California 1000 Details:
Since 2007, Targa Trophy has been hosting epic car rallies for the most part in the state of California. However, they have expanded to places such as Las Vegas and even Miami, Florida. The 6th event on the Targa Trophy tour is the exclusive California 1000 by invitation only. Super Street Editor-in-chief Jonathan Wong and Senior Feature Editor Sam Du piloted the Garage FRS Rocket Bunny Scion FR-S to the finish line amongst a crowd of high-end JDM and euro tuners.
"I haven't been on a driving event like this in a long time, not since the Super Street Tour days, so it was fun to get behind the wheel, throw down a lot of miles in our FR-S and hang out with other enthusiasts who love to beat the shit out of their cars and go fast in the process," says Jonathan Wong. "I've never seen California this way before. Being out on those backroads without anybody else around was a calming experience, even though we were probably going anywhere from 80-120mph at any given time. The stretch of road along CA Highway 1 that rides the coast from Big Sur to Monterey was simply breathtaking. Everyone should do this drive at least once in their life." says Jonathan Wong.
The two editors had plenty of challenges throughout the event, but we asked Jonathan what was the most challenging part of the journey. "Keeping up with cars that have nearly double the horsepower of our FR-S stock! We were outnumbered in some ways, but we tried to make up for it as best as we could."
Sam Du continued, "One of the hardest yet coolest things I've done here at Super Street. We basically took our SEMA show car and put it through 1000 miles of abuse. But it was worth every mile pushing the car to its limits and driving alongside of the road's best machines at the Targa Trophy such as GT-Rs, 911 Turbos, Gallardos, R8s and more."
Sam took the pilot's seat on the second day of the rally, "I drove all of day two - Monterey to San Luis Obispo. During this drive, we'd be on some crazy backroads with little or no police so I put our FR-S to the test. Am happy to say, I kept up with a Gallardo, M3, STI and more in the canyons. How's that for a little FR-S? Also pushed the car to 121mph - the fastest this little show car has ever gone to date."
Sam agreed that the power gap between the cars was a challenge. "Uhm, we're a little underpowered. While our Scion is supercharged, our FA20 is only pushing a little over 200whp. Every other car on the rally had about 2-3x as much power which made it hard to keep up in the straights and highways. But when the roads got twisty again, we could catch up! Another challenge was the nonstop action. We're basically driving 8 hours a day, plus hanging out and partying with all the participants on the rally till 2AM. It's a marathon and you need a lot of energy to keep up!" (Sounds like a normal weekend in Vegas Sam-JT)
Just a few days before Targa Trophy we put on some fresh Toyo tires and unmounted the not so street-legal Rocket Bunny exhaust for a more street-friendly HKS exhaust. The city of Hollywood was awakened by 30 different cars ranging from Lamborghinis to Nissan GT-Rs.
Also debuting during the Cali 1000 is Targa Trophy's brand new app that was developed by Targa Trophy and Fusion of Ideas. It was mandatory for each team to use an iPad or iPhone. The exclusive app contains all maps, route details, checkpoint instructions and social media applications needed to complete the California 1000. Those without IOS devices could purchase a Limited Edition Targa Trophy California iPad Mini LTE. The unique iPad Mini featured laser engraved Targa Trophy California 1000 branding, preloaded Targa Trophy app and a California 1000 smart cover, all in commemorative packaging. The custom made-to-order iPad was priced at $750 plus tax.
The rally launched at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, CA and headed north across California in a Triple Crown road rally format for three days. From Hollywood, drivers took various routes up the coast towards Monterey, CA to conclude day one. Then it was back down to San Luis Obispo before returning to the finale party at the Roosevelt Hotel pool where it all began. Time and distance from checkpoint to checkpoint was logged to track the teams. "My favorite road was Highway 1 near Big Sur. It's right on the Pacific Ocean, twisty as hell and every corner looks like a postcard," says Sam.
The exclusive event is an evolution of the original Targa Trophy road rally format used in 2007-2010. The one-thousand mile journey consisted of numerous checkpoints. Sam mentioned, "Besides the driving and partying, we also had checkpoints during each day of the rally. We'd have to check-in at certain landmarks during the journey which made the entire Targa Trophy rally one-of-a-kind." There were only five rules to the event: Remember that Targa Trophy is a rally not a race, it's not a speed contest, rules of the road still apply, be courteous to others, and bring a great attitude.
For the finale party we invited Liberty Walk's Lamborghini, a few BMW M3s, Teddy's Honda Civic hatch, Michael Mao's1992 Acura NSX,and another NSX sporting a Route KS kit to join a parking lot full of vehicle porn. The drinks poured, the DJ kept life around the pool moving and teams exchanged battle stories from the rally. Our FR-S escaped tickets but other teams were not so lucky. The rally went off without a hitch and we can't wait for next year.
We caught up with Jason Overell the founder of Targa Trophy for an exclusive interview. See below.
How would you describe Targa Trophy for people who don't know about it?
JO: "Targa Trophy is about authentic Automotive Lifestyle Culture. Catering to enthusiasts that own or aspire to own/drive the best sports cars possible from entry level to money no object. The Targa Trophy lifestyle is about actually using these machines for what they were made for... driving!"
What makes the California 1000 special?
JO: "The California 1000 is special for many reasons. First and foremost, it is a truly exclusive event. Invite only, 50 car max. Second, this is a real road rally - 1000 miles of driving with the exclusive Targa Trophy rally format that incorporates time, distance and check points. Third, the roads we pick and the scenery on tap is truly the best of the best of what California has to offer and is one of the biggest draws for participating. Most customers feel like they went on the ultimate driving adventure - tackling roads they never knew existed. Fourth, the lifestyle; hanging out with 100 of your peers with the same interests in car/lifestyle culture, driving together within the Targa Trophy format, hanging out in some of the best cites at the best hotels and night life venues produces experiences you can't even imagine - things you truly have to be a part of to know what it's truly like."
How long has Targa Trophy been around?
JO: "Targa Trophy has been around since 2007."
What kinds of cars typically join Targa Trophy?
JO: "All kinds of cars join Targa Trophy. We have a very strong Euro following which includes Porsche, BMW M, Mercedes AMG, Audi S/RS and of course an exotics clientele that are some of the few that actually drive their cars hard. We also have a building JDM following with GT-R's, STi's/EVO's leading the charge, but we also see cars such as NSX's, FR-S/BRZ, and other specialty type JDM machines. Last but not least, there is also a very solid American car following which includes everything from Corvette to SRT, Shelby and other built up muscle rides."
What makes Targa Trophy unique from other rallies?
JO: "The authentic enthusiast nature of Targa Trophy is what sets us apart from other rallies. From our full spectrum clientele of exotics, Euro, JDM, American and everything else in between - to the unique rally/driving format that was pioneered by Targa Trophy - we have carved out our own original path in the automotive lifestyle game and it just keeps getting better year after year."
California 1000 Results
1st - Jan Ciliers - Porsche Cayman S - 965 pts
2nd - Eric Aguilera - Audi S6 - 845 pts
3rd - Dax Snow - Lamborghini Gallardo - 815 pts
1st - James Guerra - BMW M5 - 945 pts
2nd - Brian Miller - Lamborghini Gallardo - 925 pts
3rd - Scottie Bourrough - Audi R8 - 915
1st - Dax Snow - Lamborghini Gallardo - 870 pts
2nd - Betim Berisha - Porsche 997 Turbo Projekt Grip - 860 pts
3rd - Jan Ciliers - Porsche Cayman S - 845 pts (wins 3rd closest to the time)
3rd - Casey Wallace - Nissan GT-R - 845 pts
3rd - Michael Petruzzo - Subaru STi - 845 pts
OVERALL TRIPLE CROWN PODIUM
1st - Jan Ciliers - Porsche Cayman S - 2610 pts
2nd - Betim Berisha - Porsche 997 Turbo Projekt Grip - 2480 pts
3rd - 3rd - Dax Snow - Lamborghini Gallardo - 2465 pts