The Forte Koup driven by Jacques Deshaies (say 'deh-HAY' and you'll probably come about as close as an Anglophone larynx is likely to get; the s's are silent) and Guy McKenzie (no pronunciation issues there), would start each stage 30 seconds ahead of our Optima Turbo (me and Brian Bourbonniere).
After a lengthy transit from Clarenville, our first timed stage was Petite Forte, a fabulous 20-odd km run on smooth, nearly-new pavement.
The route instructions called it 'fast and flowing' - they weren't kidding.
And, there literally wasn't a cloud in the sky.
Until we got about three-quarters of the way through.
A huge puff of - well, something, loomed just ahead.
Was it dust? Did somebody go off?
No, it was too white for that.
A forest fire?
Unlikely with all the wet weather they've had here recently.
Sniff sniff - er, no, fog doesn't smell like that.
That's oil. Somebody has blowed up real good.
I'm ashamed to admit that our first thought was that it could be the old Ford Escort of Dave Pledger and Robin Willett. They'd been having mechanical issues all week.
The cloud was so dense we had to slow right down. As we worked our way through it we realized - it was our teammate.
Jacques had been setting up Scott Robbins and Stewart Tymchuk in their Sierra Cosworth for a pass at 190 km/h.
The engine had cried 'Enough!'
A sad and premature end to a promising run.