Today marks the completion of Targa Newfoundland. I’m here following the achievements of Kia’s first ever competitors, Mark Kostick of Edmonton and Adam Hill of Vancouver, driving a Kia Forte Koup SX. It’s an attractive two-door, aimed squarely at the tuner crowd, and Kia’s first bold foray into the arena.
Targa’s a grueling 5-day test of nerves and machinery. It’s not a sprint — here, you’d normally insert the cliché, ‘it’s a marathon’ — but it’s not that either.
It’s a marathon of sprints. 5 days of heart-pounding bursts – drives as short as 2 minutes to 20 minutes — as many as 9 stages over 12 hours, with extended drives between, from one stage to the next.
5 days of heart-pounding bursts — drives as short as 2 minutes to 20 minutes — as many as 9 stage over 12 hours, with extended drives between, from one stage to the next.
To compete at the level Team Wishful Thinking is in (they’re raising funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation – hence the name) teams can only modify their cars minimally. “Most of your parts have to remain stock,” says Hill.
You’re allowed to modify the suspension with struts and stabilizer bars — but these guys voted not to. A hat-tip to the OEM level of quality.
They did modify the brakes though. You have to in this test of performance. To prepare for this grueling week, Team Wishful Thinking sought and got special dispensation from Targa to put in after-market cross-drilled rotors to bolster the manufacturer rotors and brake pads.
Driver Adam Hill is pleased with the results. “We didn’t want to take any chances.” When it comes to brakes, it’s always better to be extra careful. “With the OEM brake pads, it really made a big difference.”