• Zach Bowman and Brandon Fitch at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland with Flyin' Miata.

  • DCIM\100MEDIA
  • 1992 BMW M3 piloted by Lance Webb and Maxime Badeboncoeur in the 2011 Targa Newfondland.

  • 1986 Toyota Corolla piloted by Mike Hiscott and Richard Atkinson in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2008 Dodge Challenger piloted by Rob Pacione and Brian Maxwell in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2012 Fiat 500 piloted by Stephen Dudley and Thomas Dudley in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2008 Dodge Viper ACR piloted by Ralph Gilles and Jen Horseyin the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback piloted by Chip Brunner and Adrienne Hughesin the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin Miata in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Ferrari Enzo in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2005 Maserati MC12 piloted by Dan Echino and Melissa Sutton in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2007 Porsche GT3rs piloted by Tom Collingwood and Ashley Hollet in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 1988 BMW M3 piloted by Herb Wong and Desmond Sie in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin Miata in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 1994 Mazda Miata V8 Roadster piloted by Keith and Janel Tanner in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 1964 Ford Falcon piloted by Bill Shannahan and Murray Smith in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin Miata in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 1994 Mazda Miata V8 Roadster piloted by Keith and Janel Tanner in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • Flyin Miata in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin' Miata V8 Roadster with a Ferrari Enzo, Maserati MC-12 and a Ferrari F430 Spyder

  • Flyin' Miata supercharged NC MX-5 with the V8 Roadster, Ferrari Enzo, Maserati MC-12 and a Ferrari F430 Spyder

  • Competitors at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • Flyin' Miata at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin' Miata at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Flyin' Miata at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

  • Targa Newfoundland competitors on the ferry to Bell Island

  • Targa Newfoundland competitors on the ferry to Bell Island

  • Moto-Man 2011 Dodge Challenger 392 SRT8 on the ferry to Bell Island.

  • Flyin' Miata at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • Ralph Gilles and MotoMan at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland practice on Bell Island

  • Soldier On Sans Limits Acura TL at the 2011 Targa Newfoundland practice on Bell Island.

  • 1991 Nissan Pulsar in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland piloted by Afshin Montezari and Roy Hopkins.

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

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  • 2011 Targa Newfoundland

  • Ferrari Enzo crashes into the ocean

  • Ferrari Enzo crashes into the ocean

Two mistakes. After six days of late nights bent over the route book with calculator in hand, long days of non-stop rallying and lengthy transits, we've covered over 2,200 kilometers, raced 41 stages and made two penalty-worthy mistakes. There simply aren't words to convey the spectrum of emotions that accompanies the Targa Newfoundland, and the Flyin' Miata crew experienced its fair share of highs and lows throughout. While Wednesday saw both teams leading their respective classes, Thursday had nasty surprises in store for both the V8 Roadster and the supercharged NC.

Due to a transcription error, I fouled the finish time for stage 4-5, Garnish. We were supposed to cover the 13.25 kilometers in 8:43; I directed Brandon to the finish in 8:51, which landed us three seconds of time-over penalty plus another four seconds of interim time-control penalties. That seven seconds alone knocked us off of the podium, but the last stage of the day, Marystown North, saw an additional 7 seconds tacked onto our time after we missed the first turn and were forced to turn around.

Likewise, the Targa Miata suffered a master relay failure that saw the machine sidelined on the same stage. The DNF cost Keith and Janel Tanner their Targa Plate for completing every stage of the event and dashed any hopes of taking home a first-place trophy at the same time. Final scores aren't available as of writing, but there's still a possibility that the Tanner team will go home with a podium finish. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Brandon Fitch and myself. Right now, it looks like we'll go home fifth out of a field of 12 cars.

That's a solid finish given our complete lack of time-speed-distance rally experience and the fact that we were complete strangers less than two weeks ago, but it still hurts to know that we were so close to seeing the podium.

We weren't the only teams to suffer bruised egos on Thursday, either. As you've likely heard by now, the yellow Ferrari Enzo FXX participating in the Hot Tour division was forced into a water landing by some loose gravel on Marystown South. You can check out the gallery for a few photos of the vehicle bobbing in the bay. Fitch and I arrived on scene approximately one minute after splashdown and lent our tow rope to the recovery effort before continuing on.

Most, if not all of our progress in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland can be attributed to the guidance of Hammerhead Motorsports. When they weren't busy holding the new kids' hands, Brent Leyton and Richard Billard in the number 1019 Miata were laying waste to stages left and right. Pending official results, it looks like they'll go home with third place. The Hammerhead Motorsports guys are supporting a number of charities this year, including the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Young Adult Cancer Canada and The Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. You can learn more about their team and their causes by heading over to their Facebook page.

For now, everyone in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland needs sleep and a shower, and not necessarily in that order. Keep your eyes peeled for a more comprehensive recap in the coming weeks.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      afnf
      • 3 Years Ago
      Zach, thanks for bringing us Targa coverage from a participant's perspective. I've really enjoyed your posts. Hope you enjoyed your time in Newfoundland and plan to return next year.
      MXV
      • 3 Years Ago
      Isn't this Part 6?
      MXV
      • 3 Years Ago
      Zach, perhaps that's a clue as to why you made the two errors on day 5 of the Targa? ;-)
      amosc105
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm so uninterested in this lame series of posts that I feel the need to write it down on this wall.
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      Aha, so those are the guys who ruined a perfect car with an V8.... If you meet, them, tell them they're stupid.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        You sir, have been owned royally. Good night.
        Peter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Isnt this what a certain Mr Shelby did with a little english car on his way to becoming a legend?
          Myself
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Peter
          1. Certain Mr Shelby took an abysmal British car (AC Ace), put a V8 in it and made a legend. These guys took a perfectly balanced car, often heralded as the best driver's car, the best selling roadster AND the best selling sports car, in the world, ever, and created a car that will be forgotten within weeks. And righly so. 2. It was THE Mr Shelby who turned Ace into Cobra. And I'm sure you're not putting these two DIY wannabes on the same level.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Are you not reading ANYTHING people keep telling you? When the ALUMINUM V8 replaces the IRON I4 in these cars, the car is unchanged balancewise. Good god, dude. You really don't know what you're talking about.
        MXV
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        Along the lines of Ford / Carrol Shelby ruining a perfectly good AC Ace to make the Ford Cobra? The kit is very well through out and the results are simply stunning and mindblowing. Don't knock it until you've sat in one.
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