feedburner feedburner feedburner
Enter your email address:

(Gumball STi Blog - FREE email updates)

Prologue and Day 1 Update


Our Targa started this year with 3 Prologues on Sunday. Prologues are practice stages that are not scored in any way, but used so that the teams can work out the bugs before racing starts. The first leg in Torbay was fast and the car showed just how powerful it really is. We were able to get close to 200 kph up the last hill and were heading into every corner much more quickly than last year.

We ran the next stage twice to test our narrow windy gravel covered road skills. The first pass through Rich pushed pretty hard and set a great time.

On the second pass, feeling confident, he decides to "slow down" and practice our communications a bit more. We ran the stage and checked the time to find that we actually went faster!

So much for slowing down.

In the final analysis, the car is a beast. It sends us into corners much more quickly and eats road faster than last year by a significant margin. I don't even bother calling corners less than 200 m out as they come up so fast I can't get the instruction out before the corner is upon us.

Day 1 starts early at 7:00 with a long transit to Placentia and our first race stage of 2008. In 2007 we managed to go off road on this stage so this time around we have prepared the stage by watching stage video and reviewing the route book and instructions in detail. We blazed through the first half of the stage and came quickly upon the acute right turn that gave us trouble, and guess what, we blew past it this year as well! In an attempt to get back to the turn Richard turned off and managed to get us off the road balanced on the belly pan of the car. It took us 5 attempts to rock the car back onto the road. By that time our engine had overheated and the car wouldn't generate any power. We limped across the finish and lost 38 seconds of time. Bummer!

The rest of the day went well up until the last stage.

The second stage was cancelled when a mini managed to find the ditch at high speed. The occupants had to be cut out, but noone was hurt. This was the same team that went into the same ditch last year. Apparently everyone is having trouble at the same places as last year.

Our next three stages were blazing fast and we cleaned them all with no problem. Did I mention that the car is fast! However, we did notice that that the car was running hotter and hotter over the day. By the time we reached the last stage, the temperatures were way too high. We removed the hood scoop and some other pieces to increase airflow to the engine.

The last stage has a very acute right turn about halfway through that caused us trouble last year. We raced the first part of the stage well and hit the acute hard. Rich used the new hydraulic parking brake spun us full 180 degrees (a bit too far) and popped the clutch. We stalled and it took 3 attempts to get back going. All with a big crowd and the TV cameras rolling! Crap.

We got back going and finished with another 13 seconds of penalty time. Ugly.

We will be well back in the pack today and have to come from behind.

More when we finish day 2.


Post a Comment