Well, the weather did clear today - what a gorgeous day on The Rock. warm and sunny, and again, finished off with a lovely full moon.
80-odd cars were indeed registered for Targa Newfoundland 2008, just shy of a record for the event. Not bad considering the state of the economy in the United States where many of the competitors come from.
But fewer than 70 actually did the Prologue stages today, as it seems several competitors have been hit with their own perfect storms of business, logistical, personal or family conflicts at the last moment.
Some may make a late appearance tomorrow.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of interesting cars here, as you can tell from checking out the event web site, www.targanewfoundland.com.
We did three "prologue" stages today - well, two, but one of them twice. These stages don't count towards the results, but the organizers time each car anyway, not only to give the marshals and timing staff (all of them volunteers) some practice at doing what they will be doing for the rest of the week, but also to "seed" the competitors for tomorrow's real start.
At a Targa rally, the slowest cars run first, so that as the stage rolls on, the "crocodile" as we call the string of cars as it wends its way through the countryside, compresses rather than expands.
True, a faster car may catch a slower car somewhere in the stage, but given we start 30 seconds apart, and that the car immediately ahead is only slightly slower, those are fairly rare occurrences.
We didn't seem to have any crashes today, which is good. A few mechanical issues for a couple of cars, and there is some midnight oil being burnt as I type.
It's an early start tomorrow so I have to get some sleep. More tomorrow afternoon.