Targa Newfoundland: The Rest of the Story
Originally printed November 2007
In Bob Saville’s “AROUND THE REGION” article in the October issue of TOBACCO ROADS, while relating his and Nadine’s most difficult experience at the 2007 Targa Newfoundland, he mentioned having missed the first ferry to Newfoundland because “another competitor’s car wouldn’t start – when the truck pulling the trailer failed. The “other competitor” was Bob’s business partner, Stan Pendergraft, and me, fellow PCA members. The car was the great and virtually indestructible Porsche 911SC shown in the photo(s) – making its third assault on the island of Newfoundland. Stan and I were again racing for Time Warner Cable and Road Runner High Speed Online who have been the most wonderful and supportive sponsors imaginable.
While the Targa experience was a certifiable disaster for Bob and Nadine this year, their sacrifice and determination in getting the race cars to the island for the start of the race made it possible for Stan and me to compete. It is also noteworthy that, while Bob and Nadine were stranded a very short 30 kilometers from the ferry, several other race teams, also on the way to the island, pitched in and loaded our tools and spares into their transport vehicles and onto their trailers and transported everything to the island. When Stan and I arrived, we had helpful and smiling people (most of whom were strangers to us) coming at us from every direction with our tools, our spares and our clothes.
In all my years of racing, this is the spirit of the racing community that has always been so special and comforting to me. I must say that, in my experience, the folks who race at Targa Newfoundland are the very best examples of the very best of racing. Last year, Glen Clark, the overall winner of the event, was with me (a rookie) working on an electrical problem in our car – at midnight on the first day of the race – while a problem with his car was being neglected. This year, on the third day racing, our starter failed. As there was no other starter available on the island, a fellow competitor’s crew chief had the starter removed from a car belonging to one of his customers in St. Johns and then had it delivered to me in Gander (on the condition that we have it back in his customer’s car before he came to pick it up on the following Monday).
The most significant and wonderful thing is that, while everyone at Targa Newfoundland is genuinely racing to win – and the competition is fierce (check the website), the events mentioned above are not at all uncommon. I am glad to report that, as a consequence of that generosity and sacrifice by so many others, Stan and I were able to start – and finish the race. We finished first in our racing class, we won the Silver Plate for finishing all stages under Trophy time and, together with the other Porsche teams of Scott Giannouu/Ray Felice and Edison and Marg O Wiltshire, we won the “Kenzie Cup” for Porsche. At this point, I must further acknowledge that the biggest reasons for this great success were Stan’s incredible performance as Navigator and a great and well prepared car, thanks to Bill Dunster. Those things more than made up for the many deficiencies in the “old motorcycle racer” driver.
As it turns out, racing is very much like the other adventures (and mis-adventures) we experience in life. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but, more often than not, we get by because someone else cared enough to go out of their way to help. There is far more victory to be enjoyed in a race – and in life – than finishing first. Sometimes it’s found in just helping someone else make it across the line.
Even though they didn’t all show up in the final standings, there were lots of winners at Targa Newfoundland 2007 and that’s the rest of the story.