My helmet has just been crammed into the cross ribs of the roof of our Miata for the third time in less than a kilometer, driving a guttural “OOMPH” from my lungs mid-sentence at the same time. I regain my breath, look from the route book to the kitchen timer that’s Velcroed to the rally computer on the dash, and start counting out the seconds on my fingers. My tiny brain is already too overloaded for simple math, and I’ve reduced myself to elementary school tricks for quick calculations. It’s the fifth stage of the fourth day, and the verdict isn’t good; we’re a far cry from our target time.
“We are 17 seconds slow,” I say into the mic, doing my best to stifle any tones of urgency.
“Seventeen seconds? Are you sure?”
The short answer is that no, I’m not sure. For the first time in a full week’s worth of time-speed-distance rallying, our time intervals are making no damn sense. We’ll pass one and be 25 seconds down only to pass the next and be within five seconds of our target. I’m all kinds of crossed up, but mid-stage is no time to let your driver know his navigator has no damn clue what’s going on.
“I’m sure. Beat on this thing.”
Always project confidence.
How to lose the 2011 Targa Newfoundland in one easy step [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Sep 2011 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.