Target: The Top
Originally printed October 18, 2007
A few weeks before Hendersonville’s Jay Marlowe won the G Production national title in the Sports Car Club of America National Runoffs in Kansas, another Henderson County resident was making fast laps in Canada, earning the county another first-place national finish in yet another sports car.
Harold Seagle, an Asheville attorney who lives in Fletcher, and his navigator, Stan Pendergraft of Charlotte, competed in the Targa Newfoundland Race Rally, which was held Sept. 8-15 in Newfoundland, and took home first-place honors in their racing class (Class 6 Standard Large) with their 1980 Porsche 911 SC.
The duo ended the weeklong 2,200-km (1,367-mile) endurance race in 14th spot overall in the 57-car field. They also took home the Targa Plate for finishing all competition stages in under trophy time and won the Kenzie Cup, which is awarded to the manufacturer that scores the lowest three-car aggregate of penalty points.
“I’m just now getting the car back today,” Seagle said on Tuesday from his home in Fletcher. “It’s been through quite a journey, and it looks like it’s happy to be back home in my garage.”
The week prior to the race, the hauler hauling the car broke down in Sydney, Novia Scotia, which is approximately 30 minutes from the ferry to Newfoundland. Other teams pitched in to help, stopping to get parts off the trailer and hauling them in their haulers.
“When we finally got to Newfoundland, we had all these other teams coming to us with our parts. It was neat to see that many people helping you out,” Seagle said.
Once the race began, the problems didn’t stop.
On the first day, the car had trouble with its electrical system, and Seagle and Pendergraft had to push start it just to get it going. Then on the third day, the battery had to be replaced, and on Day 4, the starter failed. It too had to be replaced.
“Other than electrical and mechanical problems, the car basically handled well, except for the caused by heavy impact when the cart hit the ground after jumps and from extremely rough roads,” Seagle said. It did develop a severe oil leak, too, but it made it to the finish.”
During the six-day race, Seagle said there were two solid days of rain, which was a big advantage for the North Carolina duo.
“Having raced motorcycles, I am used to running in the rain. I just feel more comfortable driving in the rain than I do on dry pavement, so the rain helped us out a lot. We regretted when it started to dry up,” Seagle, who is past President of the Fifth Judicial Bar Association said. He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who in American Law.
Seagle and Pendergraft raced their Porsche through the winding streets of fishing villages and on the rugged coastline of Newfoundland, at times reaching a top speed of 13 mph.
The overall finish isn’t as significant as the class finish, according to Seagle.
There were cars out there in different classes with twice the horsepower we had. So, to finish first in your class is big,” Seagle said.
He said he and Pendergraft are planning to run the event again next year and are hoping for even bigger results.
“We plan on bringing the same car and hopefully bringing it home in one piece again. We are just going to finish as well as we can,” he said. “The sponsors were very happy with how we did this year, and that makes it easier for next year.”