I often think about Rick MacLeod. Rick died approximately three years ago as a result of brain cancer. I had the pleasure of knowing Rick and being his navigator many times at the week-long Targa Newfoundland. As a result I have many memories of the times that I spent with Rick and the stories we told. Many of those stories will forever go unrepeated, as they were private discussions that will remain private. However there is one story that recently crossed my mind and the statute of limitations makes this a tellable story.
I barely knew Rick when he contacted me back in 2004 to see if I would be his navigator in the Nevada Open Road Challenge. This is a high-speed rally that takes place on a closed highway in Nevada, north of Las Vegas, that consists of single 90 mile long stage. So I looked at the rules and saw that the fastest class that we could compete in was the 130 miles per hour class. The rules in this class were that we had to average 130 miles per hour for 90 miles and while on the stage we could not go faster than 165 miles per hour or slower than 100 miles per hour.
I sent Rick back an email and said that if he wanted to compete in that class, then he would need a car that would go at least 155 miles per hour. Rick then sent me an email, saying nothing, but it had the image of his GPS unit shown below attached to it.
Note The Maximum Speed Recorded During Rick’s Trip!
As Rick lived in Canada, he was living in the metric world. The maximum speed that he had his car going of 297.3 kilometers per hour translates into about 181 miles per hour! I had seen his Mustang, so I was not particularly surprised at the car’s top speed, but I very interested in where he was able to achieve that speed. He told me that on one of his many trips to Florida, he had been playing “can you top this” with some fellow in Camaro on an interstate highway in Kentucky. This was the result of that contest.
We did compete in the Nevada Open Road Challenge. It was quite an event. After 90 miles we crossed the finish line 0.28 seconds off the perfect time, based on an average speed of 130 miles per hour. During the run, we did have the car up to 170 miles per hour, but as we were limited by the rules to 165 miles per hour, I had my own GPS unit in front of me to monitor the speed, therefore I had to advise Rick more than once to slow down.
We thought that we had done quite well (which we did), but at the awards dinner that night we were surprised and disappointed that we finished third in our class. We thought that we might have won our class. However two other cars were closer to the perfect time than our score of 0.28 seconds!
Rick’s Mustang At The Nevada Open Road Challenge
It was during that event that Rick and I got to know one another and we competed together many times after that. Always in a Mustang with somewhere around 700 horsepower under the hood. It was quite a ride!
Rick MacLeod (right) And I After The Nevada Open Road Challenge
I have many pictures on my wall, medals, trophies, and Targa plates that Rick and I collected at Targa Newfoundland. He was quite a guy. Anybody who ever met him will always remember him. I know that I will.
If you want to share a Rick story, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net