It seems as though with each passing day of Targa Newfoundland, the energy and intensity has been increasing exponentially. Today in some way, it seems that many reached their breaking point.
At least four targa cars had major trouble today in the various stages of Leg four, covering many parts of the Bonavista Peninsula. The average speeds have increased for all classes, and the margin of error for Grand Touring has decreased from twelve seconds to three.
This creates challenge among team members, especially when persons are highly competitive. The air throughout the rally today was of everyone turning up the heat, increasing pressure, and pushing things to the limit.
Today all of the stages were new to everyone in the rally. Most teams are now quite comfortable with the process, and teams are performing at very high levels. The courses are getting more complicated to drive, and some vehicles are having equipment failures. The process of Targa racing certainly seems more like an endurance Motorsport competition; it is not just racing fast, nor being accurate with time/speed/distance competing either.
This came home to me as we finished the very fast, tight Bonavista stages today. For Grand Touring we had to average 67 km/h. This meant that at times, I was reaching speeds of 125 km/h in order to make my time, and slowing and braking to almost a complete stop on some corners. In all of this, my co-driver and I were pushed to the limit. On one corner, the brakes seemed to fail, and traction control and ABS kicked in, and the car locked up. I found out afterwards, that the brake fluid had gotten so hot (well over 200 degrees C) that it had boiled, creating gas in the line which made the brakes somewhat ineffective.
In all of this, tension was high, adrenaline was high, and expectations were high as well. The level of our performance has been heightened these past few days such that we really have tried to compete almost beyond our abilities.
In my reflections this evening, I found time to reflect upon our performance today. In the reflection, I realize that we have gotten so caught up in the competition that other parts of life are suffering. The health of some of our team is suffering; the energy levels of some in the team are suffering as well. We are pushing ourselves to the limit, through the Targa competition, through awareness/advocacy, and through fundraising.
Tonight I realized that I personally had reached my limit. I didn’t know how the next day would proceed. In this moment I felt lost and I felt as if I had let down the children and their families, the parish, and the Racing with the Reverend Team. In the quietness of my reflections, I realize I needed to reach out to others for help.
Within moments, help had arrived in so many ways. We received help from the Scion Canada Racing Team as they bled the brake lines and replaced brake fluid. I got medication to address a stubborn cold; I received support and encouragement from family, from friends, from our team.
I realize in these moments, when I feel that my limits have been reached, that I need to remember that I live and interact within community. The motoring community, the Racing with the Reverend community, my parish family community, and my family have all assisted in strengthening me and enabling a wonderful project to transpire this week.
So many times persons feel that all can be accomplished on one’s own. Each and every day I realize more profoundly that we are called to work and live and play and love and honour and defend and advocate within community. Human beings are spiritual beings, linked to the Creator, and linked to each other. Some may say that a person can survive without anyone else or without any help. I believe that this persons existence would be severely limited. With the support that I receive from all sorts of community, I have been able to exceed beyond the limits.
Thank you O God who has created me, who gives to me life and breath, love and community.
Thanks be to you, O God, who sustains me through the prayer and action of those near and far, those close and distant.
Thanks be to you O God, for you give us life, and call us to encounter you in community with others.