Targa Road Race a Test of Endurance
Asheville Citizen Times
Originally printed October 7, 2007
Getting started was half the battle for local driver
Harold Seagle and his navigator, Stan Pendergraft, knew from experience that finishing this year’s Targa Newfoundland endurance road race would be extremely difficult.
What they didn’t know was getting the car to the starting line would be every bit as tricky.
“I was in the (Charlotte) airport getting ready to fly out (to Canada) for the race when I got a call that the truck carrying our car broke down within 30 minutes of the ferry that was to carry it over to Newfoundland,” said Seagle, an Asheville attorney who last year competed in the race with Pendergraft as rookies.
Because Seagle’s car missed the first ferry, the only other chance to get the vehicle to the race in time was to catch another that would land at a port nine hours away from the starting line. Bob and Nadine Saville, who were driving the truck, ensured that Seagle’s car made the second ferry.
“That was the most traumatic part of the whole thing,” said Seagle, who drove the Porsche 911 SC 80 to the finish line first in its class and 14th overall in the 57-car field. The race was held Sept. 8-15.
“It was quite satisfying for a small team from North Carolina to do that well, especially after all the problems we had before the start,” Seagle said.
For more information on the race, visit www.targanewfoundland.com. For more information on local driver Harold Seagle and his navigator, Stan Pendergraft, visit www.seaeagleracing.com.
RACE: Endurance Key in Targa Contest
“When you get to the middle of the week, you just want it to be over,” said Seagle, who is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who in American Law. He is also past President of the Fifth Judicial District Bar Association.
It’s not because you’re not enjoying the race,” Seagle confirmed. “We were doing well, and the car was running well. But on every stage, every day, you’re wondering what’s going to go wrong. After more than a thousand miles, you miss one turn or have something go wrong on the car and you could lose it all. It gets to be a real burden.”
Ironically, some of the biggest breaks Seagle and Pendergraft caught came from the generosity of their competitors. When their transport truck was hobbled shy of the ferry, several other teams stopped and carried tools and equipment across on their own trucks.
And when the Porsche’s starter went out, an opposing crew chief sent a mechanic to pull one out of a customer’s car at his Newfoundland garage with the stipulation that it had to be back in the customer’s car by the morning of Monday, Sept. 17.
“Everyone is racing to win,” Seagle said. “We all take it seriously. But if something goes wrong, other people help you out. If one team has a problem and needs more expertise or manpower, the people you’re racing against would help.”Price at the finish Still, nine teams did not complete the rugged race. That’s why Seagle and Pendergraft feel fortunate to have crossed the finish line for the second straight year. “The whole week is so hectic, and sometimes in the middle of the week, you find yourself wondering, “What are we doing?” said Pendergraft, a Charlotte businessman who grew up in McDowell County with Seagle. “But on Saturday, when you see the results and find out how well you did, you feel an explosion of pride. We worked through the problems we had, and we were elated at the finish. It’s really gratifying.”