Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2003

Leg 2: CHC Exploits - Gander to Gander

Seven stages again today, including the now popular run to the little village of Leading Tickles. The first of the day began with a high speed section leading to the village of Norris Arm, with some tight twists through the streets and alleys of the town, and another fast stretch back out to the main highway.

Botwood traveled mainly through the town, with lots of quick turns on the town's streets, and a long high speed stretch at the end.

There is only one road to Leading Tickles and it is closed to the public for the running of stages to the town and back again. The stage actually starts in the town of Point Leamington, then travels on the road to Leading Tickles, eventually ending up with a few hard turns in the town itself. The total stage length is nearly 30 km. Service crews are allowed to pass once the last car has cleared the stage.

This is followed by traditional Newfoundland lunch of Jiggs Dinner, Fish and Chips or Moose Soup. The break is welcome as the competitors get a chance to view the beauty of the area. Weather is sunny and hot once again, with temps ranging into the 30s C / 90s F. Those who make the climb to the top of the ridge report seeing whales off in the distance.

While part of the beauty of Targa Newfoundland is the scenery, eventually we all must climb back into the cars for the trip back to Point Leamington, again 30 KM, followed by the Botwood and Norris Arm stages in the reverse direction.

The final stage of the day is the run through a suburban housing development in Gander. Look for photos at Only the Porsche 944 S2 of Craig Seko and Steve Carrick failed to complete the course, due to an electrical failure just meters from the finish.

Two more cars have suffered the ravages of Targa Newfoundland today: The Mini of Jim Kenzie and Gabriel Gelinas and the Citroen DS20 of Edison and Marg-O Wiltshire. The Mini had been prepared by a race shop, with low suspension and tires with very short sidewalls. It suffered two flat tires when Gelinas, who was driving that section, hit a pothole near the start of the 30 km run to Leading Tickles. With only one spare on board, it was determined that the long run would not be good on the car or rim, and they are out of the running for Targa, but will return in the Touring category.

The Wiltshire's Citroen had a spark plug blow out of the head. They were able to limp back to Gander where a Heli-Coil was installed and they will be back on the road tomorrow.

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