While Keith and Janel Tanner took Friday to hash out setting the odometer on the Targa Miata, Brandon Fitch and I continued on with our education with the Open Road Motorsports Targa School in our trusty Supercharged NC. The day's instruction orbited around two simulated stages on Bell Island just a short ferry ride from St. John's. With our notes prepped, our own Terratrip rally computer properly calibrated, and a closed course through the winding roads of the island ahead of us, we were understandably enthusiastic about putting our freshly-gleaned skills to use.

We arrived early, took the first spot in the queue just ahead of a vicious-sounding Ferrari Enzo and waited for the stage lights to go green. When the time came, Fitch dropped the hammer and I immediately began rattling off instructions.

Continue reading to see how it went...

"Ok, 130 meters square right into 40 meters square left."

With Fitch positioning the vehicle appropriately on the track, I glanced up toward the Terratrip only to realize that the accumulated distance digits had barely crested 30 meters. Fitch was waiting for the next instruction and I had no idea how close or far we were from the bend. Grand Junction, we have a problem.

We ran the rest of the day without the computer, which left me to simply call out the next instruction with no real concept of distance. Basically, I wasn't much help. Near as we can figure, the first hard launch away from the stage repositioned the Terratrip probe to the point that it was no longer producing an accurate reading.

Our attempts get the probe closer to its original position haven't exactly been fruitful as of yet. Unless we can figure out a solution, we may be forced to rely on a slightly less accurate form of navigation to count down our distances: a Garmin GPS.

In the meantime, we crossed paths with a few more competitors, including SRT honcho Ralph Gilles in his Dodge Viper and the MotoMan crew in their 2011 Challenger 392 SRT8. Check the gallery for a look at some of the metal on hand and stay tuned for more updates.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Seph
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want a flyin' Miata!!
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      WE WANT VIDEO!!!
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      I said it again: Whoever put a V8 into an MX-5 (the correct name of the car, Miata is secondary) ruined the best roadster there is. The car is perfect straight from the assembly line, it has the right power, the right balance, the right handling. V8 in an MX-5 is an idiocy of the largest caliber ... Similarly - the MZR engine in a Corvette would be the equal travesty.
        alainRW
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        doI've been driving an NA miata for over 8 years....I know. you know the aluminum block ls1 weighs 50 less than the iron block 4 in the miata? the t-56 trans and 8.8 ford rear keep the cglower, maintaining the cars balance, and tripling the power output. people who say v8 roadsters are unbalanced need to look at those engine weights....
        Myself
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        That was supposed to be "said before, say again..."
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Leigh Ashman
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks for the updates and pics, Zach! Go teams FM!
      Red HHR
      • 3 Years Ago
      Figure out who knows what they are doing, then get in line behind them. To do really well, do a time hack as they go past different landmarks.
        Keith Tanner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Red HHR
        With a 30-second gap between cars and mid-stage hidden time checks, that's unfortunately a last-ditch option
      JayP
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck! One of my favorite motorsport events. Hope you clear all stages.
      Trekologist
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are you guys competing in the same class as MotoMan in that 392 Challenger?
        Keith Tanner
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Trekologist
        The V8 Miata is in the same class as the green 392 Challenger. Zach and Brandon are running against a white SRT8 Challenger.
          Trekologist
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Keith Tanner
          Don't know who to vote for, now. I like both MotoMan and Autoblog. I'll just wish both you guys well, then.
      gary
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where do you have it mounted? If on the front wheel/hub (which would be normal for a RWD car) you might try repositioning the probe and magnet(s) to the inside of the half shaft, right where it bolts to the diff. I know, not as accurate as taking it off a non-drive wheel because of potential wheel-spin, but much more out of the way and less likely to be impacted. Or you might, if time permits, try tapping the VSS line. Don't know if the Terra-trip can read the miata VSS signal unconditioned, but I use this method to feed my Afla Club rally odometer in my 2006 WRX instead of a probe.
        gary
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gary
        Never mind, read Keith's post below after I posted. Have you tried putting some magnets on the drive shaft instead of just trying to "read the bolts?" (See the bottom picture here). http://www.rally.cc/alfasu.htm.
    • Load More Comments