every kilometer or so. On a tight town stage, pretty much everything is in the notes. On a WRC rally, the notes will look quite a bit different.
To see what Keith's talking about, check out this video of Petter Solberg and Phil Mills. An awful lot to listen to when you're driving that fast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I_EHrDZRvQ Keith what kind of money does it take to run the Targa Newfoundland? It looks like it'd be an awesome thing to do. Nice little e-brake slide towards the end of the video too.

And if you want to understand what Phil was telling Petter:

pace notes explained

Keith, thanks for sharing. Will you have the rest of your in-car stuff posted up? I'd love to be able to see the "real" view of Targa.

Scott

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/20/08 11:17 p.m.

I'll have the rest of the in-car posted shortly. It's just a matter of writing the descriptions and uploading to Google Video for those who don't want to wait for the big DivX files to load. I didn't get every stage (lesson learned #1: don't use a piece of crap video camera) but I do have the majority of them. This is the only one I plan to subtitle though. I'll let you all know when the rest are up.

It's amazing how the Targa is welcomed. In some cases, we'll not only shut down a community's streets, but also the only road that goes to the village. We'll race out there, sometimes do a lap or two around the town, then race back home. And everybody welcomes us with open arms. Astounding. I don't think you could do it anywhere else in North America - Newfoundlanders are not like everyone else. I've heard the two big complaints about the race are 1) that the cars aren't loud enough and 2) that they don't go by everyone's house. It does help that we bring some excitement into quiet little towns, and that we only do it once a year. The kids in particular love us.

Feedyurhed, I'll have a summary of the car posted eventually. It's certainly well documented at www.targamiata.com, but there isn't a good short version out there!

The cost to run depends on what class you run in. Grand Touring can be run in just about any car with no special safety equipment. The Alfa in that one video is simply a nice street car. Safety gear for the occupants, of course, but no cage or harnesses. The speeds are also slower. In one case, I remember the Alfa driver telling me that his target average speed for a particular stage was about 80 kmh - and he gets penalties for going slower. Meanwhile, my minimum average speed for the same stage was 123 kmh - with no penalties for excess speed.

My class - Targa - is the balls-out class, with safety equipment to match. Basically, a good cage, good seats, real harnesses, fire suits, helmets, fire extinguisher...nothing that's surprising to a track racer, really. I think a Spec Miata would be able to cruise right through tech as long as it had good door bars. I was running a slightly modified Spec cage. For this class, you'll either need a competition license or you'll have to take the Targa school. I have a NASA Rally license.

On top of the car itself, you've got three major costs: the entry fee, getting there and food/accommodation on the Rock. Maxxim Vacations can actually take care of the latter two for a fairly reasonable price, or you can roll your own to save a bit. However, we took up every hotel room within 45 minutes of one of the overnight stops, so you'd want to book early. The price depends on what you ask for, of course, but getting my truck and trailer over to Newfoundland and back with a berth on the ferry, hotels for 4 people and a few other bits and pieces came to about $5k for the week. I also had to get the car to the ferry, 3000 miles from Grand Junction.

And of course, the entry fee. This varies depending on how early you sign up, but for 2009 new competitors will pay a minimum of $4995 Cdn. Ouch. That's a fair bit more than we paid when we registered in 2006 (originally for the 2007 event, long story).

Yeah, it's expensive. For me, it was a dream to take part in a world-class race and I knew all along it would be a one-time thing. My original codriver was a friend of mine and that would have cut the costs in half as we were going to share them. My wife Janel ended up navigating for me so that made things more expensive. But I don't regret the cost or the time one bit - and I'm especially glad she was beside me. It was a fantastic experience. Just think, I could have invested the money in the stock market a year ago instead :)

Oh, and that corner with the handbrake turn? Here's what it looked like from outside the car: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJPlgdOxbwE . I'm at 4:50 in. The cars get faster as you go.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/20/08 11:26 p.m.

Oh, and there are 2200 volunteers for the event, mostly marshals doing traffic/pedestrian control. Imagine the logistics.

problemaddict
problemaddict New Reader
10/21/08 4:11 p.m.

Great info, Keith! loved reading the notes then watching the video. I'd never seen notes and had never heard navigator commands i could understand.

Has Janel done rally w/ you before, or did you guys have to drive around and practice the commands and judging distances and such?

Keith
Keith SuperDork
10/21/08 5:13 p.m.

We took a rally school (the California Rally Series one), but there wasn't any practice together at all. We tried a TSD, but most of that was simply her telling me to slow down. We have watched a lot of WRC of course So really, the bulk of our experience comes from the actual Targa. It's well paced for this, with the non-timed Prologue stages on the first day to break the ice. Janel worked almost exclusively off the odometer and I had to learn how to judge distances. I didn't always get it right, that's where we could probably pick up the most time. Thankfully, I (almost) always erred on the side of caution.

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