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Targa Rally

The December 2009 issue of Road & Track is out on the newsstands now, and features the full Targa Newfoundland Rally article written by R&T’s Feature Editor Mike Monticello, the Co-Driver on the rally in the GT-R with Steve Millen.


Check your favorite newsstand and see this issue, it’s a neat story from Mike’s perspective on taking part in this 6-day rally, and what it was like being at the mercy of Steve Millen pushing the STILLEN modified R35 GT-R to it’s limits over city streets and tarmac.

Sorry for the delay in getting the final day’s wrap-up onto the site, we took some time after the rally and celebrated with the rest of the Targa folks. It was then up first thing to get the car situated, and everything packed up for shipping back to STILLEN HQ, while Steve and Jodi drive the GT-R all the way back to Maine.

STILLEN GT-R at the 2009 Targa Newfoundland Rally

We’re proud to say that we finished up winning our division.  The results speak for themselves in regards to the overall scores.  This rally is without question designed to be won by classic cars.  We knew there would be handicapping, but it would seem there is no way that a modern car can win.  We won the majority if not all of the stages by putting down the fastest times but we still lost.  In one of the stages on Friday, Steve and Mike actually passed three cars, and still missed their goal time and incurred a penalty.

Well, it’s Thursday night and we have some great news!  We’re in the hotel room at 9pm!  The new CV boot swap the guys made last night worked perfectly today and the car ran flawlessly.

STILLEN GT-R during Racing Day 4 at the 2009 Targa Newfoundland Rally

We were back on the road a few hours after getting back to the hotel but it was worth the effort.  The crew have been absolutely amazing this week and they are doing an incredible job!

Well, we have officially made it through the first half of the week.  As expected the GT-R is running very well and if it weren’t for the worries about the CV boots, the only service we would be performing to the car would be filling it up with fuel.  This car is truly incredible.  Steve is having an absolute blast and after each stage has a huge grin on his face.

STILLEN GT-R during Racing Day 3 at the 2009 Targa Newfoundland Rally

Mark and Joe are really doing a great job and working hard.  They had a bit of a problem today when the service van started filling with the fumes from the fuel and was messing with their heads a little.  We have taped off the back half of the van with clear drop cloths and a lot of duct tape so it should be well sealed from here on out.

Well today was eventful.  There were eight stages in total, one of which was canceled due to a problem with crowd control (good call by the organizers!).  We were able to get some great video footage of the car coming through two stages as well as photography through Stage 8.

STILLEN GT-R at the 2009 Targa Newfoundland Rally courtesy of Warwick Patterson / Formulaphoto.com
Photo courtesy Warwick Patterson / Formulaphoto.com

Stage 8 is insane!  This stage takes place in the middle of a housing district.  Imagine the largest neighborhood in your area.  Now block of the roads and run a train of rally cars through it.  It was incredible.  Mike and Steve did a great job through here and really hustled hard.  Unfortunately they caught the Subaru early in the stage and weren’t able to get by because the roads were so tight.

Well, we have mostly good news and some bad news. Good news is we are getting some awesome video footage and I can’t wait to bring it home.  Steve has been doing a great job operating our in-car video system so we should be able to get some great footage.

STILLEN GT-R in transit to Gander after Monday's rally stages.

Photo courtesy of Marc Urbano – Road & Track

The guys from Road & Track and I spent the day getting deep into some of the stages and getting video footage as well as photos.  I will send some of the photos tonight but the video footage will have to wait until I get home.  For those of you who know me, I’m not the best when it comes to modern technology.

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