What can I say - WE WON!
The Open Division, I mean.
But this afternoon was quite the roller-coaster ride.
At the start of Day Five, it turns out we had a substantial if not insurmountable lead over Roy Hopkins and Adrienne Hughes in the Dodge Dart Demon for the Open Division championship.
They had slid off the road on Day Three, banging the car up quite a bit, but they were determined to get their finishers' medal.
So all we basically had to do was keep our Mini on the island, and we'd be good.
Then on the first run through Brigus, the second-last stage of the week, 5 km from the end, the Open Division championship in our hip pocket - the left half-shaft broke.
No drive, no gears, dead in the water.
Couldn't even push it across the line.
We thought we were done.
The harshest trio of letters in racing: DNF - Did Not Finish.
And that's how the first posted results showed us.
We were devastated, gutted.
But Brian knows his rules. He asked the 'chief scorer' Mark Williamson why missing stages at the end of the event should penalize you more than missing stages earlier in the week?
Mark thought deeply, and realized his scoring program had a glitch. If it recorded that a car had missed a stage, it assigned the appropriate penalties; when the score for the next stage was entered, it re-commenced scoring the car.
If the program never received another stage score, it assumed the car had DNF'd.
But what if there WERE no subsequent stages? How would it know the car had 're-entered' the event?
In Targa, you count as a finisher if ANY part of the car crosses the finish line. I took off the quick-release steering wheel, took it in a cab to the finish, and walked across with it.
So we 'finished' and missed some stages; Roy and Adrienne finished and missed some stages. Shouldn't we be scored the same way? Which means a five-minute penalty for missing the stage, plus the time of the slowest car in your class. So if you're going to miss a stage, make it a short one!
Mark agreed - he tap-tapped away at his computer for a few minutes, and out popped revised results. The time we had lost this afternoon was less than the lead we had at the start of the day.
So, we won!
Roy and Adrienne were very gracious; they knew this really was the correct result, and seemed happy after their own mishap that they at least got second.
Full results on www.targanewfoundland. com