Today was Prologue Day.
A "hurry up and wait" sort of day.
Our report time was 9:08:30 (we were 20 minutes early) and expected departure time was something like 9:25.
We were the 115th car to leave – today the field left Silverdome and also started the Prologue in numerical order – so at 115 we were almost half way through the total field of 275.
50 something km later we arrived on the start line in George Town. This is the only stage that we get to drive in a convoy before we compete on it. It's a 5km street stage with a few twists – through the library car park and around the wrong side of a round about to name just two.
After travelling the course (at the speed limit – the road was still open to the public) we lined up in the local park (quite a sight) and waited about an hour and a half before the first car went out. We were given lunch, and we wandered around in the autumn sunshine and chatted with other crews. A relaxing way to kill some time. Wouldn't have minded a beer as well, but …
Not only is it a "00" event (as is all motorsport), but a number of Tassie's Finest were waiting for us at the start line. And everyone – drivers & navigators – blew in the bag.
Then a line up for the start and our turn was approaching.
Roll to the start line and watch for the lights. 10 second light. The 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Go! Welcome to Targa 2009!
Scott was calling the corners: 5 left into 4 right, tight right 3, 150 m, and I was doing my best to take it a little easy. Maybe 6/8 of flat out.
And before we knew it – about 4:13 later actually – we'd done a lap of George Town and our Prologue was over.
The Prologue is only for bragging rights and seeding the field for Day 1's start order: the fastest cars go last.
So if you've go little or no chance of being at the sharp end of things the best strategy on the Prologue is to take it easy. Don't break the car – it's a long time from there to Hobart. Don't make fools of yourselves in front of a big crowd – if you're going to have an off, do it where do one can see it.
There are a couple of other reasons for going a little easier – a low start number means you start early day. I'm fond of a lazy start to the day, but I'm here to drive, and I want to get out there. And if you start early, all being well and if the Gods of Motorsport are smiling, you get in early at the end of the day.
So we didn't bust the car, we just drove quickly, and all went well; in an hour or so I'll get a text telling me our report time for tomorrow.