[Video] Targa Newfoundland day one: taking notes for 2013.
Strange day...can't remember a Monday Targa start with 7 stages!
It was very action-filled with one cancelled stage due to a local who stepped into a hornet's nest and had to borrow our Rallye Ambulance! We lost one stage as we had to help a competitor that went off the road; they were fine. We should be credited that stage time today.
The Viper is very fast and very nimble even though we are the widest car here! The roads in Newfoundland took a beating last year due to Hurricane Igor. In fact, these roads remind me of our most treacherous durability test roads at our Chelsea proving grounds in Michigan... which are designed to test our SUVs and passenger cars! The set up on the Viper was too stiff and a little too low, so we think we took two to three seconds on a particularly bumpy and torn-up stage as I drove conservatively to avoid any damage. It is so competitive at Targa that we may have fallen to seventh overall. We won't know until this morning, after they clear up timing and scoring. There were a lot of typical first day glitches. Overall, the Viper is deliciously fast and surprisingly good on most all other stages and an absolute pleasure to drive. I am taking copious notes about how we can further improve some aspects of the 2013 car.
The competition is exceptionally good this year. At the same time... it seems the organizers have put some of the fastest stages early in the week, hence catching the seasoned competitors out and already taxing some machinery out.
I have a good feeling about today. Weather looks good and we changed the ACR setup last night. We raised the ride height by adjusting the ACR's factory coilovers approximately 3/8ths of an inch. After softening the adjustable suspension about 15 percent, we will be able to better manage these very bumpy roads. The rest we will leave alone... this Viper is solid!
The kids and grown-ups alike all love the car and flock to us the minute we stop in the towns... must have a little to do with our outrageous graphics donated to us from Competition Graphics back in Michigan!
It is a long week...I should be able to push harder today!
Our teammate Rob Pancione in the 392 SRT8 Challenger is doing very well and first in class. He is also getting some great video for us!
MotoMan is having the time of his life and also getting some very unique footage and trying his best to capture the unique geography and feel of Newfoundland.