ST. JOHN’S (July 17, 2013) – A single car shared by three drivers, entered as a lark in Targa Newfoundland 2009, has blossomed in 2013 into a serious four-car team — and a mild obsession — for team principal John Hume.
Hume, of Toronto, is expanding his horizons this year after his team claimed the entire Grand Touring podium in 2012 when Hume cars finished first, second and third with John and navigator Craig MacMullen on the top step. And while it will be hard to do better than that, the team is coming back with the additional challenge of expanding into the Modern Division of the Targa competition for 2013.
Hume admits Targa has become something of an obsession with him.
On one level, he says, he is still seeking perfection after four years of steadily improving performance in Grand Touring.
“I really had no idea what I was getting into the first year,” Hume recalls. He had been a motorsport fan but had never been a competitor until committing to Targa with son John Jr. and friend MacMullen in 2009. The three shared a MINI Cooper S.
“We were awful,” he says. “We got to mid-week before we realized we had to be on-time everywhere on a stage, not just at the end.” But the three pulled it together by the end of the week, out of contention but with a much better understanding of what was required of a winning team.
“After the first year, I was questioning whether or not to come back. But I started thinking, ‘I’m better than this. I can win this thing’,” Hume remembers.
He returned the next year with MacMullen in a new BMW 335 and earned a third. Son John Jr. finished second. The hook was firmly in the Hume family jaw.
Year three was a mixed result: Hume organized three cars, and while John Jr. again earned a second place, father John’s navigator was sick for the week and results suffered, too.
Like the elusive perfect golf shot, Hume is still in pursuit of the perfect drive at Targa despite the 1-2-3 finish last year. “It’s almost impossible to be perfect,” he concedes, “but we can come close!”
Son John has a different challenge in moving over to the Targa competition in a BMW M3, albeit as a very experienced rookie.
The other part of John Hume Sr.’s obsession is with sharing the news about the Targa experience and delivering the event’s message to prospective new competitors who, like he once was, are outside looking in. He has turned the considerable resources of his marketing firm, Hume Media Inc., to the task of designing and producing brochures, calendars and other sales tools, as well as producing an annual video on the event. Last year, the Hume Media team produced the daily video reports that aired on the Internet. This year, he helped organize the Targa presence at the one-day exotic car display that took over Toronto’s tony Bloor St.
“I guess I love a challenge,” Hume concludes. “You tell me I can’t bring three cars, I’ll bring four. You tell me I can’t win, I’m going to win. And you tell me Targa needs a helping hand, well, I’m in that, too.”
Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 2013 competition starts in St. John’s on September 14 and concludes back in the capital on September 21. The 12th annual rally will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.
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