It was an eventful day to start the Tenth Anniversary Targa Newfoundland.
Several serious "offs"; I'll direct you to the Targa Newfoundland web site for more details on those.
Our electrical gremlins returned with a vengeance. The car started fine this morning, and ran to and through the first stage without problems.
OK, other than the slow driver...
But in the second stage, the dreaded Check Engine light reappeared, and we lost what felt like about half of our power.
The light went out again, the power returned, and it was OK the rest of the morning.
OK, other than that slow driver...
The car started fine again after lunch, but following a 40 km transit stage, the car would NOT start. We bump-started it, but began getting various other warning lights. We tried jamming the battery from the big X5 Diesel tow car into the MINI - again it started, but only ran briefly.
So we missed the last two stages of the day.
Crew members from Bob Pacione's team and the Soldier On team jumped in to help. On one side of modern technology, these gallant warriors were downloading wiring diagrams via satellite phones, accessing diagnostic web sites through computers plugged into portable battery packs - all pretty amazing.
Then again, if the car had a points-and-condenser ignition, we probably would have got going again!
As it turned out, the last stage of the day was washed out due to some of those 'offs', so we're 'only' one stage behind. We won last year's Open Division missing two stages.
But the competition is much tougher this year!
Still, it's a long week, and it's way too early to give up.
As I type, crew chief Alain Lauziere is heading to St. John's on a parts chase. We'll let you know tomorrow how successful he was.
I have updated yesterday's blog with the link to the web site where you can learn more about Darryl Deagle, a Targa Newfoundland veteran who died this year in a tragic parachute jumping crash, and about the Registered Education Savings Plan that has been set up for his 10-month old daughter Sophia. That link is here.