From Heroes to Zeroes >>>>
A tale of many extremes 😉
Firstly, what was a serious drama…
The day we arrived home after 6+ weeks overseas , and a truck load of Km’s (what every paraplegic with a set of arms and a head loves to do) I got a phone call from CAMS (the regulatory body for motor sports in Australia) who informed me that aside all the work I did to get my CAMS Speed Level 2 racing licence which was finally issued in April , some things were missed (BUGGER) and I’d have to have them completed or…
We would have been unable to compete in the Targa. And my licence would be withdrawn. Fair enough – rules are rules and that’s life , all we could do was try to get all these extra requirements done in the time we had. Albeit , timing wasn’t good as we only had a week and the car was already in Melb !
One was to have a bunch of track laps observed and signed off from a CAMS official , that was hard but we got it done thanks to my driving coach , m8 and legend Mr Paul Stokel 🙂
Next was a bunch of medical things and letters from my dr’s stating I was fit and able to undertake the most gruelling and dangerous motor racing event , yes , we got it done 🙂
Finally was the news I would have to go through a test to be able to exit the car in 7 seconds.
Say WHAT ??
Now that, I thought, won’t be easy – no way to practise, just had to roll up and roll the dice 🙂
Finally after the scrutinising of the car, safety equipment , rally safe unit , etc etc couple of hours give or take we went directly to conduct this EXIT test.
Well, I’ve never tried to exit the car like that. And with the car gone, no way to practice either. So it was all or nothing , we got ready , stopwatch on and I , with all the motivation in the world unbelted and threw myself out of the car , the time…
4 seconds , video to come 😉
There I lay on the ground , legs over my head and head between knees but it was done , I was so happy and relieved as the week leading up to the test it was all I could think of !!!
So happy and full of joy I said ?
But then ? The news that I also needed to exit the car from the driver’s seat over the console and into the passengers seat and then exit in 12 seconds ?
Instantly I said ‘That’s it , I’m done , NO WAY can I do that’ , but why just give in – no way Jose let’s just try! I’ve never been a person who gave up easy, so I got set , thought of a way to best do it and…
Stopwatch on , belt off , Superman across the console then opening the door and mostly flying through the air to the ground and clearing the car.
11.8 seconds :-):-):-)
Admittedly these were things that had better been known and practised back when I was issued with the licence, but that’s the way things go sometimes – just got overlooked is all !
I have to thank the CAMS officials who were so accommodating and were willing to give me a few tries , some blankets to fall onto care of Edwing and El Franko , HUGE thanks Scott and all the Boys , We did it :-):-):-)
Now I’m like every other able bodied person holding a level 2 speed cams license , I could do what they could do ? Feeling was new to me TFS 🙂
Imagine going through the whole year , working towards that day , then transporting the car over 2000kms to the city , 3 hours away from the event at Mt Buller , all the logistics and expenses to actually arrive there , flights , hotel , the car and us all passing every requirement needed , only to fail by .02 of a second . God was blessing me that day TFS :-):-)
Day 3 the final day for Targa High Country >>>
After the post below where we went up into 6th place on the 2nd day overall and finishing the final city street course with such a great result, we were on top of the WORLD :-):-)
Then .. We started day 3 with a tremendous feeling , the first stage which was down the mountain we did on :
Day 1 in 2:38
Day 2 in 1:58
Day 3 in 1:25
Almost cutting our time from day 1 in HALF over such a short leg of @8kms :-):-)
And through the morning we just got more and more comfortable with the car and we started to get into a really relaxed ZEN type of feeling , almost floating the car around the stages and started to actually catch cars and then came the most gruelling for me ?
DEVILS RIVER STAGE
A WHOPPING 38km stage that had everything , we were on fire and not at any stage did we feel that we were pushing the limits or even a moment of WOW , we were lucky then , just a perfect stage and we again moved up on all the other competitors :-):-)
With only a small stage left to end the morning (8kms) we decided to ease back , relax and just cruise in with nothing more to gain and nothing to prove , just to finish the Targa safe in one piece and ? Happy with our achievements. Soon to be getting the coveted TARGA FINISHERS medal (Baxter so so badly wanted that) For the first time in 8 years I felt normal , not disabled , just like anyone else who was racing save having any rally racing experience or a fully prepped race rally car , I’ll NEVER forget that feeling :-):-)
Devastated …as we stopped attacking the road and just went into cruise mode and therein laid our demise :-(:-(:-(
We crashed on the final stage after tearing up the field … OUCH !!!
It was when we slowed in the last 6 kms that we said ok, button off , and just cruise to the end with a great result , we’d gone from last to 6th and could have made it 4-5th against a field of professional , semi professional and experienced drivers (in fully prepped , lightly prepped and all in between) race cars many of which were not street legal , so a massive effort and father and son were on top of the world , then at that small stage in we slipped a wheel off tarmac on a super tight blind corner , just as the front wheel dropped into a small gully of about 20cms we reacted fast and steered the front back onto the tarmac , however when the rear tyre slipped into the gully…
Of all the bad luck in the world, there was a fallen tree protruding into the gully EXACTLY where the rear left tyre went off , which caught the spoke of the rear wheel and sent us instantly left and into a rock wall !
Rear wheel and tyre snapped off the car and that was the END of the dream that was almost about to come TRUE !
Devastated we both were about it but, you know that’s life – my son and I grew so close and went through it together so it’s a father-son thing we will never forget !!!
A huge goal of doing the Targa aside from helping raise money for the Sporting Wheelies was to have something my son and I could do together every year as something we would always remember and hopefully when I’m gone it will be those memories that he will think of and how we responded to the event after, well for sure we achieved that !
Neither of us will EVER forget this event and moreover how we took it in and carried on , despite being in the sweep shuttle for the last 6 hours and arriving last to the finish , with the party and trophy ceremony all but over , we washed our faces, cleaned up and went to be with all those who were still there , celebrating their own Targa efforts and success , super positive and not a soul would have known the complete devastation we had inside, that’s for me what defines us each as individuals.
Not what comes to us BUT rather how we deal with it going forward , 8 years of savings , 1 year of preparation , and 20 years of having the dream?
It was all OVER 🙁
!!! BUGGER !!!
Going forward which is all we can do now ?
Simply just to try to see if all is lost or we can fix the car ??
With God’s mercy all will be GOOD we will be BACK Jack , stronger, more experienced and…ready for round 2 !!!
We just hope the damage to the car is affordable. Could be the frame is bent and if so that’s REALLY the end of the car BUT ? NOT US , we will find a way to get back and race round 2 . Whatever it takes, we are more motivated now than ever before and we will recover on so many levels !!!
In honesty, the whole Targa initiative with flights , car transport , car prepping , driver training etc etc and the car itself was a FINANCIAL strain on my savings which was fine, but if the repair bill is over a certain amount ? I’m out and the dream is dead !
Still never say NEVER :-):-):-)
I’m hoping the mechanical damage is less than it could be and then it’s all cosmetics and let’s face it ? Who cares about cosmetics ? Shyt just look at me ;-);-)
ZIP Ties RULE ,, hahahahaha
I’ll enjoy posting some images and videos of all the great times over the next week or so , but I have surgery next week which will see me stuck in bed for a very long time so I’ll have the opportunity to get the 600+ emails done and plan our next move :-):-):-)
We learnt a lot as a father and a son and this was the metric of success in the end , we were never is any harms way, I’d never allow that , we just missed the tarmac by …… That much …. But we comforted each other , after the accident Bax was really upset so I just shunned everything else and spent time with him to get him to see just what we were about and then later that night ? God bless his soul he was comforting me and reminding me that…
By doing this…
We were raising money to help disabled people who needed help , crazy that he just kicked me into what really mattered.
Once we add the $$ from the PDay auctions ??
A HUGE thanks to Gush for winning the PDay Watch !
A HUGE thanks to Mario from Berlin for winning the signed Loris and Luciano books !
All up I think we raised @€8,000 which will see us with almost $50,000 raised for the Sporting Wheelies , half way till April when we end and we’re half way with money , so therein lies the smiles as I type , we’re safe, we’re leading change and changing lives and along the way, so many disabled people are being helped with all we do :-):-)
The world can be pleasant sometimes !!
Thank you to each and every one one of you that has supported , followed or helped us along the way including Alice , Trace and Mark from Targa .. To all I say a super BIG ??
Thanks M8’s , see you at Round 2, God willing :-):-)
I’ve got some great video from the eBay go pro and can’t wait to share it in HD …. But I’ll have to get to that, so just for now some low res video fwiw and trust me ? In the Flesh ? It seems like you’re watching it in slow motion 🙂
2 , 4 , 6 , 8 ….. Get OUT Don’t wait >>>>>>