|2004 Subaru WRX at 2012 Targa Newfoundland|
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Last year’s Targa Newfoundland could have been the third win in a row in the modern division for father and son team Brian and Matthew Oldford from St. John’s. Unfortunately, a crash on day one took their Subaru out of the running. This year they’re going to take on North America’s coolest rally, over 2,200 of Newfoundland’s scenic and twisty roads, once more. For Oldford Senior, it will be his 11th Targa (he first started in 2003). Obviously he’s got the bug bad.
So what exactly went wrong last year? In Brian’s own words, “Whatever happened, happened really fast.” They were on the last stage of the day, in Gooseberry Cove, a stage they’re quite familiar with from past Targas. Somehow, they missed a corner. “Where we went off, in previous years we had been able to read the tree line to get a sense of where the road goes,” Brian continues, “but a local had cut down some of the trees, so the road looked straight and we went over the crest flat-out.”
“I actually never saw the corner,” Brian adds. “I was busy counting us down to the next corner. Then all I saw was alders flying by the window.”
“I don’t think I want to try that again,” he says wryly.
While the car was badly damaged, neither of the Oldfords were hurt, and they’re ready to give it another shot this year. The 2004 Subaru WRX is rebuilt and ready to go. “The car should be competitive,” Brian says.
I’m wishing them better luck this year—they should be a team worth watching.