Today consisted of a drive to a ferry that carried me and the Evo to Bell Island, just off of Newfoundland and about fifteen minutes from St. John’s.
The ferry ride was only about ten minutes and gave me a chance to meet some of the other volunteers for the Targa Newfoundland, as well as a couple of competitors.
It was an early day and we arrived on Bell Island just about seven in the morning. Keep in mind that Newfoundland time is a half hour prior to Atlantic time. After landing our cars made their way first to meet with the safety marshal volunteers that would be helping out with the all-day practice session.
The practice sessions were an actual stage set up on the island on public roads. Areas were taped off with yellow and red tape, much as you would find the police use at a crime scene. Yellow tape areas allowed the public to stand behind and red tape was to keep people and cars from entering or even getting near an area. Signs were set to designate to traffic where the roads were closed and to the contestants where the start, flying finish, and finish were set.
A tremendous amount of effort is put into safety for the Targa Newfoundland. Certainly the competitors understand the risks involved, but it is even more important that the public is kept safe.
My station was at the Finish where a large time display reflected the time for each car along with its car number. It was located well beyond the actual flying finish line so it gave the cars a chance to slow down and the drivers to convert from rally speeds back to public road speeds, as well as get to see their times.
All the time that was put into this day of practice was very valuable. It gave everyone a chance to ensure that bugs were worked out of the equipment, and that procedures were working as they should.
It was a long day, but I think everyone involved were glad to have had the practice.
Here are some photos: