2008 Dunlop Targa Rally New Zealand – Update Day 3

October 30, 2008

Well, this is going to be a short one. I just got into the hotel and it’s 11:00 P.M. and I am absolutely BEAT. Today was a looooong day!

Steve Millen Kyle Millen Ford GT Targa Rally

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was the violence I experienced in the navigator seat.

I actually got physically ill on 2 stages and earned a new nick name…Ralph McPukin’…Courtesy of Mark Ungles…Thanks Mark! That little story actually made it into the “Targa Tales” that are handed out each morning. It was a good laugh.

The first stage was canceled because one of the rally cars went off-road and took out a power pole. Both the driver and co-driver were alright but they needed to close the roads to fix the power lines. From there we went to the second stage of the day and had a blast! These roads were the epitome of GT country! On the rally we have to deal with a 200 KPH (124.27 MPH) speed limit and we were constantly up against it. And guess what…WE GET TO USE 4TH GEAR NOW!!!! With the 3.9 gear ratio we are able to launch out of corners and accelerate to top speed, lightning quick. I constantly find myself telling Dad to watch his speed.

During the third stage of the day we experienced a few HARD hits…We bottomed out really hard twice and felt something give out in the right rear suspension. Unfortunately that was half way through the stage. So, Dad pulled over and we jumped out of the car to assess the situation, we saw that all 4 tires still had air so we jumped back in and took off. We limped out of the stage and back to service. Mark and Wayne quickly jumped under the car to find that the upper control arm had come loose. Fortunately the nut had stayed on so they fixed it up and the car was good again. Unfortunately…I wasn’t. Conrad Healey (our local guide/man in the know/team manager/you name it…) had to jump in the navigator seat for me to finish out the day.

No worries though, after today’s rest I’ll be good to go for the rest of the week. Conrad did great on the last few stages of the day but I can’t wait to get back in my seat. Dad and Conrad held on to our top ten results and we hope to move forward tomorrow!

Check back tomorrow for more photos and results. I’m going to bed as we need to wake up EARLY tomorrow. Tomorrow is a loooooong day.

Kyle Millen

 

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