The Kent Forestry Targa was my 300th competitive motorsport event. I’m fortunate I’ve been able to try most disciplines of motorsport, and many in both seats, currently having a 95% finishing record.
For the Kent I was navigating for Gavin Rogers in Fly, his Escort, with him navigating for me driving the MG ZR. Neither of us had competed on this event at Mereworth when it ran in 2021, although he had been there previously on the Hughes Historic whereas it was my first visit.
We started in Fly first and had a sensible but good run through the first test, at just over seven miles long. A very brief spell in the paddock saw us swap to the MG ready for me to drive. It was going ok until about five miles in when she started to feel a little odd, and it quickly became apparent there was a puncture. I drove her steadily through the test (which was quicker than stopping to change the wheel), dropping a couple of minutes in the process.
There wasn’t long in the paddock before Gavin’s second test to drive, and having changed the wheel on the MG we went back out in Fly. We were the fastest car/crew on Test 2 by eight seconds (this was a repeat of Test 1) which was pleasing! Back into the paddock, back out in the MG and I drove Test 2, this time puncture free. We thought we’d have a look at test times, and saw Gavin was clean but I had ten, yes ten, cone penalties! I knew I’d driven over the base of one cone on the first test so I expected one penalty, but not ten. Each cone is 10 seconds so it was a disappointing and frustrating situation – particularly not know what or where I’d hit anything.
The third test was different, and a bit of an overshoot into a slalom in Fly saw us drop a little time but we had a steady run through both four and five to finish 5th overall, with top ten test times all day. I picked up a few more cone penalties in the afternoon in the MG but otherwise an ok run with no further punctures to finish 34th overall. It was an enjoyable event, although I think I’m a better nav than I am a driver!
Photos by M&H Photography.