Targa Trophy has been around since '07, and while it stared out mostly as a European car-only rally series, over the years it has grown to become an automotive lifestyle powerhouse that attracts enthusiasts of all kinds whether you drive an STI or M3, GT-R or Lambo. The Targa community is unique in the fact that it's all about enjoying the cars we build. They don't just go from show to show but they drive their cars with fellow enthusiasts who share the same passion for high performance and driving as they do. And last year's MegaRun put it all into perspective as 30 drivers experienced one of the most thrilling rallies in America - us being one of them!
Over the course of three days, Jofel and I took our supercharged, widebody, ex-SEMA show car Scion FR-S on a 1125-mile road trip. A first for Targa Trophy, this journey would take us across three states. And instead of simply hopping on the interstate to get from city-to-city, Targa brings us to deserted roads off the beaten path that allow us to stretch the legs on our car and enjoy the company of other modified sports cars.
For most of MegaRun, we had the pleasure of cruising alongside Marco Svizzero's V8-swapped 135i that was featured on the cover of European Car. To our surprise, we kept up with the 1-Series in our underpowered FR-S! There were plenty of other awesome rides on MegaRun including Bernado Pena's 540hp BMW 335i widebody. But instead of him driving, the former Toyo Tires spokesmodels Janey Lee and Nateasha Nicole were at the helm. Just goes to show that Targa is welcome to all enthusiasts!
It's important to remember that Targa Trophy isn't a race on public roads. We don't condone that type of driving and the organizers certainly don't either. It's an organized drive that let's you enjoy your car alongside new and old friends on some of America's best roads. And while we may have beaten the hell out of our front-end and broke the front lip of our FR-S, the journey with 29 other amazing cars and their drivers was well worth it! -SD
Jofel pops his Targa Cherry
Fact is, I love Targa Trophy. It's basically a rally from point A to point B with various checkpoints along the way - essentially you're just taking posting photos on Instagram with proper captions and hashtags to show Targa staff you're not taking any shortcuts. And sure I appreciate car show builds, but I simply love cars that can be driven on the street. Targa Trophy's MegaRun was the longest and most gruesome rally they've ever had. You probably didn't know about it because it was an invite only? - so yes, TFTI. But according to organizer Jason Overell, this year's event will be open to the public. However, for this particular event, I took on the role as co-pilot for Sam in our supercharged "Ratchet Bunny" FR-S.
Our starting point was in beautiful San Diego. From there, we made our way to Scottsdale. According to GPS that's about 364 miles away, but in true Targa fashion, we went for the more scenic and more corner-challenging roads. It's on this day that I learned that despite being really, really good looking, the Rocket Bunny aero is not meant for high-speed runs. The sounds of our front lip chewing the road soon became louder than Sam's EDM playlist. Side note to you Rocket Bunny devotees, before you go ape shit, know that even Miura-san said it himself, he's more interested in how a car looks. Fortunately our friends Marco Svizzero and Matt Powers (not the drifter, the road racer) were not too far to help us secure the front lip with tow straps they had. When we finally got to Arizona and checked in at the W Scottsdale, we hit the bar until dinner, which was well in a word, crappy. In California we are lucky enough to have some top-notch sushi restaurants, but the sushi restaurant at our hotel was just straight up nasty. Not only did it take close to two hours for our food, the sushi tasted like Albertson's pre-packaged sushi. Hell, a Los Angeles Mitsuwa market sells better sushi at half the price. They even failed to bring out a full order for another person at our table. We left and walked down the street to a pizzeria that caters post club munchies for drunkies (So hard to please, Mr. Foodie! - SD).
The next day we were bound for Sam's second home, Las Vegas, and as fate would have it our car had another mishap. This time it wasn't cosmetics, but rather a mechanical dilemma. We started noticing at 3,000rpm the car would misfire. It didn't stop Sam from smashing on the gas and keeping up with cars with double or triple the horsepower. With a handicapped car, we skipped some of the checkpoints and made our way to Vegas before the sun went down. After checking in at the SLS Hotel, we went straight to one of the best pho joints in town, District One. Soon after that we suited up for the official Targa party at Life Nightclub, followed by stop at XS Nightclub where Skrillex got the house poppin'. And to make the night even more awesome, Chris Brown and Usher crashed the party and did a live performance! (Jofel was dancing all night. - SD)
The last day was the easiest to Hollywood - I'm sure Sam could've driven that blindfolded. For the sake of Ratchet Bunny, we kept the car at a low-key pace and took a shorter route home. We made it to our final destination at the Roosevelt in Hollywood where we hosted an epic display of cars in the parking lot. You can check out the entire gallery on superstreetonline.com. But after three days and over a thousand miles with Sam and Ratchet Bunny, I had no energy to party. I went home and KTFO. - JT (Some people just can't handle Targa Trophy... - SD).
SS MODEL JANEY DRIVES TARGA
"I have never been a part of a rally outside of spokesmodeling, so I was super excited when Toyo Tires gave me an opportunity to be a part of the MegaRun as a driver! I'm a huge adrenaline junkie and loved hauling through the desert! Targa Trophy did an amazing job putting together each day's route. I love taking corners at high speeds, so my favorite moments were when we would drive through the mountains. Our Toyo R888s were nice and sticky so I could feel every single curve. Another huge plus, the car sounded really aggressive while we were drove on straightaways - I felt like a total badass. I'm officially hooked and am currently shopping for a project car of my own to continue driving in all of Targa Trophy rallies this year!" - Janey